HarvardKey FAQ's for Alumni
What is HarvardKey?
HarvardKey is Harvard University’s new secure credential for accessing University applications and services with a convenient login name and password. For alumni, HarvardKey replaces PIN and other current logins that provide access to the online alumni community. HarvardKey will be in front of the new online features rolling out in the fall, such as the alumni directory, discussion forums, and event registration. In order to access these new features, as well as previous online functions that required login, alumni must first claim their HarvardKey and re-register their account.
Why do I need HarvardKey?
Safeguarding your information is of the highest priority for Harvard. HarvardKey helps keep both your own sensitive personal information and valuable University resources safe.
How do I claim my HarvardKey?
Visit key.harvard.edu and follow the step-by-step instructions. It is a user-friendly process that will give you tips and hints at every step.
What information do I need to claim my HarvardKey?
Your Harvard Alumni Association ID (HAA ID), class year(s), preferred email address on file.
Where do I find that information?
Your HAA ID number can be found in the footer of recent emails from the Harvard Alumni Association, including the monthly Harvard Alumni Gazette or the HAA eVents. The preferred email address on file is the address that received the email.
What is an HAA ID number?
It’s your identifier with the Harvard Alumni Association.
What if I don’t know my preferred email on file?
If you have received email correspondence from us recently, then that is your preferred email address. If you haven’t received any correspondence from us recently, please call the HAA Help Desk as we may not have a current or any email address on file for you.
What if I don’t know my HAA ID number?
If you don’t know your HAA ID, check any recent email correspondence you have received from Harvard; your HAA ID should be located in the footer of the email. If you still need help, please call the Harvard University IT (HUIT) Help Desk: 617-495-7777 or email@example.com.
What if I started the claiming process but couldn’t complete it?
If you started the process to claim your HarvardKey but weren’t able to finish, simply start the process again from the beginning by visiting key.harvard.edu; it’s quick and easy. If you run into any problems along the way, please call the Harvard University IT (HUIT) Help Desk at 617-495-7777.
What if the link you sent me has expired?
If you aren’t able to use your confirmation code before it expires, simply start the process again from the beginning by visiting key.harvard.edu; it’s quick and easy. If you run into any problems along the way, please call the Harvard University IT (HUIT) Support Desk 617-495-7777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I have already claimed my HarvardKey but have forgotten it?
If you have forgotten your HarvardKey login name or password, you can have a reset code sent to the recovery email address(es) that you set up when you claimed your HarvardKey. Simply visit key.harvard.edu and select "Recover/Reset Password" or "Recover Login Name" to get started.
How can I talk to a live person?
HUIT’s Support Desk staff is available to answer your questions seven days a week. Please call 617-495-7777 or email email@example.com. The Support Desk schedule is:
Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Can I claim my spouse’s HarvardKey?
No, your HarvardKey is a valuable credential intended for your use only. Since it contains your personally identifiable information, you should never share your HarvardKey details with anyone, including family members.
How does Harvard know who I am?
When you claim your HarvardKey, your HAA ID and degree year are matched with Harvard’s primary identity records database to identify you.
How long should the claiming process take?
After you supply your HAA ID, last name, and degree year, claiming your HarvardKey should only take a few minutes. You’ll need to set up your login name and provide at least one recovery email where we can send details if you ever forget your password. If you run into any problems along the way, please call the Harvard University IT (HUIT) Help Desk at 617-495-7777
What if I time out during the claiming process?
If you get timed out, simply start the process again from the beginning by visiting key.harvard.edu; it’s quick and easy. If you run into any problems along the way, please call the Harvard University IT (HUIT) Help Desk at 617-495-7777.
What is a login name?
Your login name is the email address that you use (in conjunction with your password) to log in to HarvardKey. Alumni may choose their own login name when claiming a HarvardKey, simply enter the email address that is most convenient for you to use.
When and how should I change my password?
Although HarvardKey holders are not required to change passwords at any specific interval, you must change your password if you feel that your account may have been compromised or if your password has been exposed to others, even unintentionally. You can change your password at any time in the HarvardKey self-service portal. Simply visit key.harvard.edu and select the "Manage Your Account" link. You can also learn more about best practices for password safety and security at Harvard by visiting security.harvard.edu/use-strong-passwords.
How can I create a strong password?
Harvard Information Security has a comprehensive guide to how to create a strong but memorable password. To learn more, visit security.harvard.edu/use-strong-passwords.
What are the password requirements and why are they important?
Using a strong password helps keep both your own sensitive personal information and valuable University resources safe—that’s why it’s required of all HarvardKey users. A strong password must contain 10 or more characters, including five or more unique characters and at least three of the following types of characters: uppercase, lowercase, numeric, or special (such as ~ ! @ # $ %). A strong password may not include your email, part of your name, part of your address, common names or dictionary words of four characters or more, or number sequences with four or more digits.
Why don’t I have to set security questions for HarvardKey?
Harvard University’s requirement that all HarvardKey holders use a strong password helps keep your account secure without the need for difficult-to-remember security questions. However, please remember that you must change your password if you feel that your account may have been compromised or if your password has been exposed to others, even unintentionally.
To which email address was my confirmation code sent?
The confirmation code will be sent to your preferred email address on file with the Harvard Alumni Association.
I forgot my login name or password and asked to have it sent to me, but I never received an email. Why?
If you request this information via the HarvardKey account management page, an email will be sent to the primary (and alternate, if you added one) recovery email address that you specified in your HarvardKey preferences. If you added two recovery addresses, be sure to check both addresses for this email. If you are no longer able to check your recovery email address(es), please contact the Harvard University IT (HUIT) Help Desk at 617-495-7777.
How do I log out of HarvardKey?
You can sign out of your HarvardKey account at any time by visiting the main logout page at key.harvard.edu/logout (you may wish to bookmark this link) or by clicking the log out button or link on a HarvardKey-protected site. Alternatively, you can quit your browser.
Why won’t my HarvardKey let me into the site I want to use?
Having a HarvardKey does not automatically give you permission to access all Harvard resources. The academic or administrative groups responsible for those sites or applications manage who is allowed to have access. Sometimes license agreements limit who has access to a resource. If you feel that you should have access to a particular resource, contact the administrator directly for help; please note that your primary Harvard or HAA Help Desk is usually unable to grant you access since site authorization is determined by site owners.
I tried to log in several times but failed and am now locked out. Now what?
If you get locked out, HarvardKey will allow you to try again in two hours. However, if you enter an incorrect password again, you will be locked out for another two hours. Depending on circumstances, it may be faster and easier for you to request a password reset by visiting key.harvard.edu and clicking "Recover/Reset Password."