Active Directory

Let’s talk about AD.

Active directory (AD) accounts are provided to individuals with active affiliations with the university. AD accounts are for your use of computer applications related to your position as a faculty member, staff member or student of A&M-Commerce. You must not allow anyone else to use your AD account, nor the resources to which this account gives you access.

Why do we have AD?

The Active Directory plays several major roles in providing security: user authentication, security authorization, and accountability.

Can I share my computer password?

Quick answer – No. Why not? Ask yourself the following question -

Are you willing to accept complete and total responsibility for everything the person is doing on a computer using your AD account?

Our system is built to only validate AD account based on a username and password. As soon as you’ve shared the password with someone else, then, as far as the computer is concerned, whoever using your AD account is the same person as you. Your computer password is the key to all of the files stored on your computer. It’s also the key to your email account. And it may be a key to your entire department’s resources.

Can I sign in for someone else without sharing my password?

No. The only difference between sharing your password and signing in for someone is that, while they may not know your password, they have all of the privileges on the computer and network that you do. It is very easy for someone to distract you while they perform nefarious actions under your login. You are held accountable for their actions.

Is there ever a case where it is okay to share my password?

No. Everyone is required to have their own AD account, even student workers, regardless of how long they are going to work in your area.

What is the penalty for sharing my password?

At minimum, when discovered, you will be forced to change your password and retake the information security awareness training.

Additional penalties may be imposed by your department head or supervisor. In some cases, incidents will be reported to a vice-president or the president of the university. Violation of university procedures and rules can result in disciplinary action up to and including termination (of employment) or expulsion (of students).

What if my supervisor told me to share my password (or to sign in for someone else)?

Inform your supervisor you cannot share your AD username and password with anyone. You can also report your supervisor, to the Risk, Fraud, and Misconduct Hotline or calling 1-888-501-3850. Violations can be reported anonymously if you fear repercussions.

Oops! I’ve already shared my password, how do I get out of trouble before I get into bigger trouble?

Immediately change your password. Then, don’t share it again. You may also want to retake information security awareness training as a refresher on other information security topics you might have missed.

Remember, each individual who obtains a computer/e-mail account, or uses the computer and network resources made available by A&M-Commerce, must understand that he/she is accountable and assume responsibility for:

  • Protection of his/her password
  • Reporting any breech of system security
  • Reporting unauthorized use of his/her account
  • Changing his/her password on a regular basis