Information Computing and Technology Services

Passphrase Resources

Create a Passphrase

Passphrases must be at least 8 characters long and contain at least three of the following four categories:

  • Upper case letter
  • Lower case letter
  • Numbers
  • Special characters (e.g., !, @, #, *, ?)

Passphrases are changed every 90 days.

Create a Strong Passphrase

Every user helps protect the ECU network with a strong passphrase. Quickly make up a unique, secure passphrase:
  1. Make up a sentence you can remember.
  2. Take the first letter of each word and...
    1. make 1-2 letters upper case
    2. make one letter lower case
    3. make one character a number or special character

Examples (don't really use these!)

  • Is Econ 220 being offered this semester? (IE2bots?)
  • Only three more weeks until vacation time! (O3mwuVt!)

Beware These Pitfalls

Hacker programs crack your passphrase by trying every word in the dictionary and other tricks. Users should be mindful of the following tips.


  • Use personal information to create a passphrase.
  • Use easily obtained information such as license plate numbers, telephone numbers, etc.
  • Use any word contained in a dictionary, spelling list or other word list in any language.
  • Use transformations such as reversing the spelling, changing upper case to lower case or using all caps.
  • Write down your passphrase and post it in an easily-guessed location.
  • Select a passphrase that is common to everyone (Go@Pirates!).
  • Change your passphrase and then go on vacation; use it immediately several times.
  • Share your passphrase with anyone—EVER.

Passphrase Reset

Option 1. Visit the Self-Service PirateID Maintenance System (best option)

Log in, answer the three security questions which allows you to access the passphrase reset option. This works for the regular 90-day passphrase change or if you get locked out. Click the Pirate ID link on the ECU home page to quickly access the passphrase maintenance page.

Quick Links, ECU Home Page

Or go to the passphrase maintenance site at

Option 2. Visit the Walk-in IT Help Desk

Present a completed Passphrase Reset Authorization Form and a valid photo ID (ECU 1 Card, driver's license or government-issued ID) at either location. For after hours requests, see below.* Austin Building, Room 103 | Health Sciences Building, Room 2502
Service Hours

Option 3. Call the IT Help Desk

Help Desk staff can reset a passphrase only if identity of the requester is verified. A faxed or emailed copy of a valid photo ID (ECU 1 Card, driver’s license, or government-issued ID) is required to verify who is making the request.
Users should black out all personal information (including driver's license number, address, phone, DOB, etc. before submitting by fax or email to the Help Desk.*

*Please note: Passphrase-reset requests submitted before 12 noon are completed by 5:00p the same day. Requests submitted after 12 noon are completed by 12 noon the following business day.

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Passphrase Security

  • NEVER give your passphrase to anyone. Not even your supervisor can ask you to disclose your passphrase.
  • Do not reply to emails requesting your personal information. These emails are fraudulent.
  • If you think someone may have obtained your passphrase, change it immediately using the passphrase maintenance site and notify the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866.
  • Don't reveal personal information on the phone. Identity thieves are known to ask seemingly innocuous questions that reveal confidential information.
  • If an ITCS service technician needs your passphrase, you will be asked to type it in yourself. Ask for identification if you are not sure about the person. Change the passphrase after the technician leaves.
  • Never use the "remember this password" feature in your browser when logging in to programs or other ECU systems, such as Blackboard. Others can then log in to the application on your computer using your credentials. Hackers can also find the password file and use it to log on to the ECU network.
  • Don't use Password Manager programs that offer to store your password for you.
  • Lock your computer whenever you leave it.
  • Turn off your office computer each day before leaving.

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Contact Us

ITCS Admin - 252.328.9000
IT Help Desk - 252.328.9866
IT Help Desk - 800.340.7081
Classroom Tech - 252.328.9830
ITCS Leadership - 252.328.9000

Need Help?