Questions

General Questions

Account Creation

Password

Access Services

User Consent

Verification of Contact Information

Account Maintenance

Duplicates

Account Deletion

User Interface

Known Issues


 

Answers

General Questions

There are Twitter ID / Facebook ID / Google ID ... - why do I need a SWITCH edu-ID account?

Not everyone owns a social identity, and many persons have strong reservations against the companies and the business models behind them. Second, social identities and in particular their attribute models are not well suited to the requirements of higher education institutions. And finally, companies tend to stop, change or charge for their services without warning. It would be too risky for a very long-term service like SWITCH edu-ID to rely on an identity without having any influence on it's business strategy. Therefore Swiss academia uses SWITCH edu-ID accounts.

Do I need a new account when I enroll at a new university?

No, you can and should use your existing SWITCH edu-ID account to enrol at a new university.
To deliver its full benefits it's necessary that a person has only one SWITCH edu-ID account.
When enrolling at a new university, just review and update your account data, in particular link your edu-ID to any SWITCHaai account that you may have.

Account Creation

Who is allowed to create/own a SWITCH edu-ID account?

All people who need a SWITCH edu-ID account to access one or more services within the AAI Federation.
SWITCH edu-ID accounts are especially foreseen for all people with a relation to Swiss academia (members, guests etc.) and users of national services.
A user should have only one SWITCH edu-ID account (compare Terms of Use).
Usually the user him/herself must create the account. In special cases an organisation might prepare accounts for its users.

What is the minimum data for account creation?

A user must furnish at least

  • first name
  • last name
  • a valid e-mail address and
  • a password (that will be encrypted).

The user has to confirm the password and to enter the result of a simple sum (captcha). Finally the Terms of Use must be accepted.
The e-mail address is verified immediately and the account is only activated once this verification was successful.

During registration processes of higher education institutions (HEIs) some more data might be asked to be filled in during registration of a SWITCH edu-ID account. This additional data is required by the registration service of the HEI and is added to your SWITCH edu-ID account.

What additional data can be stored in my account?

  • date of birth: This information is very helpful to distinguish people with similar names and to detect duplicates. Only few services need this information. Therefore access to it is restricted. You will always see and be able to decide if it is released to a specific service (via user consent)
  • additional e-mail addresses: We would like to encourage you to store several e-mail addresses since this lowers the risk that you can't log in anymore because of a canceled e-mail address. All the e-mail addresses are immediately verified and can then be used for login.
  • business address and phone number: This information can be added by yourself or by an organisation you're affiliated.

What is the primary e-mail address?

The primary e-mail address should be the e-mail address that allows us to contact you - yet and also in the (far) future. It allows you also to log in to your SWITCH edu-ID account and to access different services.
Usually it should be a private e-mail address you read regularly.

You can change your primary e-mail at any time in your account:

  • use the arrow to set another of your e-mail addresses in your account as primary
  • if you have set only a primary e-mail address so far, add an additional e-mail address and set it primary afterwards (by using the arrow)

Why should I add additional e-mail addresses? 

You can use all stored e-mail addresses as username for login to your SWITCH edu-ID account.
Other services might accept the primary e-mail only for login (because not all services can handle multiple usernames).
If your primary e-mail address should become invalid and you forget to replace it, you can access your account or make a password reset with one of the additional e-mail addresses. Those help also to prevent creating duplicates unintentionally.

What is a linked identity?

Linked does mean that the identifier of another digital identity is added to your SWITCH edu-ID account (as SWITCHaai identifier or ORCID) and eventually additional attributes.
Linked does NOT mean that the two accounts are combined or fully synchronized! They still are separate accounts (e.g. with different credentials).

If you link to your SWITCHaai account:

  • your name and organisational e-mail address obtain a higher quality in your SWITCH edu-ID account since they are already verified by your organisation.
    This implies that some attributes as your name will be overwritten by the information provided by your organisation (SWITCH aai account data).
  • your SWITCHaai Identifier is added to your account.
    This information is necessary once your organisation will migrate to SWITCH edu-ID and no longer use SWITCHaai.
  • information provided by your organisation (SWITCHaai account data) is sutomatically kept up to date in your SWITCH edu-ID account (but there's no sync of it in the opposite direction)

How can I link my edu-ID account to my SWITCHaai account?

a) Link WHILE account is created:
While creating your SWITCH edu-ID account you have the option to link it directly to your SWITCHaai account. You have to choose your home organisation and to log in with your SWITCHaai credentials. Then your SWITCH edu-ID account will be built based on your SWITCHaai account and be linked to it.

b) Link AFTER account has been created:
If you have already created your SWITCH edu-ID account you can link this existing account to a SWITCHaai account performing the following steps:

  1. Log in to your SWITCH edu-ID account
  2. Scroll down to the section "Linked Identities
  3. Click on the + symbol
  4. Choose your organisation in the dropdown list and click on "Proceed"
  5. Log in with your SWITCHaai credentials
  6. The data that will be added to your SWITCH edu-ID account will be shown (this information will overwrite already existing values in your account, since their quality is usually higher).
  7. Click on "Proceed" to link the accounts. Now you will see your SWITCHaai Identity and included affiliation(s) in your SWITCH edu-ID account

Password

I forgot my password. How to reset it?

Go to https://eduid.ch/web/reset-password/1/ or click on "Forgot password" on  https://edu-id.switch.ch

Enter one of the valid e-mail addresses stored in your SWITCH edu-ID account and fill in the captcha (sum). click on "Proceed" and an e-mail with a link that contains a token (link is valid for 5 days). Click on the link and enter the new password

Because of SPAM filters it may take a few minutes until you receive the e-mail.

If you do not receive the e-mail within 10 minutes, please also check your SPAM folder.

What is a secure password?

A secure password must contain at least 10 characters. The password should be a combination of

  • uppercase and lowercase letters,
  • numbers and
  • punctuation characters.

The password indicator shows you how strong your password is. Weak passwords are not accepted as well as passwords listet as "well known worldwide".

This is how a strong password could look like: Cfip9gd!l2v38 . Now choose an own one, as this one might not be safe anymore.

Password reset is not working. I didn' get a link by e-mail to reset the password.

  1. Check if the e-mail address you've entered is valid and the mailbox is working properly (in doubt retry a password reset, ev. with another e-mail address you migth have added to your account)
  2. Check the SPAM folder

If the link you've got does not work check if the entire link (URL) is called in the browser (in case of line breaks).

Access Services

I can't log in with my credentials (e-mail and password)

NOTE: Not all SWITCH edu-ID enabled services might allow that you access them. Usually a service will show a message if access is denied.
If your SWITCH edu-ID credentials (e-mail / password) are wrong you will see an appropriate message on the login screen.

  1. Try to log in to your SWITCH edu-ID account
  2. Check that there are no spelling errors in the e-mail address and password you enter
  3. Check if the e-mail address is one that you have added to your SWITCH edu-ID account
  4. Many services accept only the primary e-mail address - make sure you use this one
  5. If necessary make a password reset and try again

What data is sent to a service that I would like to access?

If you access a service for the first time the information (attributes) that are sent this specific service are shown and you are asked to agree that they are released. If you wish this question will be asked everytime yu access a service not only the firt time.

How do I see that I can trust a page/service and enter my e-mail and password for login without danger (phishing etc.)?

If you use your SWITCH edu-ID the authentication (login) is done via the Identity Provider of SWITCH edu-ID. The URL that you see in the address window of your browser has the form https://login.eduid.ch/idp/... This address grants you are on the right page and that you can enter your credentials.

There are few exceptions where you will not pass through the Identity Provider. The pages you can trust anyway are:

I would like to enable external users on OLAT at UZH. What to do?

Ask users to create an edu-ID and to follow the instructions on https://help.olat.uzh.ch/display/OO114DE/edu-ID).
Once the person is registered in OLAT too he/she can register for a specific course or you as a course administrator can add the person to a group in your course.

User Consent

Why do I have to give my consent when accessing a service?

To make login with your edu-ID account as transparent as reasonable from a data privacy point of view, all users are asked to agree that the information shown on the consent-screen is sent to the service they want to access. This allows users to still stop the login process in case they don't want to share the shown information with a service.

When do I have to provide consent?

Consent to share the shown information with a service is generally asked the first time when accessing a service with an edu-ID account. The consent screen is only shown after successful authentication before being sent to the service. Unless the option to be asked for consent on each login is chosen by the user, consent is asked only again when one of the values shared with the services changed since the last login. Consent is also asked again if the edu-ID administrators decide to reset consent information for particular services or users.

Why do I have to agree several times that my data is sent to a service?

You have to agree for each service at least once that your attributes are sent to it.
It might happen that this user consent is shown to you several times because:

  • you have chosen in your settings that you would like to see it every time you access the service
  • there was a SWITCH edu-ID software upgrade that requires a new user consent
  • new attributes have been added and will now be sent to a service
  • after one year the user consent has to be renewed

What do I consent exactly to when logging in to a service?

Giving user consent means that the user agrees that the attributes (e.g. surname, e-Mail, etc.) shown on the consent page are shared with the service and that the service is allowed to get updated attributes for the user. Getting updated user information in form of attributes also works without the user's involvement. If the user agreed to share for example the surname attribute with a particular service and thus also agreed that the service can get updated information for the surname, the service can get a user's changed surname also when it changed (e.g. due to marriage) and without having the user to log in again.

For users that are affiliated with an organisation (e.g. university, research institute) and that have linked this organisation's affiliation to their edu-ID account, the organisation can also update edu-ID user information for a user (e.g. information relevant for the studies but also personal information). This can also involve information that the user has not explicitly given his consent for at the time of the last login because this information has not been able at the time of the last login. This information is needed to allow edu-ID users to access services in the context of a particular organisation (e.g. as student of a particular university).

The edu-ID service gets updated information for linked accounts once per day or if the university triggers an update for a particular user. Information is no longer updated by an organisation if the user has no longer an affiliation with an information (e.g. because the user finishes his studies or leaves the organisation).

How can I revoke my consent?

To review what information is shared with a service, initiate a login to the service but on the login page first click on the link "Options for personal data protection" and tick the checkbox. When logging in, the consent screen will reappear.
A particular service can be prevented from getting updated user information by revoking consent. For now, this is a manual process because only very few services update user information without the user's involvement. Please write an e-Mail to support@eduid.ch and mention the service for which consent should be revoked.

Acess to National License

Why do I need to verify mobile phone and/or home address before having access to national licenses?

The publishers did define the rules for access their publications and have contracts with the consortium. To grant that users getting access live in Switzerland you need to verify your mobile phone number and/or home address first.

Verification of Contact Information

When is a verification necessary?

  • E-mail addresses: are only added to your account once verified. The e-mail address you use to create the account is verified immediately. If you set another e-mail address as primary this one is verified too (also if it was already verified in the past).
  • Mobile phone numbers: are only added to your account once verified.
  • Business Address: If you link your AAI account to your SWITCH edu-ID account the verified information will overwrite the existing self-declared values (usually including address and phone number for employees)
  • Private Address: Currently only for accessing Swiss national license content a verification of the home postal address (in Switzerland) is necessary.
  • Linked Identities: by adding an AAI account or an ORCID this already verified information is added to your account

I didn't get an e-mail verification link by e-mail

  1. It might take some seconds or some minutes until you get the verification e-mail
  2. Check if the e-mail address you've entered is valid and the mailbox working properly (in doubt start the verification again)
  3. Check your SPAM folder

I didn't get a mobile number verification code by SMS

  1. Check if the mobile number you've entered is correct (in doubt start the verification again)

The link I've got to verify my e-mail address is not working properly

If the link is cut because of line breaks in the e-mail it will not work.
In this case copy the whole link into your browser address field.

The time frame for verifications is limited. You will get an expired message it the token (link/code) you've got is no longer valid. In this case you start a new verification in your account.

I didn't get a postal address verification code letter

It will take 2-5 days until you get the letter.
Address verification is only possible within Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

  1. Make sure the name you use in your account and the address you enter are correct.
  2. If the letter does not arrive after 6 days start the  postal address verification in your account anew.

Account Maintenance

How can I keep my account data up to date? 

  • Use always a valid e-mail address as primary e-mail (if another e-mail is set as primary a verification will start)
  • Link your SWITCH edu-ID with your SWITCHaai account(s) - especially if you study/work for multiple organisations or change the organisation.
  • Make changes in your account if necessary (change of mobile number, postal address etc.) and start a verification if it's necessary to access a specific service.
  • Check and update your account data when you get a reminder that you didn't use your SWITCH edu-ID for one year (inactivity reminder).

How long is my SWITCH edu-ID account valid?

As long as you use actively your credentials to access services, your account is prolongated automatically.

If you don't use it for one year an inactivity reminder will be sent to you and you can then prolongate it by logging in to your account or by accessing another service with your edu-ID credentials.

What are the differences to my SWITCHaai account?

  • Your AAI account is established and maintained by your organisation (university). It is created when you enter the organisation and deleted when you leave it. You should use your SWITCHaai account whenever possible.
  • An edu-ID account is created and/or activated by yourself and its you who should also maintain it. A SWITCH edu-ID account is owned by yourself and can accompany you your whole life long.  Some services ask for a login with SWITCH edu-ID - there you should use you edu-ID account.

General differences are listed on this page.

Why did I got an inactivity reminder and what should I do?

Don't be affraid: The reminder does NOT mean that your account will be deleted because it was not used for a longer time. If you didn't use your account for one year you will get an inactivity notification. It reminds you that the account data should be kept up to date - especially the primary e-mail address that is used to contact you. Please check your account data regularly.

Duplicates

Is it allowed to have more than one SWITCH edu-ID account?

No.
A person should have only one account. By creating your account you accept this as part of the Terms of Use. If you create duplicates you offend against the Terms of Use and you risk that your accounts are deleted or merged, and loss of account data. Account merging might have consequences as:

  • you have to re-verify contact information,
  • you have to inform service providers about an account merging and/or
  • you can't access some services anymore.

I've accidentially created a duplicate. What should I do now?

Inform eduid-support@switch.ch as soon as possible about the duplicates. Use an e-mail address to write us that you did store also in your SWITCH edu-ID account. Let us know which account(s) can be deleted.
We will aks you then to confirm the deletion of the duplicate(s) before this action is executed.

Account Deletion

How can I delete my account

Your account is not supposed to be deleted (except duplicates).
As long as you affiliated with an organisation your account can't be deleted.
It is a long-living account that should accompany you as a live-long learner providing access to services when you need it.
Your account facilitates also registration at higher education institutions.

Therefore do not ask for account deletion just because you think you don't need it anymore!
It's possible to create a new account in the future but your account data will be lost and institutions you have belonged to or services you have used in the past will not recognize you anymore (e.g. account can't be restored, access to former data/services will not be possible, you will not be recognised as alumni, former accounts can't be merged with your new account).

Nevertheless if you decide your account should be deleted write an e-mail with the corresponding request to eduid-support@switch.ch. After a call back to your primary e-mail address your account will be deleted.

 

User Interface

Language versions

SWITCH edu-ID supports currently English, French, German and Italien. If you think another language should be added or if you discover translation errors, please contact us.

Known Issues

 

After I've linked my VHO account to my SWITCH edu-ID account some information is overwritten and ev. the quality lower as before.

If you have already verified information e.g. by linking your SWITCH edu-ID with an AAI account, to link it then additionally with a VHO account can decrease the quality of your personal information, since VHO accounts have often not the same high quality as institutional AAI accounts.
Relink your SWITCH edu-ID account again with your AAI account and the higher quality information will overwrite the lower quality VHO information.