Answered By: IT Services
Last Updated: Jul 12, 2022     Views: 11

Can I use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) if I live or travel outside of the United Kingdom? 

Yes, the Microsoft Multi-Factor Authenticator (MFA) 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 into your Microsoft Security pages 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. 

If you are unable to authenticate after travelling to or from the UK, please contact IT Services for further support.   

I am an international student, do I need a phone with a UK sim card to use MFA? 

No, you don't need a UK sim card, although will probably want to get one anyway once you arrive in the UK.  You can set up and use MFA in your home country and use your regular mobile device (with your local sim card) as your authentication method. 

We recommend setting up the Microsoft Authenticator app as one of your authentication methods as this will work wherever you are in the world, with or without a signal or data plan. 

Once you travel to the UK you can continue to use the authenticator app, but we do recommend you get a UK sim card so you can set up an alternative authentication method such as SMS. 

Once you have arrived you can log into My Sign Ins and add any further methods, you’d like to use such as a local mobile or landline phone 

We also recommend you get connected to free on-campus Wi-Fi once you arrive at the University.  

I am an international student studying at an overseas campus / college, do I need to enrol in MFA?  

Yes. If you have a University of Northampton student log-in account, you will need to enrol in MFA. We recommend using the Microsoft Authentication app on your smartphone as your authentication method. 

Is the Microsoft Authenticator app for Android available for download in China? 

Yes, but with some feature limitations. Find out more on the Microsoft help pages.   

I need to contact IT Services

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.