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Password Guide

This guide is intended to provide an overview of passwords used on campus and within AFD, to show how to change these passwords, and to provide solutions to common password problems.

You may also want to print our shortened 1-page (front & back) version (note, this only contains information for your AFD account and not your Cal Poly account). Good to have in case you cannot log into your computer!

General Information & Overview

Password Security Practices & Tips

  • Do not write down your password and leave it at your desk or any unsecured location.
  • Do not share your password with anyone (all emails requesting you to send or to log in to confirm your password/identity are not legitimate and should be forwarded to abuse@calpoly.edu).
  • Do not use your Cal Poly password anywhere else online.
  • For security reasons, your password will expire every 365 days, be ready to change it!
  • Lock your workstation whenever you leave it unattended. Your password does nothing to prevent someone from sitting down and using your computer if it is left unlocked. To quickly lock your computer press Windows key + L.

Where To Start Your Password Change

If you are starting a password change, start with Choosing a New Password.

Understanding Your AFD and Cal Poly Accounts

Campus Password Overview & Solution Index
Account Systems & Resources Username used Solutions
AFD
  • AFD desktops
  • AFD training laptops
  • AFD ImageNow
  • AFD Remote Access
Username only (your Cal Poly email without the @calpoly.edu, example: if your email is jmustang@calpoly.edu, your username is jmustang)
Cal Poly
  • Cal Poly Portal
  • Email & calendar
  • SecureMustangWireless
  • Central authentication
Username or full campus email address

Choosing a New Password

We highly recommend that your AFD and Cal Poly passwords be kept the same for easy recall. Decide on a password that meets both accounts' requirements before changing the password for either account. This section will help you create a password that will work for both accounts.

Once you've picked a new password, proceed to How to Change Your Cal Poly Password.

Easy Password Tip

Here is our recommendation for a password that is easy to remember, secure, and meets both accounts' requirements:

  1. Pick 3 words that combined make up 15 characters or more (only they can't contain your first name, last name, or any Cal Poly username). Example: row quaint kayaks
  2. Capitalize the first letter of each word and put them together. Example: RowQuaintKayaks
  3. Add a number or symbol at the end. Example: RowQuaintKayaks!
  4. This should be easy to remember and should satisfy both accounts' password requirements. Feel free to create your own varations on this.

Detailed Password Requirements

If you'd like to come up with your own password format, here are the requirements for a password that would work in all systems:

  • You cannot use any of your last 24 passwords
  • Between 8 and 40 characters in length
  • Cannot contain your first name, last name, or any Cal Poly username
  • Must contain at least 1 character from 3 of the following lists of character types:
    • Uppercase Alphabetic (A-Z)
    • Numbers (0-9)
    • Lower case Alphabetic (a-z)
    • The following special characters: ! $ % & , ( ) * + - . / ; : < = > ? [ \ ] ^ _ { | } ~
  • If less than 16 characters, it cannot contain:
    • Any words of 3 or more characters, including foreign words
    • Any groups of 3 or more characters of the same character type (see above lists)
    • Any names, person, places, or things found in a common dictionary
    • Repetitive characters (sequences)

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AFD Account

The AFD account provides a user with secure access to AFD computers and network resources. ANTS maintains this network and the accounts and we are happy to assist you with any problems or questions. If you are a member of AFD who would like an AFD account, but do not have one setup yet, please ask your supervisor to Request an Account.

How to Change Your AFD Password

If you know your current AFD password, follow these instructions, otherwise see below on How to Reset Your AFD Password.

  1. If you have not changed your Cal Poly password yet, we recommend starting there. See How to Change Your Cal Poly Password before changing your AFD password. If you have your new Cal Poly password set, and need to update your AFD password to match, then proceed with these instructions.
  2. Log into an AFD desktop or laptop computer.
  3. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del on the keyboard.
  4. Select Change a password...
  5. You will need to confirm your old password, then type your new password twice.
  6. Click the blue arrow icon or press enter to confirm the password change.
  7. If you have not updated your Cal Poly password yet, you may wish to see How to Change Your Cal Poly Password below.

How to Reset Your AFD Password

If you have forgotten your password, follow these instructions, if you know your password see above on How to Change Your AFD Password.

  1. Choose a new password, see Choosing a New Password above.
  2. Call ANTS at 805-756-2687 (Monday through Friday, 7:30AM to 5PM) and we will help you reset it.

How to Unlock Your AFD Account

If your account has been locked due to failed login attempts, please call ANTS at 805-756-2687 (Monday through Friday, 7:30AM to 5PM).

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Cal Poly Account

The Cal Poly account is a user's digital identity for all of campus. Every individual staff, faculty, and student have an account which provides access to the Portal, email and calendar, and many other systems. While ITS maintains these accounts, ANTS is happy to provide assistance and answer any questions you may have regarding your Cal Poly account.

How to Change Your Cal Poly Password

If you know your Cal Poly password, follow these instructions, otherwise see below on How to Reset Your Cal Poly Password.

  1. If you haven't picked a new password yet, see Choosing a New Password above.
  2. If you use Outlook, go ahead and close it now.
  3. If you access your mail and calendar from a mobile device, either put it in airplane mode or power it off and prepare to update the password on the device. For more details, see how to Change Cal Poly Password on iOS 7 (iPhone & iPad). If you require assistance or have a question, please call ANTS at 6-ANTS.
  4. Log into the Cal Poly Portal (opens in a new tab/window).
  5. Open the Personal Info tab.
  6. Under Personal Info, press the Change Password button.
  7. Follow the instructions to change your password.
  8. If you use Outlook, it should prompt you for the new password next time you open it.
  9. You may now update the password on your mobile device, if you have an iPhone/iPad, see Update Your Cal Poly Password On Your iPhone/iPad.
  10. If you have not updated your AFD password yet, you may wish to see How to Change Your AFD Password above.

How to Reset Your Cal Poly Password

If you have forgotten your Cal Poly password, use the following steps to reset it, otherwise see above on How to Change Your Cal Poly Password.

  1. Decide on a new password, see New Password Creation above.
  2. If you use Outlook, go ahead and close it now.
  3. If you access your mail and calendar from a mobile device, either put it in airplane mode or power it off and prepare to update the password on the device. For more details, see how to Change Cal Poly Password on iOS 7 (iPhone & iPad). If you require assistance or have a question, please call ANTS at 6-ANTS.
  4. To change your password yourself, call the Service Desk at 805-756-7000 (Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM or, while ANTS cannot directly reset your password, we would be happy to assist you, please call us at 805-756-2687 (Monday through Friday, 7:30AM to 5PM).
  5. Once you have been provided with a temporary password (only valid for 7 days), proceed with the instructions: How to Change Your Cal Poly Password above.

How to Unlock Your Cal Poly Account

Your Cal Poly account will become locked after 4 failed login attempts within a 34 minute period. If you didn't make the login attempts via the Cal Poly Portal and you have a mobile device set to access your email and calendar, it is possible it is using the wrong password and through attempting to sync has locked your account. If this is the case, please update the password on the device. For additional details, see how to Update Your Cal Poly Password On Your iPhone/iPad.

To unlock the account, either wait 34 minutes after-which the account will be automatically unlocked, or call ANTS at 805-756-2687 (Monday through Friday, 7:30AM to 5PM) to request the account to be unlocked immediately.

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