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Cornell University

Why NetID Passwords Are Valuable

This article applies to: NetIDs , Security & Policy

Protect your NetID and password. At universities across the country, the theft of electronic IDs is a rapidly growing problem.

Your NetID is your online identity at Cornell

Used with your NetID password, it provides access to your personal information and is the key to using a variety of campus services, such as email.

For many of us, it also provides access to other people’s data. Protecting data placed in Cornell’s care by students, faculty, and staff is part of being a responsible network citizen. Keeping your NetID password safe is one way you can help protect everyone’s data on campus.

If someone steals your NetID password, they can gain access to any service that you can access with your NetID:

  • Spam can be sent using your Cornell email. If this happens, both you and the university could suffer the consequences.
    • The university email system could get blocked by Internet service providers that identify spam being sent from Cornell mail servers—spam from your email could potentially get everyone at Cornell blocked.
    • You could lose time and productivity if the IT Security Office needs to scramble your password, or if you receive a large number of bounced messages and complaints.
  • Technical journals and other licensed Cornell Library resources can be accessed, putting Cornell at risk of being blocked from using the resources or having the university license revoked.
  • Your personal university information can be accessed, putting you at risk for identity theft.
  • Depending on your job function at the university, sensitive or confidential information about other members of the community could be exposed to unauthorized individuals.
Sharing your NetID password is a violation of University Policy Never share your NetID password with someone else. No one besides you should know your NetID password. Not your supervisor, not your assistant, not your technical support staff, not your family members, your significant other, or your friends.


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At Cornell we value your privacy. To view
our university's privacy practices, including
information use and third parties, visit University Privacy.