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SafeCode Password Protection

To ensure the integrity of all personal data, password changes at HMS include a mandatory process called SafeCode. Whenever a password reset is requested, a code to complete the reset will be sent to your cell phone (or optionally your non-HMS email address) to protect your account. This single use code must be entered correctly by the user before the user is allowed to continue on to change their password. All SafeCodes expire within 10 minutes and can only be used once.
During the past year, over 1,000 HMS Faculty, Staff, and Students have successfully enabled the use of SafeCode for their personal account.

Using SafeCode

If you have not already signed up for Safecode, you will be prompted with the following Register for Safecode dialogue box the next time you log into eCommons:

Safecode Registration Prompt

You have the option to Register for SafeCode or Skip. If you choose Skip, you will be allowed to do so for a maximum of five times prior to it forcing you to Register for SafeCode.

Once you select Register for SafeCode, you will be prompted with the following SafeCode Registration dialogue box:

Safecode Registration

Enter your SMS-enabled mobile phone number and/or an email address not affiliated with Harvard Medical School and click Save. A text message will be sent to your phone and or/email account. You will need to enter the number provided by SafeCode before you can complete the password update process.

Frequently Asked Questions about SafeCode

What is SafeCode?

Use SafeCode to provide an additional layer of security.

SafeCode is an advanced way to protect your HMS account by requiring a unique code which will be sent to your mobile phone via text message when resetting your password.
An example of a sensitive activity where SafeCode would be used is the password change function, when you are not logged into eCommons/MyCourses.

Will I be charged to use SafeCode?

Text message fees charged by your mobile carrier for each text message received will apply. By registering for SafeCode you agree to be responsible for all applicable fees. If you wish to avoid text messaging fees, you may use an alternate email address as this typically does not generate fees.

What constitutes a "non-HMS email address"?

Email accounts that qualify as “non-HMS” are those that do not have a HMS managed email domain such as @hsdm , @hms or @med.harvard.edu. Any non-HMS/HSDM email account that is accessible only by you and held at a reputable provider such as Gmail, Yahoo, Comcast, Hotmail, etc. can be used. A Harvard affiliate institution email address such as @partners.org or @bidmc.harvard.edu are best if available since these types of business accounts are typically held under similar security standards.

How do I enable SafeCode?

You can enable SafeCode by clicking 'Register For SafeCode Now' A popup window will open containing the SafeCode registration screen. There you must click the 'Enable' checkbox, fill in your text device #, select your mobile carrier and click 'Save'.

What happens if my text device is stolen or changes?

Simply return to the SafeCode registration screen where you can update your device information and click 'Save'.

How do I disable SafeCode?

SafeCode is mandatory and cannot be disabled. You can update your settings on the SafeCode registration screen, such as changing the number of your mobile device or email address, if needed.

What happens if I do not receive text messages?

There may be a problem with the information you entered. Please return to the SafeCode registration screen and review the information for inaccuracies. If all information is correct, please contact the HMS IT Service Desk at (617) 432-2000.

Can't find an Answer to Your Question?

If you have any questions regarding SafeCode please contact the HMS Information Technology Service Desk at (617) 432-2000 or your Client Services Representative.

Last Updated January 21, 2014

Copyright 2014 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
Site Updated: 7/25/2014
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