Setting up ID and password recovery

Setting up ID and password recovery

Setting Up ID and Password Recovery By Chuck Connell

Notes and Domino contain strong security mechanisms. In some cases, however, you may find that the security methods are too strong. This occurs when a user loses his Notes ID file or forgets his password. There is no way to "reset" a user's Notes password, as there is with other computer systems. (This article focuses on Notes ID files and their passwords. Administrators can reset passwords for Domino Web accounts.)

Fortunately, Notes contains a feature that allows your organization to recover lost ID files and their passwords. All that is necessary is a little advanced planning and some changes to your certifier ID file.

Planning

1. Decide the list of people who have the authority to recover an ID or password. The people on the list will not be able to recover an ID/password alone. (Four to six is a good number.)

2. Decide how many of the above people will be required to recover an ID/password. (Two to three is a good number.)

3. Set up a special e-mail account to hold recovery information for the IDs. A name like "ID Recovery" is good. In the ACL of this mail file, set Default=NoAccess and give all the administrators (above) Read access.

Store Recovery Information in the Certifier

1. Go to the Domino Administration program. Then go to Configuration/Certification. Then press Edit Recovery Information.

2. Select the certifier ID file that you are going to modify. Most likely, this is on a diskette in drive A. Enter the password for the certifier.

3. Enter the information from above that you planned.

To Add Recovery Information to Existing User Ids

1. Go to the Domino Administration program. Then go to Configuration/Certification. Then press Edit Recovery Information.

2. Select the certifier ID file that has the recovery information. Most likely, this is on a diskette in drive A. Enter the password for the certifier.

3. Press the Export button at the bottom of the dialog box. Enter the certifier's password.

4. Enter the list of users who need to update their IDs with the new recovery information.

5. When users receive the recovery information, they should choose Actions/Accept Recovery Information. They should then send the e-mail that Notes composes for them. This e-mail will contain a backup copy of their ID file with the new recovery information.

To Add Recovery Information to New User Ids

There is nothing to do. New ID files created with a certifier that contains recovery information will also have the recovery information.

To Recover the Password for an ID File

The user completes these operations:

1. Choose File - Tools - Recover ID.

2. Specify the ID file you want to recover.

3. Contact the first administrator listed in the dialog box, and request the first password.

4. Enter the administrator's password, and then click Enter.

5. Repeat the above steps until you obtain the number of passwords required to unlock the ID file.

6. Enter a new password for the ID, and then enter the password again to confirm the change.

To Recover a Lost ID File

1. The user requests that an administrator mail the backup ID file (from the mail-in database) to the user.

2. Follow the steps above to recover the password for the backup ID, and then create a new password.

Credit: This article is based on my experience with this feature, combined with sections from the Notes/Domino documentation.
Chuck Connell
Home page -- http://www.chc-3.com
Outsourced administration services for Domino and Notes -- http://www.DominoAdministration.com
Security information about Domino and Notes -- http://www.DominoSecurity.org

This was first published in April 2002

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