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Security: Passwords / Passphrases PDF of this article

Last modified on 05/03/2017 1:23 pm CDT

A passphrase, as opposed to a password, is a phrase or short combination of words that are easy for the user to remember, and contain spaces. Passwords are often shorter, do not include spaces, and consist of a random string of characters, or one or two words. Passphrases are more difficult to crack than passwords, so UW-Eau Claire has adopted new password requirements that encourage using a passphrase, and suggests that students use passphrases for their account password. As many of the steps in changing and resetting passwords still contain the word "password," this article will use password and passphrase interchangeably.


Changing a Passphrase

NOTE: If you are unable to gain access to campus services (including webmail), you may need to reset your password.

Follow these steps to change your password online:

  1. Visit
  2. Select Change Account Password.
  3. Login using your existing credentials.
    NOTE: If you cannot login successfully, you will need to reset your password.
  4. Enter your new password as directed on the page.

If you are on a campus Windows computer, you can also change your password using the process described below:

  1. Sign in to the campus computer with your UW-Eau Claire username and password.
  2. Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Delete] on your keyboard.
  3. Click Change a Password.
  4. Enter the current/new password as directed.
    NOTE: The new password you create will need to fill the minimum requirements as described below.

Resetting Passphrases

If you forget your current password, you can easily reset it.

NOTE: This method requires your Blugold ID number and the last 4 digits of your social security number(or PIN if you do not have a social security number)

  1. Visit
  2. Click Reset Account Password.
  3. Fill in your Username, 7 digit Blugold card number and last 4 social security numbers(or PIN if you do not have a social security number)
  4. Read the password complexity requirements and enter a new password, twice.
  5. Click Reset Password.

Passphrase Complexity Requirements

The requirements for UWEC passwords are as follows:

  1. Passphrases must be at least 12 characters long.
  2. Passphrases must include characters from any 3 of the following 4 categories:
    • Uppercase letters:  e.g. A – Z
    • Lowercase letters:  e.g. a – z
    • Digits:  e.g. 0 – 9
    • Non-alphanumeric characters:  e.g.  ~ ` @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) + = \ | [ ] { } ? < >
  3. Passphrases may not contain a string of characters that is identical in whole to your login ID.
  4. Past passphrases may not be reused.
  5. Passphrases must be renewed every 180 days.


Changing Your PIN

If you wish, you may change your assigned PIN to a four-digit number of your own choosing.

  1. Visit MyBlugold CampS.
    NOTE: For more information on using MyBlugold CampS, check the documentation for Students and Faculty.
  2. Navigate to Self Service > Student Center.
  3. Select Change My PIN from the other personal… dropdown.
    personal information
  4. From that page, enter your current PIN and the 4-digit number you would like to change it to.
    Change My PIN

Forgotten PIN

There are several ways to get your PIN if you have forgotten, depending on personal preference.

  • Students
    If convenient, you may stop by the Blugold Central Office (Old Library 1108) with your Blugold Card or another government-issued photo ID for identity verification purposes. Due to the sensitivity of the information, PINs can not be given over the phone or without proper identification.
    NOTE: To protect your privacy, we do not give our Help Desk staff access to your PIN and will not give PINs over the phone or via email. Your username is not confidential and can be given over the phone.

    If you are off campus or have no government-issued photo ID, contact the LTS Help Desk at 715-836-5711 or to have your PIN sent to you via postal mail.
  • Faculty and Staff
    Contact the Human Resources department for your PIN.

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