USF Account Basics
Almost all computing systems (campus computers, Canvas, email, My Cougar Connection) require a valid USF network account username and password.
Students will receive their username and password during the admissions process. Upon a student’s graduation, or withdrawal from the University, their USF network account will become disabled. Students will need to ensure that any email or documents are backed up before that time.
Employees receive their USF account when they are hired as part of the Onboarding process. USF employees will keep their account until the date their employment with USF ends.
For students, the username is your last name followed by the first initial then middle initial. For example, a student named John K. Doe, would typically have the username doejk and an email address of email@example.com.
For employees, the username is your first initial followed by their last name. For example, a employee named John K. Doe, would typically have the username jdoe and an email address of firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your USF network account password is created through the link you receive in the Welcome to USF email from UTS.
Your password will never expire, but must meet the password complexity requirements.
You can change your password whenever you desire. If you have forgotten your password, you can follow similar steps to the initial account setup to regain access to your account.
If you incorrectly enter your password 5 times, your account will become locked for 5 minutes. At this point, you can either wait until your account becomes unlocked automatically or unlock your account using self-service.
Password Complexity Requirements
- Must not contain all or part of your username
- Must be at least 16-characters in length
- Password/passphrases may contain spaces
- You cannot reuse any of your previous two passwords/passphrases
- Passwords no longer expire after a set period of time
- Complexity requirement (mix of uppercase, lowercase, special character or number) removed
When passwords or passphrases are chosen and then entered as part of the password reset process, they are first run through Microsoft’s bad or banned password dictionary. This dictionary contains all known cracked or hacked passwords as well as common simple passwords, e.g., abcdefg, password, monkey, etc. If your chosen password or passphrase matches any of these, a message will appear that reads “Choose a password that is harder to guess.” You must select a different password or passphrase. You cannot re-use any of your previous two passwords or passphrases.
Best practice recommendations for passwords or passphrases
Use a password or passphrase that is unique and do not reuse the same password or passphrase for other accounts. Use a mixture or letters, numbers and special symbols or characters:
- Uppercase letters (A through Z)
- Lowercase letters (a through z)
- Numbers or Digits (0 through 9)
- Non-alphanumeric symbols or characters (for example: @,%,$)
- Longer passwords or passphrases (18-20 characters) are recommended to increase strength and number of permutations needed to crack the password or
- Do not use repeating patterns of words to increase the length of your password or passphrase, ex. Fourfourfourfour or passwordpassword.
- Do not use personal info such as birthdates or weddings.
- Beware relying on symbol substitutions in passwords or passphrases since modern password crackers will try all the commonly used ones, ex. $ubst!tui0n$.
- Utilize a good password manager that provides strong encryption, such as LastPass. We recommend NOT using a browser’s password manager.
- Beware using music lyrics, movie quotes, or other commonly used phrases.
To reset your password, please refer to the Change My USF Password instructions.
To test the strength of your password, go to https://howsecureismypassword.net/ and type in your desired password. It will display the estimated length of time a computer would need to crack your password and indicate relative strength.
If you are still having difficulty coming up with ideas for your password, think of combining different tidbits of information from unrelated sources that you would remember or is relevant to you and combine those into a passphrase.
I Forgot My Password
Before changing your password:
- Review Password Complexity Requirements.
- Forget the USF Wi-Fi on Phones, Personal Computers, Tablets, or other Devices (to prevent lockouts). Reconnect after your password has been reset.
Set up your USF account for the very first time or reset your password
- From the Office 365 sign-in page, click the Can’t access your account? link or go directly to the password reset page.
- Enter your USF User ID and prove you aren’t a robot by passing the CAPTCHA challenge and entering the text presented to you and click Next.
- Select I forgot my password and click Next to proceed to the next screen.
- You should see the following options for resetting your password:
- Email my alternate email – Sends an email with a 6-digit code to either your alternate email or your authentication email (you choose).
- Text my mobile phone – Texts your phone with a 6-digit code to either your mobile phone or your authentication phone (you choose).
- Call my mobile phone – Calls either your mobile phone or your authentication phone (you choose). Press the # key to verify the call.
- Select your preferred verification method and click Next.
- Enter the verification code you received into the box and click Next.
- On the Choose a new password page, enter a new password, confirm your password and then click Finish. Your Password must conform to the Password Policy.
- When you see Your password has been reset, you can sign in with your new password.
- After using this method to reset your password, you may receive an email confirming this process has been completed that comes from an account like “Microsoft on behalf of University of Saint Francis”. If you get an email like this, and did not use the USF password reset system to regain access to your account contact the USF Help Desk (email@example.com, 260-399-8195, or extension 6027 from a campus phone).
Get Tech Help and Support
My Cougar Connection contains a collection of self-service tutorials and resources provided by Teaching and Learning Services and University Technology Services.
USF Help Desk
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 260-399-8195, or extension 6027 from a campus phone to submit a ticket. The USF Help Desk’s normal hours of operation are M-F 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with limited after-hours monitoring for system-wide outages.