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NHSmail password policy

 

Important note

The password self service reset function is currently unavailable. Please visit the NHSmail support pages for further information: Information – Self Service Password Reset Function Unavailable – NHSmail Support.

The NHSmail password policy was introduced in May 2019 to help keep the NHSmail service safe in line with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) guidelines.

Passwords are valid for 365 days and all users will receive reminders to change their password via email 18, 10, 5, 2 and 1 day(s) before it’s expiry date.

All passwords must follow the following criteria:

  • They must be 10 characters or more in length without spaces;.
  • They must not match the previous 4 passwords used;
  • Must not contain the users First Name or Last Name within the password;
  • 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 or identified as having been breached according to an internet-based breach database).
  • Application account passwords must follow the same password complexity criteria as above but have a minimum length of 20 characters.
Important note

We know that common passwords are currently used on the NHSmail service by a number of users. In the future, users who do not meet the above criteria will receive a failure message when changing their password.

Top tip

A good way to create a strong and memorable password is to use three random words. Users should be creative and use words that are memorable to only them, so that people can’t guess their password.

NOTE:

Mobile numbers used to register for an NHSmail account must be UK based. Any NHSmail account registered with non-UK number will be disabled and will need to contact their local organisation to apply a UK based phone number to their NHSmail account. Please see Information – Non-UK registered Phone Numbers for more information.

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. Please note the password self service reset function is currently unavailable – Information – Self Service Password Reset Function Unavailable – NHSmail Support.
  • 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.
Last Reviewed Date 03/09/2022

 

Updated on 06/09/2022

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