Answered By: IT Services
Last Updated: Aug 08, 2022     Views: 24

What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

MFA helps protect you and your device from cyber attacks. When you use MFA, you are providing two types of identification; your password when you log in and a Multi-Factor Authentication method, like a notification to your smart phone. This makes logging into apps and services like Teams and OneDrive extra safe. A cyber attacker might gain access to a password, but they won't have your smart phone too! 

What information will I need to set up MFA?  

You will need to have access to a mobile or smartphone (or a Yubi Key – contact the IT Service Desk to sign out one of these keys). You also will need to know your University email and password to set up MFA, we have a help guide available for you.

Do you have instructions to follow, to help me download and install the app?

Yes we do, we have instructions for;

Will this cost me anything? 

Downloading and using the authenticator app is free and this is the main authentication method we recommend.  You can download the app on Google Play or the App Store for free. The University and Microsoft will not charge for calls or texts, but you may be subject to usage charges to receive calls or texts just like any other call or text according to your phone contract.  

What happens if I don't enrol in MFA by the deadline I have been given?  

  • We will notify you about your specific deadline, but you can sign up at any time before then  

  • Please don't delay your MFA enrolment until you need to access a system   

  • If you leave enrolment until the deadline, you may not be able to log in when you need to; that is why we strongly recommend enrolling before the deadline. It also means you can do it at a time when you don't need to access systems for exams or assignment submissions   

  • Giving yourself time to read and follow the instructions will make it much more likely you won't run into any issues.   

What if I don’t have a mobile phone? 

The service desk has a number of YubiKeys which can act as MFA authentication. Contact the IT Service Desk to sign out one of these keys 

I don’t have a smartphone. Can I still use it?  

Using the app on a smartphone is the easiest option and we recommend this but if you do not have a suitable phone, you can also authenticate via text or phone call.  If you cannot use the app, text (SMS), or phone call options please contact the IT Service Desk  

I don't have access to a PC or tablet can I still enrol in Microsoft MFA? 

Yes, you can, although it is easier if you are able to log into another device than the one you are using as your authentication method. You will need to have a smartphone with a wi-fi or data connection. 

  • If you get a time out or error message, please retry.

Can I use MFA if I live or travel abroad? 

Yes - The Microsoft Authenticator app is designed to work internationally. If you install the app, it can generate the required code without the need for either a telephone signal or data plan, and it can do this anywhere in the world. If you have a signal and data plan, the app makes two-factor authentication as easy as pushing a single button, but if you do not have one of those two things, you can use the app to generate a six-digit code and enter that manually. 

  • You should check whether your MFA method is dependent on phone or internet signal and make other arrangements if necessary 

  • To make sure you do not lose access to your account after making your journey, you will need to set up at least one way of getting into your account that doesn’t rely on a phone signal 

  • Once you have arrived you can log in to your Microsoft Security information page and add any further methods you would like to use such as a local mobile or landline phone. The main method of authenticating your sign-in without a phone signal or internet connection is the authenticator app  

  • Authenticator apps can create time-based one-time passwords (TOTPs) that you can use to verify your account without needing access to the internet or a mobile network. Once you have set up your app you can use a six-digit code to log in without incurring any charges for using your phone abroad. 

We have a guide available for you if live and / or travel abroad.

I need help or want to know more

We have more guides available or IT Services will be happy to help you. You can visit IT Services on the SID on the ground floor of the Learning Hub: 

  • Mondays to Thursdays 8.30am to 5pm 

  • Fridays 10am to 5pm. 

You can also call the IT helpdesk on 01604 89 3333: 

  • Mondays to Thursdays 8am to 5.30pm 

  • Fridays 8am to 9am, and then 10am to 5.30pm. 

You can also raise a ticket in the IT Portal at any time.