On June 23, 2003, SMC adopted a new computer account password initiative, requiring all faculty and staff to use a "secure" password in order to log into computers at SMC. If you haven't already chosen a secure password, you will be prompted to change your password when you first login.

Why do I have to change my password?
Your computer, your files, your e-mail, your web page and even some SMC network files are at risk if an unauthorized user gets into your account. When eventually, various systems on campus (SMC network, ISIS, etc.) all share a single login, your password will have access to even more sensitive information, like student grades and other confidential information. In order to help keep all this information secure, you need a more secure password. The Network Services department screens thousands of unauthorized access attempts on our network every day. But they can't protect us from malicious acts by people who have gained access to valid SMC accounts, so we all have to cooperate to keep SMC passwords secure.

IMPORTANT: You are only changing your password for the SMC network (e-mail, WebISIS, etc.).  This procedure does NOT change your password for other systems such as eCompanion.


Quick links to instructions on...

How to choose a secure password
Changing your password (on campus, using Windows NT or 2000)
Changing your password (off campus)
Changing your password (using Outlook Web Access)
Changing your password (using a laptop computer)
What to do if you forgot your password or got locked out




  Secure password
  • At least 6 characters
  • Cannot contain any part of your e-mail name or your full name
  • Must contain at least three out of four character types:
  Character type Examples  
  Upper case letters A, B, C, Z  
  Lower case letters a, b, c, z  
  Numbers 0, 1, 2, 9  
  Symbols { } [ ] . ; : ' ` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & ( ) _ - + =  

Choosing a New Password: DOs and DON'Ts

Substitute numbers for letters to make words/phrases more secure
Examples: I 1, E 3, A 4, S 5, L 7, B 8, O 0, etc.

Go Lakers! G074k3r5!
Let's Dance 73t'5D4nc3

Choose a password that will be easy to remember
Suggestion: pick a phrase (not a word), turn it into a password

"I Like Working At Santa Monica College" 1lw@SMC
"Los Angeles Traffic: Always A Nightmare" LAt:44n

Note: Do NOT use one of the examples above. Create your own phrase!

For help creating a secure password from a phrase, go to this link:

Use obvious information about yourself (e.g. date of birth, child's name, etc.)
Use a word from English, slang, or common words from other languages





Other information
You can change your password as often as you like. You will be prompted periodically to change your password. You cannot reuse any of your previous three passwords.

Passwords are "case-sensitive"; be sure that your "Caps Lock" is off when you type your password.

Wait 15 minutes for your password change to take effect. Refrain from logging out and trying to use a newly-changed password within the first 15 minutes.




How do I change my password?

To change your password on campus, using Windows NT or Windows 2000:

  1. Logon using your current password. 
    If necessary, close any other programs you have running.
    If you are logged on to another computer, log off.
  1. Hold down the "Ctrl", "Alt" and "Delete" keys at the same time. The "Windows Security" box should pop up.
  2. Click the "Change Password" button (lower left corner)



  1. The "Change Password" box should appear. Enter your current password, your new password, and your new password (again) in the appropriate boxes. Click "OK" to accept the new password.



  1. The "Windows Security" box should return (same as 2 and 3 above).  Click "Cancel" to finish.



  I forgot my password:

To have your account password reset, submit Account Service's webform at

Or, during evening hours, contact Waleed Nasr in the Faculty/Staff computer lab (310-434-4398).

Note: in order to verify your identity, you will be asked to provide some employment information. If you prefer not to provide this information over the Internet or over the phone, have your department chair or supervisor contact to have your password reset.


For more tips on changing your SMC account password, visit


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