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IT Services

Your IT Accounts

Usernames and passwords

Some web pages at The University of Manchester will ask you to log in with a username and password. A username is a series of letters and numbers that uniquely identifies you at the University of Manchester. Your password is a secret that only you know, and is used to prevent other people from accessing your IT account.

Most passwords at the University of Manchester are 'case-sensitive', so uppercase (capital) letters and lowercase letters are seen as different characters when passwords are checked. When using your password make sure you type it exactly, and be careful of the Caps Lock key on your keyboard.

Authentication and Authorisation

When you log in to a web page it will check your authentication and then check your authorisation. Authentication is when the service will makes sure that you are who you claim to be, usually by asking for a username and password. Authentication discovers who you are.

After authentication the service may check your authorisation. This is what level of access you have to the service. It is possible to have a working IT account and password but be refused access to a service because of a failed authorisation check. Possible reasons include:

Your Central Login Account
(Sometimes called your "LDAP password", "Netware Password", "network password" or "email password")

Everyone at the University of Manchester has a centrally managed IT account that is used by many different services. Your username and password can be used to log in to Cluster PCs and managed desktop workstations, access intranet sites including Webmail and Portal, and use library online resources. It is very important to keep your central password safe: do not share it with anyone.

Your central username is created automatically and cannot be changed. You can choose your own password when signing up for your IT account, and you can change your central password whenever you want using the IT Account Manager.

Athens Accounts
(Sometimes also called "Classic Athens accounts")

Athens accounts can be used to access online resources such as electronic journals and academic databases. Your Athens password is provided by the IT Account Manager and is different from your central password. Until recently most students and staff were provided with an Athens username and password.

Athens is being gradually replaced by a new service provided by The UK Access Management Federation. Most online resources will be accessible without using an Athens account. From August 2008 new members of the University will not receive an Athens account but may request one if they need to access an online resource that has not been modernised. In most cases it will be better to access Athens resources using the Federation's Athens Gateway.

Departmental Accounts and Service Accounts

A few schools within the University provide their members with additional accounts for accessing special services that they provide. Some IT services provided by the University require an additional account and password to access.