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Office for Information Technology

Williams Accounts & Passwords/Passphrases

Services that use your Williams network account & password/passphrase

  • Email/webmail
  • Wireless network access (to Purple Air)
  • Printing (PaperCut)
  • Novell Netware (Hector, Helen, Achilles, Athena.)
  • GLOW
  • OIT software downloads
  • Williams Wiki restricted pages
  • Go/myaccount Self Service
  • Remote Access To Library Databases (the proxy server)
  • VPN (virtual private network)
  • WordPress web sites
  • Many WSO services
  • Unix

Services that use a different password/passphrase

  • Meeting Maker
  • PeopleSoft
  • Your PC computer local account
  • Your Mac computer local account
  • Notify link

User naming scheme

Accounts created after the summer of 2007 (starting from class ’11) use the initials plus a number, e.g. Ephraim X. Williams could be exw1

Accounts created before the summer of 2007 – Faculty & Staff accounts use the first initial followed by the first 7 letters of the last name (if your last name is more than 7 characters long) e.g. for Ephraim Williams could be ewilliam. Student accounts used the class year followed by initials, e.g. 09abc.

Changing your password/passphrase

To change your password, go to https://pchanger.williams.edu

Note: this does not change your Meeting Maker, PeopleSoft, local windows account, local OSX account or NotifyLink passwords. OIT recommends that you use different passwords for these accounts.

If you use NotifyLink, when you change your Williams network password, you will need to change that password within the NotifyLink webpage as well. more »

Changing your local account password

All computers have a local account that is independent of your Williams account.  This local account password is needed to get in to your Windows computer and to install software on your Mac computer. If you change your Williams password, your local account password is NOT automatically changed with it.  How to change your local account password/passphrase.

Choosing a password/passphrase

It’s important that no one knows or can guess your password/passphrase.  You might not have any important information that you need to protect, but if a hacker gets your password/passphrase, s/he can initiate an attack on the Williams servers and network.  Access to our servers is the first step in a hacker’s ability to steal information and start a denial of service attack, which has occurred at Williams.  Denial of service attacks can bring down our entire network.  So remember that your password/passphrase protects more than just your own data.

VERY IMPORTANT – Make this passphrase different from all your other passwords/passphrases!   Do not let this passphrase be the same as one you have used anywhere else whether it’s your banking, shopping or even your local library.

There are many available password-cracking programs.  Words in the dictionary and/or standard combinations like “catdog” can be discovered easily.  Also refrain from using your user name, family names, pet names, birthdates, etc.  Do not use the same password/passphrase for Williams accounts that you use for other online accounts like Gmail or Yahoo. As of 4/30/13 the OIT requirement is 12 characters with at least one being a number, one being upper-case and one being lower-case.  There is a new school of thought that passphrases or combinatations of words are much harder to crack that traditional passwords (like password33).  A passphrase could be “isureDolike7potatoes” while a word combo could be “paperCoffee2elephants”.  Either would be easy to remember but hard to crack.

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