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Why Do I Have to Keep Changing My Password to Pay My Bill?


When paying your Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) bill online, you have probably been faced with the task (or frustration) of having to change your password before you could proceed and complete the transaction. This safeguard (for your protection) is provided by MEC as we abide by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

The PCI DSS was launched in 2006 with a focus on improving payment account security. It provides a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies who process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.

The importance of changing your password.

Passwords are often stolen without the knowledge of the victim, and stolen passwords often arenít used immediately. Theyíre collected, sold to organized crime, rebundled and resold, and left unused for some time. Even if youíre not aware your password was stolen, if you change it periodically it could prevent a thief from accessing your information.

Second, while we are constantly working to strengthen the security of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative accounts, computers are always getting faster. Itís possible for wrongdoers to guess your password through sheer persistent computer effort. With current technology, this takes months if you have a strong password. If you change your password every three months, any brute force attack may be thwarted. ALL organizations or merchants that accept, transmit or store any data for credit card holders should comply with the PCI standards for the protection of their customers.

Yes, when trying to pay your bills online, it can be bothersome getting a message that you must reset your password. But all businesses that are properly operating under the standards of PCI DSS require the same procedure. At Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative the protection, privacy and financial safety of our members is of the utmost importance to us, and thatís why these safeguards are included in our system.

You can be assured that your password is private information and is completely confidential. Even employees of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative are not able to view your password. Therefore, they cannot change it for you; however, they can send you an email, with step-by-step instructions, allowing you to reset your password. If you wish to reset your password or change your email address, call your district office. We will be more than happy to assist!


For your protection, MEC adheres to the following Data Security Standards for passwords:


Passwords must be changed at least every 90 days.

Passwords must meet the following security requirements:

      1. 7-15 characters long

      2. Contain at least one lower case letter

      3. Contain at least one upper case letter

      4. Contain at least one number

      5. Contain at least one of these special characters: ~!@#$%^*()_+=?|


A new password cannot be the same as any of the last four passwords used.

After not more than six repeated unsuccessful access attempts, the user is locked out.







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