Computer Accounts Policy

You are eligible for an account if you:

  1. work within the CSE department,
  2. are a CSE graduate student,
  3. are a CSE undergraduate student (either a major or enrolled in a CPSC course), or
  4. are sponsored by a CSE faculty or staff member who pays for your account

Password policy

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering complies with TAMU University Rule 24.99.99.M1.14 regarding password complexity requirements and maximum password age. Specific restrictions are listed below.

Why am I required to change my password?
According to University Rule 24.99.99.M1.14 and other administrative procedures, passwords must routinely be changed. The ease with which a password is broken is directly related to its longevity; an older password is more likely to be broken. By changing passwords periodically, you can also ensure that a compromised password is not reused indefinitely.
 
How often must I change my password?
Your password may not be over 6 months old. As your password expiration nears, you will receive a reminder via email to change it. After it has expired, you will be unable to access most systems until you have changed it. Changing your password more frequently is certainly acceptable, and doing so will prevent you from receiving expiration notices.
 
Can I change my password to be the same thing?
No. The University rules require that a password history be kept in order to restrict the immediate reuse of old passwords. Practically speaking, you should expect to create a new password at least once every 6 months.
 
How complex must my password be?
Simple passwords are easily guessed. Short passwords or passwords containing only letters or only numbers are subject to such a "brute force" attack by anyone on the internet. Passwords that contain dictionary words or terms easily associated with you are also easily guessed by malicious users attempting to compromise your information.

  • Must be at least six (6) characters long;
  • Must begin with a letter;
  • Must contain at least one (1) number or special character (i.e. !@#$%^&*);
  • Must contain at least one (1) capital letter;
  • Must contain at least one (1) lower case letter;
  • Cannot begin or end with a number (i.e. "Password1")
  • Cannot be similar to or contain portions of your username, first name, middle name, last name, or old password
  • Cannot be similar to a dictionary word (i.e. "p@ssword")
  • Cannot contain dictionary words (i.e. "h1airplane") 

What if I forget my password?
If you are on-campus, you simply need to take a picture ID to the CSE Helpdesk. If you are out of town or otherwise unable to come in person, you may call the helpdesk at (979) 845-5550. 

How can I change my password?
You may change your password at any time in CSNET. Click here for a direct link. 

How will I know when my password is going to expire?
As your password expiration nears, you will receive a reminder via email to change it. Instructions for changing your password are available online here.

Account expiration policies

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering complies with TAMU University Rule 29.01.99.M1.03 regarding account management.

Student accounts for undergraduates:
Accounts (including email addresses, aliases, and forwards) will remain active if the student is enrolled in a class for the current or following semester. If a student does not meet either of these requirements, the account will be deactivated. Upon the second consecutive semester of not meeting either of these requirements, the account will be deleted with no backup. 

Student accounts for graduates:
Accounts (including email addresses, aliases, and forwards) will remain active if the student is enrolled in a class for the current or following semester. After the first semester a student does not meet either of these requirements, the account will be deactivated. After the second consecutive semester of not meeting either of these requirements, the account will be deleted with no backup. 

Faculty and Staff accounts:
Accounts (including email addresses, aliases, and forwards) will be deactivated upon termination of employment and deleted with no backup after 120 days. Faculty and staff should back up their files before leaving the University. 

Sponsored:
Accounts (including email addresses, aliases, and forwards) will be reviewed annually and deleted on the request of the sponsor. If the account required funding, it will be deactivated when the funding becomes past due and deleted 120 days after. Sponsored accounts can be requested for a maximum duration of one year. Faculty members may request a one year extension at any time, effective from the date of the request. 

Q-drop and withdrawal:
In order to comply with section 3.5 of University Rule 29.01.99.M1.03: If a student is no longer associated with the department (via withdrawal or q-drop), then the student will not retain access to CSE resources such as a registered student would. CSE, like CIS, maintains student email aliases for 6 months after graduation/withdrawal/etc. so that students have adequate time to change their email account to a commercial provider and notify contacts that may still be using the CSE/TAMU email alias. If a student continues to volunteer for a professor and thus requires access to departmental resources, the student is required to submit a sponsored account request form, located here. This is a separate agreement that is not associated with status (or former status) as a student.

Backup and restore policy

CSG backs up the departmental file server and other CSG servers that pertain to data of user accounts only. CSG does not offer backup services to other workstations and storage systems belonging to individuals of the department.

CSG routinely backs up the departmental file server and other CSG servers for the purpose of disaster recovery only. Archiving and backup of personal directories for the purpose of data recovery are the responsibility of account owners.

However the departmental file server has a series of snapshots that allow for recovery of data for a period of 4 weeks. Users of the file server should become familiar with how to use the snapshot system to recover deleted files.

Request for recovery of lost research data that is of extreme importance can be made to the CSG. In such a case CSG may provide recovery after careful review and consideration.

The backup system is designed for disaster recovery only, with snapshots on the file server serving as restore capabilities for users. Individuals are strongly encouraged to use personal tape backup systems and CD writers to keep copies of their data in case of accidental deletion or when recovery of data beyond 4 weeks is needed.