21/05/2019 – We are frequently making security improvements to the NHSmail service and with effect from 23 May 2019 we are introducing a new password policy in line with National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) guidelines.
To help keep the NHSmail service safe, within 45 days of the new policy coming into effect all users will be asked to change their NHSmail password regardless of when it was last changed.
Within this 45-day period, all users will receive reminders to change their password via email 18, 10, 5, 2 and 1 day(s) before it is due to expire.
Note: If users don’t change their password in response to these reminders, their password will expire and they will be required to change it at next login via www.nhs.net.
New passwords will be valid for 365 days instead of the current 90-day expiry and must meet the following criteria:
- Minimum length – 10 characters without requiring a mix of character types
- Not matching previous 4 passwords
- Not detected as a common password, for example Password123, Winter2018
- Not detected as a breached password (a password used for an account that has previously been compromised). Breached passwords will be sourced from an internet-based breach database.
Some reminders to help users keep their NHSmail account active and get the best experience from their account:
- Add mobile number and security questions to their profile – this will allow a user to reset their own password and unlock their account.
- Change password on all devices – to prevent their account from becoming locked, users will need to update their password on all the devices (including personal devices) that they use to access NHSmail, for example mobile phone, Outlook desktop, tablet etc.
Further information is available in the guidance below: