Password Security & Tips

VWCC faculty, staff, and administrators have both VWCC and VCCS (MyVWCC) accounts to access a variety of systems. You are responsible for your VWCC and VCCS accounts and anything that happens with your account. Make sure your passwords are secure, so your accounts cannot be used for nefarious purposes.

Once you have established a secure password, keep your password secret. Do not share your password with others. Do not write down your password and keep it near the computer.

Password Tips

  • Always immediately change default passwords.
  • Do not use simple, obvious, or predictable passwords.
  • Include at least one number, preferably not at the end.
  • Use a varying combination of upper- and lowercase letters.
  • Do not use spaces.
  • Do not use names or nicknames of people, pets, places, or personal information that can easily be found out, such as your address, birthday, or hobbies.
  • Create passwords that are easy to remember but hard to guess.
  • Do not write your passwords down or post them to your computer monitor.
  • Never share your passwords with others.
  • Change your passwords regularly.

VWCC Password Requirements

VWCC passwords must be changed every 90 days. You will receive a reminder in your email, and when you log on to your computer.


  • Must not contain all or part of the user’s account username.
  • Must be at least 8 characters in length.
  • Must contain characters from 3 of the following 4 categories:
    • English uppercase characters (A through Z).
    • English lowercase characters (a through z).
    • Base 10 digits (0 through 9).
    • Non-alphanumeric characters (e.g. !` ~ ! @ # $ % & ^ * ( ) _ + { } [ ] – \ / ? : ,).
  • Should not be real words, family names, or place names.

VCCS (MyVWCC) Password Requirements

VCCS passwords must be changed on a regular basis. You will be notified upon login when your password has expired.


  • Must not contain all or part of the user’s account username.
  • Must be at least 8 characters in length but not more than 32.
  • Must contain at least one English uppercase letter (A through Z).
  • Must contain at least one English lowercase letter (a through z).
  • Must contain at least one number (0-9).
  • Must contain at least one special character (e.g. !` ~ ! @ # $ % & ^ * ( ) _ + { } [ ] – \ / ? : ,).
  • Should not contain family names or place names.

Security Awareness and FERPA Education

The state of Virginia requires that all employees participate in IT security awareness training every year. Virginia Western has partnered with VCCS Information Security Shared Services (ISSS) to provide a consistent security management and reporting framework at the college.

Are you aware the majority of security breaches occur because of human error? Security awareness education arms you with habits and knowledge that will keep our students, our organization, and us safe. Learn how to recognize and respond to a phishing email, avoid downloading malicious code from the Web, keep your social media posts secure, and more.

Virginia Western is using the KnowBe4 Security Awareness Training application for all full-time and adjunct faculty, full-time staff, and administrators. The training is completed online and a certificate of completion is awarded when all videos/courses have been successfully completed. Trainings on FERPA and PCI (if applicable) are also required.

This training is required annually. You will receive an email when your training is due, and will have 30 days to complete it. That email will also contain login instructions.

Any questions? Contact Security Awareness Education Help at