Your NetID password/passphrase works in conjunction with your NetID to guarantee the security of University systems and validate your identity on the NU Network. As your key to the network and your user account, your password should be guarded carefully and never shared with anyone.

Northwestern uses a password aging system which requires you to change your password for your NetID every year. You will receive several e-mail reminders to change your password as the expiration date approaches.


Password/Passphrase Guidelines

A NetID password must:

  • be 12-31 characters in length
  • contain a non-alphanumeric character such as ( ! ] & * , + = : - )

A NetID password cannot:

  • include your NetID
  • include your first, middle, or last name (only enforced if the name is at least 3 letters long)
  • be exactly the same as any of your previous 3 NetID passwords
  • include a caret ( ^ ), dollar sign ( $ ), a single quote ( ' ), a double quote ( " ), a number sign ( # ), a less-than sign ( < ), a question mark ( ? ), a pipe ( | ), a back quote ( ` ), or a backslash ( \ )
  • include more than four repeated letters or numbers (example: "aaaaa", "33333")
  • include reserved sequential character strings (example: “asdf” or “jkl;”)
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Article ID: 1889
Tue 7/19/22 12:28 PM
Wed 5/1/24 9:41 AM

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NetID services take information from the HR or student system and create unified Northwestern credentials (NetIDs) that are then connected with information about each individual. NetIDs are then used as the primary way for people to interact with IT services. Other types of NetIDs can be created as well for specific people, organizations, or IT system purposes.