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Managing your password

Password

About passwords at UCT

Passwords are used to secure staff, student and third party user accounts. This keeps critical research, financial and other data safe from unauthorised access. As a result, each and every member of the UCT community shares in the responsibility for keeping the network safe.

Aside from a few cases, UCT passwords don’t expire. You will retain the same network password until you decide to change it. However, if you have privileged access on some of the university’s critical systems, you are required to change your password every 90 days. All passwords must be kept secret and must not be given anyone else – not even to an ICTS staff member.

Password regulations

When choosing a password, please adhere to these requirements:

  • Your password must be at least 14 characters long, with no spaces.
  • Your password is not case sensitive.
  • Your password can include a mix of letters, special characters and numbers.
  • Your password cannot include text that is easy to guess – such as "123", "abc" or your UCT username.
  • You cannot use a password that you have used in the past.

And because your password is critical for your access to ICT services:

  • Do not share your password with anyone.
  • Protect your password in the same way as you would your bank card PIN.
  • Never allow other people access to your email or network account - because you are liable for any email sent using your email address.

Manage your password

Use the Password Self-Service tool to manage your UCT network password. Changes are reflected instantly and you don’t need to contact IT support to change or reset your password.

If you forget your password, reset it using a one-time password (OTP) token that will be sent to your mobile phone or alternate email address.

NOTE:
You can only receive an OTP if you set up your contact information on the system.

I want to… Follow these instructions Notes
Set up my contact information
  1. Navigate to Password Self-Service.
  2. Log on using your UCT Username and Current Password.
  3. Read the privacy statement and if you agree, select I Agree and click Continue.
  4. On the contact information page:
    • Enter your mobile number and alternate email address, then click Update.
  5. Either Confirm the update or Go Back and enter different information.
  6. When you’re done, select Change Password.
  7. Proceed to change your password.

Enter your mobile number when updating your details. This allows the system to send you a password token should you ever forget your password.

If you choose not to supply a mobile number, then, when you need to reset your password, the password token will be sent to your alternate email address.

If you don’t provide any alternate contact information, you will not be able to use the “Forgot password” option and will need to contact the IT Helpdesk.

Update my contact details
  1. Navigate to Password Self-Service.
  2. Log on using your UCT Username and Current Password.
  3. Select Update details.
  4. Read the privacy statement and if you agree, select I Agree and click Continue.
  5. On the contact information page:
    • If your information is correct, click Update.
    • If your information is incomplete or incorrect, enter the correct information then click Update.
  6. Either Confirm the update or Go Back and enter different information.
  7. Click Logout.

If you change your mobile phone number or your alternate email address, update these details on the system as soon as possible.

It’s best to enter your mobile number when updating your details. If you choose not to, when you need to reset your password, the system will send the password token to your alternate email address.

Change my password
  1. Navigate to Password Self-Service.
  2. Log on using your UCT Username and Current Password.
  3. Select Change Password.
  4. Enter your new password in both fields, then click Change Password.
  5. Click Logout.
  6. If you’re using Windows, restart your computer / device.
  7. If you've stored your password in certain programs (e.g. wireless connection, email client), update your password in those systems.

For added safety, it’s best to change your password at regular intervals – e.g. every six months.

Ensure that your contact details are correct in the system.

The password must comply with UCT regulations.

Reset my forgotten password
  1. Navigate to Password Self-Service.
  2. Click Forgot password?
  3. Enter your UCT Username then click Continue.
  4. Enter your mobile number (or, if you didn't register one, your alternate email address) then click Continue.
  5. A one-time password (OTP) token will be sent to your mobile phone (or alternate email address).
  6. Enter the OTP, then click Continue.
  7. Enter your new password in both fields, then click Change Password.
  8. Click Logout.
  9. If you’re using Windows, restart your computer / device.
  10. If you've stored your password in certain programs (e.g. wireless connection, email client), update your password in those systems.

To use this option, you need access to your mobile phone or the alternate email account you listed when you last updated your contact details. If you don’t have access to either, seek assistance.

The new password must comply with UCT regulations.

Get help

Seek assistance using any of the following methods:

Staff, third parties and masters, doctoral and postdoctoral students
Undergraduate, honours and postgraduate diploma students