HarvardKey Communications Tool Kit

Do you work with communications or outreach to a School, department, or other unit that will be included in one of the upcoming HarvardKey rollout waves? Here, you'll find helpful information and sample materials to use in your communications efforts, including graphical elements for print and online materials, help sheets and informational fliers, sample social media posts about HarvardKey, helpful links to pass on to your constituents, and more.

Need something that isn't here, or looking to develop something customized for your School or unit? Please contact us for more information on how we can help.

Materials & Resources

Expand the header bars below to find a wealth of helpful information and materials.

Sample Language

Below, you'll find example language to the most commonly-asked questions about HarvardKey, suitable for repurposing in your newsletters, bulletins, email touchpoints or websites. You may also want to look through the full FAQ on the HarvardKey help site for more detailed questions and answers.

What is HarvardKey?

HarvardKey is Harvard University’s unified credential for accessing a wealth of University applications and services with a single, convenient login name and password. In addition to enabling access to the Harvard applications and services you use every day, HarvardKey also offers an easy-to-use self-service portal for managing your account, including changing your password and updating your recovery information in case you forget your login details. Beginning in late 2015, HarvardKey will also provide optional two-step verification (for non-Alumni users) to keep you even more secure.

HarvardKey was initially released in September 2015 and supersedes the PIN System previously used at the University.

When can I get HarvardKey?

Over the autumn and winter of 2015-16, full HarvardKey functionality will be rolled out to users across the University Community. Want to know when your School or unit will be eligible to claim a HarvardKey? Check the rollout schedule on the main HarvardKey info page.

In the meantime, users who haven't yet claimed a HarvardKey can continue to log in at all HarvardKey login screens using their usual credentials simply by clicking the appropriate tab at the top of the screen.

What are the benefits of HarvardKey?

HarvardKey has a wealth of benefits for students, faculty, staff, Alumni, and "people administrators" alike. Once you claim your HarvardKey, you'll enjoy benefits including the following:

  • A self-service portal where you can reset your password, set or change recovery email addresses (no more security questions to remember!), and update preferences at any time
  • Optional two-step verification to boosts your security by backing up your login name and password with "two-step login" using an easy-to-use smartphone app (or text/phone verification)
  • For newcomers to Harvard, easier onboarding that makes it simpler to verify your identity, set your password, and get started right away

Is HarvardKey more secure than the login methods I've used in the past?

As part of Harvard's University-wide commitment to online security, you'll be asked for a strong password of at least 10 characters when you claim your HarvardKey. This not only improves your personal IT safety by making it tougher for "bad guys" to crack your password, but also improves the University's security posture as a whole.

Because HarvardKey uses a strong password — and because your HarvardKey also includes up to two recovery email addresses where the system can send you instructions if you ever lose or need to reset your password — you no longer need to set up a list of difficult-to-remember security questions for your account. Plus, if you were previously asked to reset your password annually, that requirement goes away once you claim your HarvardKey — though, of course, you should always change your password if you ever feel that it's been compromised.

What I use right now still works for me. Why should I claim my HarvardKey now?

During the first wave of HarvardKey rollouts, users can still log in at the HarvardKey login screen using the credentials they've used in the past by clicking on the appropriate tab at the top of the page. However, claiming your HarvardKey now doesn't just save you that extra click — it also keeps your information more secure by using a strong password, and offers you the extra layer of security provided by optional two-step verification on your phone or mobile device.

Additionally, the University will be phasing out some other login types after initial HarvardKey rollout is complete; make sure you're ahead of the curve by claiming your HarvardKey now.

I tried to claim my HarvardKey, but had problems. What should I do?

If you need help claiming or using your HarvardKey, please contact the HUIT Help Desk by calling 617.495.7777 or emailing ithelp@harvard.edu.

However, please note that users with XID and eCommons credentials have their own separate resources for help with their accounts. If you use XID to log in, please contact the XID help desk at 617.496.9001 or xid_help@harvard.edu. If you are an eCommons user, please contact 617.432.2000 or help_desk@hms.harvard.edu.

I'm a system administrator or developer. Who do I talk to for help with HarvardKey for my application?

Offering your users the ability to log in to your application or service using HarvardKey makes using your app more convenient, and can also reduce some of the burdens involved in managing your own authentication service. To learn more about next steps, please contact the HUIT Identity & Access Management program team at iam@harvard.edu.

Helpful Links

Just need to pass along links to more information about HarvardKey? Here's everything you need.

  • HarvardKey Home Page: The main "landing page" to the HarvardKey system, including links to the account claim process and self-service account functions such as password changes/recovery and recovery email address updates.
  • HarvardKey Account Claim: Direct link to the account claim process for all user groups.
  • HarvardKey Help: HarvardKey's help system, including frequently asked questions and who to contact if a user needs one-on-one assistance.
  • HarvardKey Project Updates: The Identity & Access Management program's HarvardKey overview, including the most recent updates on future rollouts, information for developers and administrators, archived news items, and more.
  • HarvardKey Resources for Administrators & Developers: The full list of archive materials relating to HarvardKey, including developers' resources, outreach presentations, communications artifacts, and related items.
  • HarvardKey Communications Tool Kit: This page.

Fliers, Videos, and Help Sheets

Looking for promotional fliers, info on HarvardKey benefits, or help sheets to give to your constituents? See below for a list of helpful items — and be sure to bookmark this page, since we're continually adding resources as rollout waves progress. Unless noted as otherwise, all print materials listed below are PDF files.

Print Materials


Graphic Elements (Online & Print)

Looking for HarvardKey graphics for your email newsletter, website, or digital signage? See the list below for the images you need. For print-resolution or vector-based materials, please email iam@harvard.edu.

Social Media Posts

Below, you'll find some sample Twitter and Facebook posts to customize to meet your needs. While it's always best to include any personalized information relevant to your user group, the only critical item to note in these posts is to make sure the dates match up with your School or unit's release (these examples list a release date of Dec. 3.)

Sample Tweets

Sample Facebook Posts

  • Heads up: You're eligible to claim your new HarvardKey login credential starting 12/3! Learn more about Harvard's new unified login system, including all the benefits: http://iam.harvard.edu/harvardkey
  • Alert: You're now eligible to claim your new HarvardKey, the University's unified credential for access to the Harvard resources you use every day. Learn more: http://iam.harvard.edu/harvardkey
  • HarvardKey claim starts 12/3! It's easy to get yours, and you gain a world of benefits from Harvard's new unified login credential, too: http://iam.harvard.edu/harvardkey
  • It's time to claim your HarvardKey! Registration opened Dec. 3 for Harvard's new unified login credential for the University resources you use every day. Learn more: http://iam.harvard.edu/harvardkey
  • Wondered when you'll be eligible to claim a HarvardKey? That day is almost here: 12/3! Details at http://iam.harvard.edu/harvardkey