NetID Frequently Asked Questions

Sign up for a MSU NetID: http://netid.montclair.edu

What is an MSU NetID?
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An MSU NetID is your unique electronic identity that gives you access to a growing number of online services at the University. Your MSU NetID is based on your last name plus one or more characters from your first name. Students NetIDs will also have a number at the end. Here are a few examples:

Student Frank Smith will have a NetID of smithf4, student Kathy Lincoln will have a NetID of lincolnk1, faculty/staff member Jane Cooper will have a NetID of cooperj. If there are faculty/staff members with the same name, the later hire will have additional letters added to their last name. For example, a new hire by the name of John Smith will have a netid of smithjo as opposed to the original smithj.

Each MSU NetID has an associated password, so when accessing Montclair State University’s resources using your NetID you will also be required to enter your password.

What kinds of things can I use my MSU NetID for?
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Almost all online resources at Montclair State require users to authenticate by entering a username and password. We are working to unify all of these services using the MSU NetID and password. One of the benefits of standardizing the NetID for all online authentication is that you need to remember only one username and password to access any computing service on campus. Currently, the following services use your MSU NetID and password:

  1. The University-sponsored Gmail
  2. The ELVIS electronic voting system
  3. The ISE registration portal
  4. The OIT Software Archive website
  5. Canvas Learning Management System
  6. Parking Services "E-Park" system
  7. Citrix thin-client computing environment
  8. Network printing
  9. Personal network file storage and web space (msufiles.montclair.edu)
  10. Administrative computing resources (Workday, PeopleSoft Financials, Banner)
  11. NEST

Do I need an MSU NetID if I already have a mail.montclair.edu e-mail account?
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If you already have a @montclair.edu e-mail account, then you already have an MSU NetID. Your NetID is the part of your e-mail address to the left of "@montclair.edu". For example, a person with an e-mail address of "smithj@mail.montclair.edu" has an MSU NetID of "smithj".

How do I get an MSU NetID if I don't already have one?
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The NetID management form at https://netid.montclair.edu can be used to activate and maintain your MSU NetID. If you do not have an active MSU NetID, then the first time you use the management form it will walk you through the steps required for activation. During the NetID creation process, you will be asked if your personal information is correct. If it is not, DO NOT PROCEED WITH CREATING YOUR ACCOUNT!

Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources to have their personal information corrected. Students should contact the Registrar. Once the information has been corrected, you may return to the NetID form and activate your MSU NetID.

Please note that in order to activate your MSU NetID you will need to enter your Campus Wide ID Number (CWID) and PIN. If a faculty/staff member does not know their pin, they can attempt to reset it via Employee Self-Service if they were employed prior to the launch of Workday. If you cannot reset your password through the system, contact IT Service Desk at (973)-655-7971 opt 1.

Students who cannot remember their PIN, or who need to change their PIN, will need to go to the Registrar’s office to change their PIN. Please be aware that due to FERPA regulations, a government-issued ID needs to be presented to the Registrar. If you cannot physically go to the Registrar’s office, a copy of the government-issued ID needs to be faxed over.

How do I change my MSU NetID password or reset a forgotten password?
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The MSU NetID management form at https://netid.montclair.edu provides an option for changing your password. You must enter your Campus Wide ID number (CWID) and PIN to enter the online form. Please make sure you sign into the appropriate section, students sign into the student portal and faculty/staff sign into the staff portal.

But what if I don't know my PIN?
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If a faculty/staff member does not know their pin, they can attempt to reset it via Employee Self-Service if they were employed prior to the launch of Workday. If you cannot reset your password through the system, contact Workday Support at (973)-655-7971 opt 4.

Students who cannot remember their PIN, or who need to change their PIN, will need to go to the Registrar’s office to change their PIN. Please be aware that due to FERPA regulations, a government-issued ID needs to be presented to the Registrar. If you cannot physically go to the registrar’s office, a copy of the government-issued ID needs to be faxed over.

What if I don't like the MSU NetID that was assigned to me? Can I choose a new one?
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MSU NetIDs are unique University identifiers that are based on your full name as it appears in the Workday or Banner databases, so they cannot be arbitrarily chosen.

Individuals who legally change their name through marriage or other means can reapply for a new MSU NetID provided the name change has already been updated in the Human Resources and/or Registrar databases.

But my MSU NetID is spelled wrong! How do I get it fixed?
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The MSU NetID system relies on the Workday and Banner systems as the definitive source of all user data. Contact Human Resources and have your name corrected in the HR database, or the Registrar to have it corrected in Banner. Once your name has been corrected at the source, you may reapply for a new MSU NetID by contacting the IT Service Desk (973)-655-7971 opt 1.

Isn't it a bad idea to have the same username and password for access to all systems?
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It is only a bad idea if you use a "weak" password that can be guessed, or cracked, easily. From a practical standpoint, having ten weak passwords is far worse than maintaining a single, strong password. You are much more inclined to choose a very strong password if it is the only password you need to remember. You are also less likely to write it down on a post-it note since it's only one password, not a dozen different ones.

It is important to realize that your NetID password is the key to your electronic identity at the University. It is crucial that you select a strong password and do NOT share it with anyone else or write it down.

So what makes a password “strong” as opposed to “weak”?
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Simply put, a strong password is more difficult to guess or crack than a weak one. Strong passwords are usually 8 characters or more, and contain a mixture of letters, digits, and special characters (like #$*@)

The golden rule is that a strong password should be easy for the owner to remember, but very difficult for anyone else to guess or discover.

Montclair State University requires passwords to be between 8 and 24 characters long and contain at least 2 non-alphabetic characters and at least 3 alphabetic characters.  At least 1 alphabetic character must be upper-case and at least 1 must be lower-case. The quotation mark, apostrophe, and space characters are not valid characters. Please note, NetID passwords are Case-Sensitive.

Some examples:

Weak passwords:

  1. hello (common dictionary word, easily guessed)
  2. welcome (common dictionary word, easily guessed)
  3. emoclew ("welcome" spelled backwards. Even the most basic password cracking program will try all dictionary words both forwards and backwards)
  4. password (common dictionary word, easily guessed)
  5. C0mPuT3r (looks strong, but password cracking programs know all the common tricks like mixed case, and substituting)
  6. zero for "O", 3 for "E", "$" for "S", etc.

Rule of thumb: NEVER, EVER use a word from the dictionary as your password, even if you reverse it and substitute a 3 for an "E". Dictionary-based password cracking tools compare passwords against a large database of words and perform hundreds of combinations on each one to try to crack your password. The success rate of these cracking tools is surprisingly high.

Strong passwords:

  1. IwaDaSN (first letters of "It was a Dark and Stormy Night" easy to remember, very hard to crack)
  2. t1mv$pw (first letters of "this is my very strong password" with 1 instead of i and $ instead of "s". In this case the added numeric and special characters make for a stronger password since it is not a dictionary word)
  3. katz&dawgz (again, easy to remember but very hard to crack due to the use of two non-dictionary words joined with a special character)

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