What are PennKey Setup Codes and how do they work?
PennKey Setup Codes are temporary identifiers used to log in to the
PennKey application. A Setup Code expires once it's been used or 60 days
from the the date of issue, whichever comes first. You need to obtain
a Setup Code
Setup Codes are described in detail on the About
PennKey Setup Codes page. It's important to review that information
so you don't inadvertently cancel your PennKey or nullify a Setup Code.
How do I get a Setup Code?
The various ways you can obtain a Setup Code are described on the About
PennKey Setup Codes page.
Can a Setup Code be reused?
No it can't. However, if you used a Setup Code to log in but did not
complete the PennKey registration or password reset process, you can
use the same Setup Code within 60 days of the date of issue to complete
the process for which the Setup Code was issued.
How do I get another Setup Code if I lose mine or
You can always get a replacement Setup Code by visiting a
PennKey administration station. Note that once you request another
Setup Code by any means, the previously requested Setup Code is nullified.
When I try to create a password, it still gets rejected
because it supposedly contains a dictionary word, though I don't think
it does. What's going on?
This is a common and frustrating problem. "Dictionary" does
not simply mean a standard English language dictionary -- it also includes
foreign language dictionaries and all kinds of specialized dictionaries
that hackers use to crack passwords.
For example, the string "xyzzy" is found in a computer dictionary
-- it's a term from an early computer game and has found its way into
password cracking dictionaries, so it is not a suitable password.
The following approach can be helpful in choosing a strong password:
Make up a sentence that's meaningful to you. Then use the first letter
of each word as a letter in your password; if you wish, add additional
characters to make it more difficult to guess.
- Start with the phrase such as Orange elephants invade
Alaska; film at eleven.
- Take the first letter of each word as your password: OeiAfae
(This is an acceptable password; it follows the rules but is hard for
someone to guess since it's essentially a random string of characters.)
- To make the password even harder to guess, add punctuation, numbers,
and other non-alphanumeric symbols: OeiA;f@11
I've forgotten my PennKey password. What should
You will need to reset it -- no one can retrieve a forgotten password
for you. If you are enrolled in Challenge-Response, you can reset your
password online instantly. Otherwise, you will need to obtain a PennKey
Setup Code and then reset your password online. For details, see Set/Reset
Can my PennKey password be reset manually by a PennKey
administrator, or can someone tell me what it is if I forget it?
No. Passwords are stored in the system in encrypted form, and cannot be
read by administrative personnel. Only you should ever know what your
password is. The only manual operation that an administrator can perform
on your PennKey is to issue a Setup Code against it, which effectively
freezes it until you reset your password using that Setup Code or another
that you subsequently obtain.
How often should I change my PennKey password?
There is no need to regularly change your password. But, if you suspect
that someone has learned your password or could easily guess it, then
you should change it immediately. See the Set/Reset
Your Password page for more information.
I think somebody stole, or accidentally
found out what my PennKey password is. What should I do?
If you believe that the security of your PennKey password has been compromised,
and that someone has or will use it to access your account(s), contact
PennKey administrator, or
215-662-7474. They can immediately issue a Setup Code against your PennKey
that will effectively freeze your PennKey until you can obtain
a Setup Code to reset your password.
If you believe that any criminal activity has taken place or will take
place, it is strongly recommended that you contact Penn Public Safety
at 511 (on-campus) or 215-573-3333 (off-campus).
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