Patriot Pass: Providing More Security for Mason Online Users

Posted: January 27, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Mason’s new Patriot Pass system is making it easier for faculty, staff and students to be more secure with their online computer systems.

Since Patriot Pass launched on January 12, hundreds of people have discovered the benefits of switching. Not only do they get a more secure login with a password that is difficult to hack, but they also get the convenience of having the same username and password used on more than a dozen Mason online systems.

Patriot Pass was developed in response to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s mandates to increase the security of online networks used by state agencies. It uses a strong password (a password with a minimum of eight characters and three character types) that has to be reset every 180 days.

The first systems to use Patriot Pass are MESA and Mason e-mail. MESA users will be required to switch to Patriot Pass when their current MESA password expires. Once they switch to Patriot Pass by visiting the password management web site, their username and password for MESA, Mason e-mail and a host of other computer systems will be synchronized. Mason e-mail users without a MESA account are strongly encouraged to switch to Patriot Pass (though switching is not required right now).

When signing up for Patriot Pass, you will be asked to answer at least four password challenge questions. In the future, these questions will be used to verify your identity so you can reset your password should you forget it.

Mason will continue to make improvements to the security of its online systems in the coming months, and more computer systems will use Patriot Pass for access. For more information about Patriot Pass, strong passwords and the systems included, see strongpassword.gmu.edu.

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