140: CHANGED PASSWORDS SOMETIMES RESULT IN LOCKED ACCOUNTS. HOW DO I AVOID OR FIX THIS PROBLEM?
As of March 2015, formerly separate Mines email accounts have been consolidated into a single, master Mines login credential called “MultiPass.” You can change many of your Mines password — including your password for Windows labs, Linux labs, software downloads, Trailhead portal access, and email access — and manage them under one MultiPass account at https://identity.mines.edu.
However, anytime you change your main password, there is a chance you can be locked out of some computer services such as email. Why is this?
Many computer systems at Mines have a security feature that will cause your account to be locked temporarily if there are too many failed login attempts in a short period of time. Many computers and programs (e.g., email clients) will save your password then attempt to log in with it. Thus, if you change your MultiPass password, your programs may still attempt to log in repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, with the old password, thus triggering a security lockout. If this happens, your accounts will be temporarily locked, preventing your access.
How do you avoid this problem in the first place? Or, if you are already locked out, how do you fix the problem?
You can contact ITS via Mines Help Center (https://helpcenter.mines.edu) for aid. Or if you are a sophisticated computer user and would like to try to address the issue yourself:
Avoid the Problem
You’re about to change your main password. How do you avoid a lockout later?
- Turn off all your computers but one. Don’t forget other home or work computers, phones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
- Change your password at https://identity.mines.edu.
- Then, in Windows, access Control Panel > Users > Credentials. Or, in Mac OS X, start the Keychain Access program (usually found in the Utilities folder). Or, in Linux start the password-storage program for your distribution (it may be called something like “Passwords and Keys”). Remove any existing entries that store Mines passwords. When next attempting to access these Mines resources you will be prompted for your new MultiPass password.
If a program stores its password outside the repositories noted above, you will need to reset your account password there as well. Since email is often the cause of these kinds of lockouts, let’s address this specifically:
- Start your preferred email program (generally Apple Mail, Thunderbird, or Outlook).
- Immediately access program “Preferences” or “Settings,” find the section dealing with passwords, and change the password stored in the program to your MultiPass. In some fortunate cases, the email program may instead complain that it can not log into your account and simply ask you for the new password.
- If you map or mount remote directories on servers like Hornet, AdminFS, or Talon, unmap or unmount those directories, then re-enable them and enter your new MultiPass password, as needed.
- For printers, deleting the printer connection and re-installing it may solve the password problem. If you still can’t print, contact ITS for help in resolving the issue.
Try out your newly updated machine. Are all your login-enabled accounts and programs still working? If so, wait five minutes (to clear any previous failed login attempts) and repeat the process with your next computer. Repeat these steps until all of your account logins are updated on all of your computers.
Fix the Problem
You have already changed your main Mines MultiPass password and now you find yourself locked out of particular accounts. What do you do?
- Turn off all your computers without exception, including all home and office computers, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
- Wait at least five minutes to allow any previous unsuccessful login attempts to clear.
- Start one machine.
- Follow the steps above to update your stored passwords to the new password.
- Repeat as needed until all your computing devices have been updated.