Clearing 2021

Multifactor authentication (MFA)

Rollout of multifactor authentication (MFA) for Office 365 services is underway.

We're enabling MFA for Office 365 services in specific departments as part of our phased approach. The following instructions are only relevant to staff or students where MFA has been enabled.

 

Keeping you and your account safer

It's easier than you think for someone to steal your password – reusing the same password for different websites, choosing a weak password or not spotting a phishing email, all put our university at risk.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security when you sign in, by protecting your account with something you know (your password) and something you have (your phone).

With MFA enabled, even if someone else gets your password, it won't be enough to sign in to your account.

Set up MFA

To set up MFA you'll need either a mobile phone, tablet or landline phone.

Microsoft Authenticator app (recommended)

We recommend using the Microsoft Authenticator app set to "receive notifications for verification" as it provides the fastest and easiest method of MFA approval, and will continue to work even when your device has no phone or data connectivity.



Setup instructions for Microsoft Authenticator app (pdf)

Text message or phone call

Alternatively you can set up your device to receive a text or call (pdf).

If you choose this method, please do not use your University telephone extension number. You must use your personal or work mobile phone number, or a personal landline number.

Other authenticator apps

You can use other authenticator apps such as Google Authenticator if you prefer, but we do not provide support for these.

Change or update your MFA settings

Frequently asked questions

If you have a question about MFA which isn't shown here, then please ask the IT Helpdesk.

How does multifactor authentication work? MFA and privacy explained

Jordan M. Schroeder is a Chief Information Security Officer who has led information security programmes for public and private sector organisations in the US, Canada and the UK. In this video he answers these questions, and more.


Which services use MFA?

MFA is currently enabled for all University Office 365 related services. These include:

  • Teams
  • Outlook
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint Online
  • Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc

Can I opt-out of using MFA?

No, all staff and students are required to have their accounts protected when accessing MFA enabled services.

Will I need to verify my identity with MFA every time I sign in?

No. There is a "remember me" option so you will only need to authenticate periodically.

How many options should I set up for MFA?

The recommendation is at least two, so if you forget your mobile phone, for example, you have another method set up.

Will I be charged for receiving verification text or calls?

No, you will not be charged for receiving verification text or calls if you choose this method.

Help

I don't have my mobile device with me

It happens. You left your mobile device at home, and now you can't use your phone to verify who you are. Maybe you previously added an alternative method to sign in to your account, such as through your landline telephone number. If so, you can use this alternative method now.

If you did not add an alternative verification method, please contact the IT Helpdesk.


I'm not receiving the verification code sent to my mobile device

Not receiving your verification code is a common problem. The problem is typically related to your mobile device and its settings. Here are some actions you can try.

  • Restart your mobile device.
  • Verify your security information is correct. Make sure your security verification method information is accurate, especially your phone numbers. If you put in the wrong phone number, all of your alerts will go to that incorrect number. Fortunately, that user won't be able to do anything with the alerts, but it also won't help you sign in to your account.
  • Verify your notifications are turned on. Make sure your mobile device has notifications turned on. Ensure the following notification modes are allowed: phonecalls, your authentication app and your text message app.
  • Make sure you have a device signal and internet connection. If you often have signal-related problems, we recommend you install and use the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device. The app can generate random security codes for sign-in, without requiring a mobile signal or internet connection.

If none of the above actions work, please contact the IT Helpdesk.

My mobile device was lost or stolen

If you've lost or had your mobile device stolen, you can take either of the following actions:

  • Sign in using your alternative method if you have one set up.
  • Ask the IT Helpdesk to reset your MFA method.

The IT Helpdesk can make the appropriate updates to your account. After your settings have been reset, you'll be prompted to set up MFA again the next time you sign in.

I have a new mobile device and I want to add it

You'll need to set up MFA each time you get a new device.

The quickest way to do this is to:

  1. Sign in to your University Office 365 account
  2. Choose Add method and then follow the instructions onscreen to add a new device.
  3. Once you've added your new device, Delete the old device from your list of methods.

Alternatively you can set up a new device using the cloud backup and recovery option, see: How to Move Microsoft Authenticator to a New Phone (howtogeek.com)

Tip: Don't forget to remove your data before getting rid of old devices - remove MFA from the device, delete all your information, restore it to its factory settings and wipe any memory cards.

I have a new phone number and I want to add it

If you have a new phone number, you'll need to update your security verification method details.

This enables your verification prompts to go to the right location. To update your verification method, sign in to your University Office 365 account and update your settings.

Need help?
Need help?
Contact the IT Helpdesk
Telephone: 01206 87 2345