Maine's Public Universities - University of Maine System

Peek #6.  Security:  Passwords

Password ScreenWould you walk away from your house or your car, leaving either    one unattended and unlocked, doors wide open, valuables in sight?  (Well, you live in Maine; you might.  But you shouldn’t!)

Your computer at work (and at home) also contains valuables: you shouldn’t leave it unprotected either.  With the advent of our PeopleSoft® system for managing sensitive Human Resources and Financial Management data (and later on, Student Administration Services data), we need to be sure that we all follow safe computing practices. 

Let’s start with our passwords.

What you should know:  You use your primary UMS account userID andspy at computer password combination to sign in through the PeopleSoft portal to check your HR data.  If someone knows your userID and password, s/he can easily see your Social Security Number, banking information if you use automatic deposit, your address and other personal information, and so on.  Depending on your role and responsibilities in Financial Management, you may also sign in through the portal to access Financials screens after go-live.  Someone using your password might be able to alter important financial data, and perhaps commit fraud.

What you can do:  Make sure you use a good password (see below), and change it frequently.  Never share your password with anyone.  If you think someone knows your password, change it immediately.  If you need assistance with that process, contact your campus computer services office or your campus Help Desk (see phone numbers below).


What’s a good password?  Longer passwords are better.  Mix letters and numbers.  A mix of upper- and lower-case letters is good. 

What’s not a good password?  Never use English words, names easily associated with you (family member or pet names), or obvious passwords such as characters in popular books (Winnie the Pooh, Lord of the Rings), cartoon, or Disney characters.
ice cream cone

How you can create a complex password:  Think of a phrase and use the first or first and last letters of each word in the phrase.  Throw in a number, as well.  An example:  “I love Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.”  Using the first and last letters in each word and converting the “i” to a numeral “5” gives you “IleBnadJ5ecm” –quite a good password (yum)!  Choose a phrase that is easy for you to remember, of course.


Computer Services / Help Desk Phone Numbers

UNET Orono                                      581-3587
UNET Augusta                                    621-3323
The University of Maine                      581-2506
University of Maine at Augusta            621-3040
University College – Bangor                262-7740 or 7745
University of Maine at Farmington        778-7300
University of Maine at Fort Kent           834-7818      
University of Maine at Machias             255-1237
University of Maine at Presque Isle       768-9626 or 551-5415
University of Southern Maine               780-4029