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Requiring Passcodes on Mobile Devices

Do you have a passcode on your smart phone and/or tablet?  The campus is making changes to the policy regarding accessing campus email from personal smart devices.  Please read this message and take the appropriate actions.

Beginning June 1st CSUSM will require all smart devices that connect to our email server (Exchange) to require a passcode.  A passcode is typically a four to six digit numerical code that is built into the device’s operating system, though increasingly, more complicated passcodes are becoming available to users as an option. This code will "unlock" the device and give the user access to all of its contents. Due to the way that Exchange enforces this requirement only numerical passcodes or alphabetical passwords will be recognized. 

 This new campus policy affects all faculty and staff that use their smart phones and tablets to read campus email through their devices’ mail app. This applies to ALL smart devices that access campus mail, including personal devices.  If users have not selected a passcode/password before June 1st, the user’s device will automatically request that they create a passcode when they attempt to open their phone.  While we realize this new policy may cause inconvenience for some of our users, we believe this is a necessary precaution.

Why is this a new requirement? Jacqueline Beauchere, the Vice Chair for the National Cyber Security Alliance, is quoted as saying "Using a PIN or unique password is the single most important thing to do as a user of a smartphone to protect the device, the data and your reputation. I'd say the data on your phone is more valuable than on your desktop computer, partly because it has the more recent information." Additionally, smart device thefts are on the rise. The gadget insurance company, Protect Your Bubble, has estimated that 113 cell phones are lost or stolen every minute in the U.S. Due to the sensitive nature of information used by our campus, we have decided to take proactive measures to protect users against an unauthorized breach and potential exposure.

If you have any questions or feedback, please visit our FAQs page or contact the Information Security Team at