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  August 26, 2002

New Network IDs Designed
to Promote Access, Security
By Suzanne Zack

New network IDs launched this fall represent the first step toward providing more streamlined and secure access to the University's computer services.

Over the next few years, University Information Technology Services will establish a system that will verify a person's identity across a number of systems and thus reduce the number of user names and passwords he or she will need to manage.

The Authentication Project, as this effort is known, initially involves the creation of a single identifier called a network ID, or "NetID," which will eventually enable each member of the University community to access a range of network services. Considered a University-wide priority by the Information Technology Steering Council, authentication is an initiative underway at a number of UConn's peer institutions.

"Currently, there are dozens of individual information systems at the University that now require the use of different ID formats," says Paul Kobulnicky, vice chancellor for information services. "In addition to the ease of using a single ID, a universal or persistent ID will improve security."

A NetID will stay with a person for a lifetime, no matter what his or her affiliation is with the University. It will consist of eight alphanumeric characters, including three initials that represent the user's name, two digits for the year in which the account was created, and a three-digit number assigned by University ITS, e.g., ABC02012.

Starting this fall, students will use NetIDs to access a new web-based student e-mail system, WebCT, proxy services, and network resources in the residence halls. Instructors and faculty will use NetIDs to access WebCT.

Students, faculty, and staff may also use NetIDs (in addition to existing accounts, which will remain active) to access proxy services. Faculty and staff will use NetIDs more widely as services are adapted to the new IDs.

Over time, NetIDs will enable users to access many of UConn's electronic services using a single ID to log on.

Instructors using WebCT should visit to obtain their NetID, if they have not already received specific information from WebCT.

More information about NetIDs and the authentication project will be available at: For specific questions about NetIDs, contact the ITS Help Desk at 860.486.4357 or

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