Password Requirements and Tips

On Monday, August 3, 2020, Murray State University began making changes to provide the campus community with a better, more secure online experience, As part of these changes, users may now change to a more secure, but easier to remember password. Below is information on the new password requirements and tips for creating secure passwords. Additional information about the new features is in our "Murray State Usernames and Passwords - Fall 2020 Changes" article.

Password Requirements

Murray State has updated password requirements to help our users set easier-to-remember passwords while continuing to stay secure. There are fewer requirements, which allows you to use a passphrase (such as combining random words into a longer string) rather than a shorter, but harder-to-remember complex password. The complexity of the password is now up to you! The new requirements are:

  • 16-character minimum length
  • Cannot include part of your first name, last name, or username
  • Cannot use one of your last four passwords
How often will I have to change my password?

Because of the new minimum character length which provides more security, your Murray State password will never expire! However, it's always a good idea to update your password, especially if:

  • you feel your account has been recently compromised 
  • you have responded to a phishing email
  • you have lost your phone
  • you had a different account get hacked (bank account, email account, online shopping account, etc)
  • anytime you suspect something suspicious is happening with any of your Murray State or other online accounts.
How do I change my password?
  • If you can still access your myGate account, login to myGate and click the "Change Password" button.
  • If you can't access myGate, but have signed up for Password Self-Service, go to the Password Self-Service page.
  • If you can't access myGate and haven't signed up for Password Self-Service, contact the Service Desk at 270-809-2346.


Tips for Creating a Secure Password

Murray State University has provided a Password Policy with information on purpose, scope, usage, guidelines, and more that you may find useful.

What makes a strong password? The more complex and unique, the better a password! Some best practices include:

  • Murray State passwords require a minimum length of 16 characters. 
  • Do not use complete words in any language, slang, dialect, jargon, etc.
  • Use both upper and lower case characters (e.g., a-z, A-Z) 
  • Use digits and punctuation characters as well as letters e.g., 0-9, !@#$%^&*()_+|~-=\`{}[]:";'<>?,./)\
  • Do not include any personal information, such as phone numbers, birthdays, addresses, etc.
  • Do not include names of family, names of pets, names of fantasy characters, etc.
  • Do not include any reference to "murray" or "murray state" or "msu" or "racers" etc.
  • Do not include any word or number patterns like "aaabbb" or "qwerty" or "123321" etc.


Passwords should never be written down or stored online. Try to create passwords that can be easily remembered. One way to do this is create a password based on a song title, affirmation, or other phrase. For example, the phrase might be: "This May Be One Way To Remember" and the password could be: "TmB1w2R!" or "Tmb1W>r~" or some other variation. 

NOTE: Do not use any of these examples as passwords!

If you ever question the validity of an email you have received, call the Murray State University Service Desk first at 270-809-2346, or report it through the Report Phishing Email service.

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Article ID: 22521
Thu 1/5/17 3:07 PM
Fri 7/31/20 1:22 PM

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This article provides an overview of MSU accounts, usernames, and passwords. This includes password assistance, password requirements, account durations, and more.

Related Services / Offerings (2)

Your network account is used for logging on to campus computers and the campus wireless networks. If you know your myGate credentials, you may activate or reset your network account through myGate on the Home tab. For further assistance, please use this service request or contact the Service Desk at 270-809-2346.
If you do not know your Murray State account password, please try using the Password Self-Service system. If you need help with Duo (myGate 2FA) see the instructions here or contact the Service Desk. Instructions for enrolling in Password Self-Service are provided.