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USER MANAGEMENT FAQs

[Version 1.2 - 17 November 2016]


A) General user management questions


B) Questions on creating and activating user accounts


C) Questions on changing and resetting passwords



What are the Golden Rules of our user management in a nutshell?

From an intranet user's perspective, there are four Golden Rules:

  1. Whenever you define or receive a new password, the first thing to do shall be noting it down and storing it in a safe place. Do not trust yourself when it comes to remembering passwords!
  2. Add the entry page of the freely accessible SOS User Management Online section to the favourites in your web browser (or note down its URL https://users.sos-kd.org and store it in a safe place) so that you always know where to go in case of intranet access problems.
  3. Keep in mind that at least two valuable information items are freely accessible via the action View my profile:
    • Your Global Intranet user name (which is - along with your current password - required for logging in to the Global Intranet and most of the other internal systems)
    • The e-mail address of your HR contact, i.e. the colleague in charge of user accounts and profiles in your association/office and your first-level support in case of access problems
  4. Be aware that system e-mails sent from users@sos-kd.org are confused for spam by some e-mail providers/clients. As these e-mails contain relevant information on your user account, please check your junk mail folders, too if you fear delivery problems. Don't hesitate to seek IT expert advice regarding your spam filter settings!

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What does user management mean and why do we need it?

In our case, the term "user" refers to all co-workers of SOS Children's Villages who are accessing (or would like to access) the Global Intranet and/or other international SOS systems and services.

As the Global Intranet is meant to be a restricted area in the World Wide Web (accessible for co-workers of our organisation only), co-workers have to be exclusively provided with access to it. This is done by user accounts comprising a user name, a password and some other data on the user.

Within this context, the term "management" refers to procedures and systems related to creating and maintaining such user accounts as well as informing/instructing users accordingly. These procedures are executed via SOS Children's Villages User Management online.

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To whom does our user management apply?

As we are dealing with personal user accounts, our user management potentially applies to all co-workers of our organisation on all levels (including co-workers of facilities and programmes).
There are, however, some considerable technical differences between user accounts for co-workers of national/promoting/supporting associations and co-workers of the General Secretariat (international office, continental offices, regional offices etc.).

Due to that fact, most of the workflows available via SOS User Management online solely apply to national/promoting/supporting associations; only "View my profile" and "Update user profile" are currently applicable to the General Secretariat as well.

It is our long-term goal to further harmonise user account creation and maintenance so that one day all co-workers can execute all user management workflows via SOS User Management online.

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What is the special thing about decentralised user management?

Decentralised user management generally means that the user has the chance to play an active role in creating and/or maintaining his/her user account. In our case, the essence of decentralised user management is:

In our case, the essence of decentralised user management is:



Decentralised user management is particularly relevant because the new Global Intranet requires personal user accounts for each co-worker, i.e. thousands of colleagues.

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Why do we need personal user accounts? What are their benefits?

There are basically two reasons why we need personal user accounts:

  1. The technical platform of the new Global Intranet requires them.
  2. We want to configure our systems and services in a way that as many of them as possible can be accessed by using the same user name and password; due to very specific user authorisations for the different systems and services, personal user accounts are a prerequisite of pursuing this 'single sign-on strategy'.

The second reason is at the same time the biggest benefit of personal user accounts. The user database can store the various authorisations of each co-worker for all SOS systems and services in his/her user account; the user accesses each of the systems with the same user name and password (and in a growing number of cases without having to log in again and again whenever accessing another system/service).

Another benefit of personal user accounts - in combination with decentralised user management - is that the user does not have to memorise passwords allocated to him/her (and without any relation to him/her), but can define passwords of his/her choice to which he/she might have a personal relation and which are therefore most probably easier to keep in mind.

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Whom can I consult in case of user management questions?

Unless different procedures/responsibilities were agreed for your association/office, first have a look at the SOS User Management Online overview page. There you find several actions that help you deal with common user management problems. In case you do not succeed or your problem/question is not covered, get in touch with your HR contact (look him/her up via this page). If the HR contact cannot help you, he/she will forward you problem/question to the second-level support.

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What is an 'HR contact' within the context of our user management?

Each association and each office of the General Secretariat has appointed one co-worker as its HR contact within the context of user management (it is recommended, but not essential that the HR contact is working in the human resources area). Establishing this new role was a prerequisite of decentralising user management properly. All HR contacts received information on their role and related responsibility areas and tasks.

From a human resources point of view, the HR contact is a service point for colleagues in terms of access to the Global Intranet and a quality manager for co-worker information presented there. From a technical point of view, the HR contact is a controlling interface between co-workers and the user database which administrates access to the Global Intranet and other international SOS systems and services.

In terms of specific user management workflows, the HR contact is exclusively in charge of:



These responsibility areas and tasks were assigned exclusively to the HR contact for security reasons (e.g. in order to avoid creation of 'inappropriate' user accounts) and for data validity and consistency reasons when it comes to user profiles.

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Who is 'my' HR contact?

You can easily find out who your (or a colleague's) HR contact is.
Go to "SOS User Management Online, click "View My Profile" and enter your (or a colleague's) e-mail address on the first screen.
⇒ At the bottom of the second screen, the e-mail address of the corresponding HR contact is displayed.

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Who is 'qualified' for having access to the Global Intranet?

1) The technical requirements are internet access and an individual e-mail address.
Each e-mail address can be assigned to one user account only, and each user account should feature a specific co-worker (not to a team, department of office). A general e-mail address can only be assigned to a user account if it is the only (or at least the main) address of the respective co-worker.

Facilities/programmes with one shared e-mail address are a special case:
Creating one user account for a small group of co-workers is technically possible; an account can be used simultaneously from different workstations.
Please consult your HR contact or another authorised colleague in order to clarify how to proceed if this is a desirable option.

2) Unless there are specific continental or regional regulations, the 'access policy' is to be decided by each association, considering the following framework elaborated from a global HR perspective:



Please consult your HR contact or another authorised colleague in case of any questions related to 'qualification' for having Intranet access.

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How does the procedure of creating a new user account work?

In a nutshell, creation of a new user account basically consists of three steps:

1) A colleague with access to the Global Intranet logs in to the "Create new user account" workflow and fills in the application form in which the user profile (name, contacts, job title etc.) is specified.
⇒ The HR contact is notified accordingly by a system e-mail.

2) Following the link included in the system e-mail, the HR contact accesses the accept/reject form. The HR contact checks (and possibly modifies) the user profile and accepts or rejects the application.
⇒ If the HR contact accepts the application, the new Global Intranet user is notified accordingly by a system e-mail.

3) Following the link included in the system e-mail, the new user accesses the activation form.
The new user activates the new account (by defining two 'password questions and answers') and defines his/her personal password.
⇒ The new user has access to the Global Intranet and receives a system e-mail including key information on his/her account and relevant links.

If you would like to have a closer look at the various online forms, system e-mails and on-screen notifications used throughout the workflow, please check the file "Visual documentation of the 'Create new user account' workflow" (DOC, 712 KB) located at SOS Children's Villages User Management online.

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I want to access the Global Intranet. How can I create my account?

For security reasons, you cannot create your user account on your own, but there are colleagues who are eager to assist you:


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We have a new colleague who requires Global Intranet access. Can you send him/her respective access parameters/a password?

No, we cannot send such information to your new colleague. We do not create any new Global Intranet user accounts. But the good news is that the account for your colleague can be created by your association.

If you have a Global Intranet user account, you are authorised to fill in the application form for your colleague's accoun here. We'd recommend getting in touch with your HR contact first in order to find out if any standard procedures have been established for your association.

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What is the benefit of activating my user account?

The benefit of having activated your account takes effect if you forget your password later on:
Answering both security questions correctly will enable you to reset your password (i.e. define a new one) via the respective action. Please note that you can also reset your password without the Receive a new password action

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Is activating my account mandatory, recommendable or optional?

The answer to this question depends on your 'user group' and - partially - on the creation date of your user account:


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I failed at activating my user account and my account is locked now. What is to be done?

Your account has been locked temporarily for security reasons because you entered a wrong password (most likely) or a wrong e-mail address (very unlikely) three consecutive times. About 20 minutes after the account has been locked, it will be open again for a new attempt. If a new attempt makes sense depends on whether you (still think you) remember your current Global Intranet password or not.

1) You (still think you) remember your password
Try again to activate your account; please enter your password in exactly the same way (including the use of capital and small letters) as specified when you defined it (or - in special cases - received it).

2) You do not remember your password (or you failed again at activating your account)
Please use the Receive a new password action to receive an automatically created password. Afterwards, you can change the password to a password of your own choice by using the Change my password action.

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I was requested to change my password, but do not remember it. What is to be done?

There are two possible scenarios, depending on whether you activated your account and remember the answers to both of your 'password questions' or not.

1) You activated your account and remember the answers to both 'password questions'.
Please reset your password (i.e. define a new one after having answered the two questions).

2) You did not activate your account and/or the answers to your two security questions.
Please request a new automatically created password using the Receive a new password action. Afterwards, you can change the password to a password of your own choice by using the Change my password action. Within the process of receiving a new password, your security questions will be erased, too. Saying this, you can now also activate your account again (and set your two security questions).

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I failed at changing my password and my account is locked now. What is to be done?

Your account has been locked temporarily for security reasons because you entered your current password wrongly to the "Old password" field three consecutive times. About 20 minutes after the account has been locked, it will be open again for a new attempt. If a new attempt makes sense depends on whether you (still think you) remember your current Global Intranet password or not.

1) You (still think you) remember your password
Try again to change your password; please enter your current password to the "Old password" field in exactly the same way (including the use of capital and small letters) as specified when you defined it (or - in special cases - received it).

2) You do not remember your password (or failed again at changing your password)
Please see the answer to the question "I was asked by a system e-mail to change my password, but do not remember it. What is to be done?" and act accordingly.

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Why is my new password not accepted?

A password is not accepted by the system if any of the criteria for valid passwords (as indicated at the top of the "Create new user account - activation" form, "Change my password" form and "Reset my password" form) is not met. These criteria are:


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Can you give examples of valid passwords?

Please find below four plausible options for creating a new valid password with corresponding examples. Apart from the fact that only simple characters/letters should be used for passwords (i.e. not , , , ĉ, , , etc.), the suggestions can be applied in any language. The first one is particularly recommendable because it seems to be the easiest one to remember for many people; the second one is particularly recommendable because it can be re-used a lot of times.

1) First name and birthday of somebody you know very well (it must not be your own name)


2) A special word which you particularly like combined with the year and month in which you changed the password



3) The title of a song, name of a company or very short slogan/strapline etc. which you like and which either includes a number or can easily be related to a number



4) A typical short 'saying' combined with a quotation mark, exclamation mark or 'percent character'



We hope these suggestions help you find inspirations for your next password(s).

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I failed at resetting my password via the Reset my password action and my account is locked now. What is to be done?

Your account has been locked temporarily for security reasons because you entered at least one of the answers to your two 'password questions' wrongly three consecutive times. About 20 minutes after the account has been locked, it will be open again for a new attempt. If a new attempt makes sense depends on whether you (still think you) remember both of these answers or not.

1) You (still think you) remember both answers
Try again to reset your password; please enter both answers in exactly the same way (ideally including the use of capital and small letters) as you originally entered them when you activated your account.

2) You do not remember one or both of the answers
Please see the answer to the question "I was asked by a system e-mail to change my password, but do not remember it. What is to be done?" and act accordingly.

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