Password Policy for Faculty, Staff and Retirees

Information Technology
Information Technology
Northern Michigan University faculty, staff, and retirees
To establish standards for creating and maintaining strong passwords and the frequency for changing them.

NMU is committed to providing a secure information technology environment and protecting the data of its students, faculty and staff. The world of cyber theft gets more sophisticated every day, so Northern is taking action by implementing a new password policy, one that closely aligns with best practice regarding data security. The main purpose of this new policy is to establish standards for creating and maintaining strong passwords and the frequency for changing them.

As part of this policy, you will be required to change your password every year. This one year change requirement goes into effect October 5, 2010, but you don't need to wait until then to change your password. Change it now by going to, logging in (with your current password) and clicking on the 'Change Password' tab. Beginning in 2022, if you set a strong password and enable 2 factor authorization, you can avoid having to reset your password every year.

Note: you may be prompted to set your password recovery options.

In order to ensure strong passwords that cannot be 'guessed' by password cracking programs, your new password will need to conform to the following rules:

  • must be 8 to 16 characters in length
  • first character must be a letter of the alphabet
  • must contain at least one special character and one numeric (0 – 9) character
  • special characters are defined as ~!%^*_+-{}|[]:?./
  • spaces are not allowed
  • the @ symbol is not allowed
  • passwords are case sensitive

Each time your password is about to expire, an email reminder to change your password will be sent to you two weeks prior to the one year change date. Passwords will not be able to be reused for two years.

Note: If you have purchased an LTE CPE or LTE compatible device from NMU and the device quits working after changing your password, please contact the NMU Technology Support Services office (906)227-2468.
Note: If you have your password saved in Microsoft Outlook you will need to update it by using the 'Tools, Account Settings' menu choices.
Note: If you use a non NMU email server to pop your email, you may have to re-configure that service to tell it your new password.
Note: Changing your NMU ID password does not change the password that your computer (laptop, desktop, Windows, Apple) uses.
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