Multi-factor (or Two-factor) Authentication – Quick Info

Multi-factor or two-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the best ways to increase the security of your various accounts – here’s some quick info about what it is and how it works

  • A “factor” is a way to prove your identity. There are only three different factors-
    • Something you know – password, PIN, passphrase, secret code
    • Something you have – key, token, smart phone, phone app, secret object
    • Something you are – fingerprint, retina scan, facial features, vein patterns
  • Using more than one factor increases security
  • If MFA is enabled on your account, an attacker would have to have access to both factors to access it, not just your username and password – this is less likely
  • Most common second factor is an application on a smart phone that requires you to interact with it to access your account
  • MFA can remember devices to prevent you from having to use it every time you authenticate, or can be strictly set and required every login instance (such as for bank accounts and other sensitive logins)
  • MFA is available now for your Office 365 email account. Send an email to computing@berry.edu to request activation.

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