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The department uses various tools to protect your data and interactive sessions from malicious crackers.


Passwords are your primary protection against data theft. Choose a good password, and keep it to yourself.

The mathematics department's systems staff will never ask you for your password. We also can't tell you what your password is now.

If you forget your password, you must come by the sysadmin's office to reset it.

Passwords can not and will not be sent by e-mail or given out over the telephone.

The Secure Shell

The most important tool for accessing our systems the Secure Shell protocol. The Secure Shell protocol uses encryption to protect the content of your connections from people who might try to “sniff” passwords or other data travelling across the network.


We also use OpenSSL, a free software implementation of the Secure Sockets Layer encryption protocol, to protect various other communications between machines.

More information about these tools is available from the links in the menu.