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General NetID FAQ

Below are some of the more common questions regarding Cal State East Bay’s NetID system. For further help with these questions, and others that may not be covered in this FAQ, please call the Service Desk at (510) 885-4357 or email us at

The NetID is a login name that contains no personal information about the user. It will look something like ab1234 (two alpha characters followed by four numbers). It is used for logging into a variety of systems on campus such as email, Blackboard and MyCSUEB. It does not replace or change a person's email address.

The activation code is a one-time password for new NetIDs. It is used to activate new NetIDs and is only used once. On certain occasions, such as when someone does not remember their password and security questions, a NetID may need to be re-activated using a temporary activation code.

Students will be provided their NetID their personal email registered with the University after completing the application process. New faculty and staff members will be given a NetID upon employment and registration with Human Resources. The NetID can be activated at and following instructions at that link.

For some systems, you can use your NetID immediately after activating it, but other systems may require that you wait for overnight processes to provide access. If you’ve just received your NetID and cannot log into a particular system, please wait and try again after 24 hours before reporting a problem. If you continue to have problems, please open a ticket with the Service Desk at

No, NetIDs are automatically generated and assigned and cannot be changed.

Staff, faculty and student assistants are required to change their passwords every 120 days. Students are not required to change their NetID passwords at this time.

Your Bay Card displays your NetID, but you can also follow the links to recover your lost NetID ( If you cannot use the online self-service tools, you must go to one of the following places (bring your photo ID):

For Students: Hayward campus - the Enrollment Information Center (EIC) on the first floor of the Student Services and Administration building. Concord campus - the Academic Services Lobby.

For Staff and Faculty: Hayward campus – the Human Resources center on the second floor of the Student Services and Administration building.

If you are unable to travel to either of the above locations, please contact the Service Desk at 510-885-4357 or

If you have lost or forgotten your password, you need to reset your password using the NetID self-service web site ( If you cannot use the online tools, please open a ticket with the Service Desk at

You should only be issued one NetID even if you are a student, staff or faculty member at the same time.  Please report the problem to the Service Desk at

For students:

  • Password minimum length is eight (8) characters
  • Passwords are case sensitive
  • Passwords must contain characters from four categories: English upper case characters (A through Z), English lower case characters (a through z), base 10 numerical characters (0 through 9), non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, #, %)
  • Cannot re-use last three passwords
  • Cannot use NetID, first or last names as password

Additional requirements for faculty, staff and student assistants:

  • Password minimum length is ten (10) characters
  • Required to reset your password every 180 days

Password changes still go through the NetID page ( When activating your account for the first time, a temporary activation code will be sent to your personal email address to get you started in the process of setting up security questions and your password.

There are a few things to check when you get an error on password reset. First make sure both password fields have the password typed in correctly. Second, make sure that you are following the guidelines for passwords, as detailed in this NetID Password Policy page. If you are still encountering an error, contact the Service Desk.

This is typically only for new students, faculty and staff members. You need your NetID and last name to activate your account. You may go to the NetID page ( and click the Activate Your NetID menu item, following the instructions afterwards. You will need to have a personal email address in your record in order to activate your NetID. If you have not set this up yet, contact Enrollment Services at (510) 885-2784 if you are a student; for faculty and staff please contact Human Resources at (510) 885-3634.

You may contact the Service Desk where they can validate your identity and tell you what your NetID is. You will then need to go to the NetID page ( and activate your NetID by clicking on the Activate Your NetID menu item.

There are a couple of things to check when you get an error answering your security questions. First, make sure your answer is longer than four characters. Secondly, each answer must be unique from all other answers you have provided. If you are still having issues contact the Service Desk..

You will need to go to the NetID page ( and change your security questions by clicking on the Change Security Questions option. You will need your NetID and password in order to change your questions and answers. Due to security standards, the system will also ask you to change your password after changing your security questions.

If you forget your password, the CSU East Bay identity management system allows you to reset it yourself without having to wait for somebody else to do it for you. The security questions used for this process need to be personal to make sure you are the person you claim to be. As stipulated by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), it must be limiting enough that even relatives of the user may find it difficult to answer these questions and thus gain access to a user’s account . However, the answers to these questions also need to be memorable and unique enough to allow users to answer them naturally and not have to memorize or document them.

Having the ability to protect accounts from everyone outside the account owner while also providing an easy way to manage said account is paramount to complying with governmental policies and regulations and is a necessary component for any business or institution and its users and/or customers. Having users provide answers to security questions is one method to enact this requirement and is a widely accepted industry standard.

Security questions are designed with varying degrees of personal questions to protect the user from another person trying to access their account, while giving the user enough of a hint in the form of personal knowledge to be able to answer the questions and gain access to their account.

Passwords and security questions are protected and encrypted by the system. If a user does not answer the questions correctly, IT support staff can not access the answers to check for the right answer, but will instead go through another validation mechanism in the form sending a temporary password to the user’s personal email.

CSU East Bay understands and appreciates the diversity of its user community and has taken this into consideration when designing security questions.That is why questions vary in nature. Ten questions are presented even though users are only required to answer three so users can choose not to answer certain questions.

ITS does not know and have no means to access or discover, and will not ask for, a user's password or security questions.

Faculty, staff and students are ultimately responsible for the security of their NetID and their personal email. By sending activation codes and/or temporary passwords to your personal email, it ensures that support personnel or IT need not know your passwords, security questions, or NetIDs, therefore enhancing account security in the system. ITS does not know and have no means to access or discover, and will not ask for, a user's password or security questions.

A personal email address is now required for a NetID on campus. You will need to establish one or provide one you already use. You cannot use your or as your personal email address.

A personal email address is an email that is not affiliated or originated from the University email system. That means any address that is not (or Typically this would be your personal Yahoo!, Gmail, or MSN/Hotmail account that you actively access and protected by a good password.

Students will need to provide a personal email address by completing a Request to Add Personal E-Mail Account form.

You may submit the form in person to the student Enrollment Information Center or fax it to the Registrar at 510-885-3816. After the form is processed it will take 24 hours for your personal email to show as a preferred email address for use in the NetID password process. You will not receive verification that your personal email request has been processed - you will need to return to the NetID page to attempt the activation process.

For faculty and staff please contact Human Resources at (510) 885-3634.

CSU East Bay emails such as horizon are not personal email addresses and thus would lock you out of access to services such as your email, Blackboard, or MyCSUEB.

To remedy this situation, students will need to provide a personal email address by completing a Request to Add Personal E-Mail Account form.

For faculty and staff please contact Human Resources at (510) 885-3634.

If you have a valid personal email address but have not received an activation code via email, please ensure that you have allowed the email delivery system an hour to send the message. Typically these messages are sent instantaneously, but sometimes Internet routing may cause a delay. If you still have not received this email, please contact the Service Desk.

Students are required to have two security questions because NetIDs now have encrypted security questions meant to protect the NetID account; the second set will be used to verify a student’s identity remotely, such as when talking to Enrollment Services over the phone.

If you have been given a separate NetID or have your student NetID given staff affiliation—which means you can and have logged on to University business and administrative systems and PCs—you don’t need to change your password on those NetIDs until their passwords expire. Otherwise, yes, you will need to change your password.

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