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Penn State Implements ‘Lifetime Passwords’ For University Accounts

The days of annually changing your Penn State passwords appear to be over, folks.

Penn State’s Office of Information Security has updated the university’s password management policies to let account holders create and use passwords that never expire. The office said doing so should help users create login information that’s “more secure and easier to remember” than ever before.

“The new Lifetime Password requirements will make you and Penn State more secure,” the office said in an email to students Wednesday.

If you changed or reset your password on or after January 25, 2021, you’re already in possession of a “lifetime password” and won’t need to change a thing.

However, if you selected your current password before January 25, you’re not so lucky. Once you next change or reset your password, though, you’ll be set up with one for life. If you’d like to get a head start, you can manually make the switch online today.

All faculty, staff, and technical service employee passwords will expire on May 12.

Additionally, Penn State has removed some password requirements, namely the mandatory inclusion of at least one upper and lowercase letter, a number, and a symbol. Instead, users are now encouraged to create passwords using a longer “passphrase,” or a sentence or series of words “meaningful to you alone.” Penn State said passphrases are “often easier to remember and type, and more difficult for computer programs to hack.”

“Security experts now recommend eliminating requirements like regular password changes and the use of upper and lower-case letters and special characters,” Penn State’s Office of Information Security said. “Instead, best practices call for longer ‘passphrases’ that are difficult to crack because they’re meaningful only to the individual user.”

Previously, Penn State account holders were required to change their passwords once a year. Now, you’ll never need to change it again unless an unauthorized user gains access to your account.

To learn more about Penn State’s updated password policies, head on over to the university’s website or contact your nearby service desk.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

By day, Matt is a senior majoring in journalism. By night, he's Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football lover, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.


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