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Easy Setup for Multi-Factor


What is: Multi-factor authentication

  1. By logging into your online accounts, or “authenticating,” you are demonstrating to the service that you are who you claim to be. Traditionally, a username and password have been used to accomplish that. Unfortunately, that’s not the best approach. Sometimes usernames are merely your email address, although usernames are frequently simple to find. People frequently choose simple passwords or use the same password across numerous websites since passwords might be difficult to remember.
  2. In response to this, practically all online services—including Microsoft 365—banks, social media, retail sites, and others—have introduced features to make your accounts more safe. Although it may also be referred to as “Two-Step Verification” or “Multi-factor Authentication,” the best ones all work on the same principles. You need more than just the username and password to sign into the account for the first time on a new device or application (like a web browser). To demonstrate who you are, you require a second item, or second “factor.”

A method of demonstrating your identity when you attempt to sign in is a component of authentication. For instance, a password is a type of factor because it is something you are aware of. The following are the top three types of factors:

Something you are aware of, like a password or a PIN you have learned.

Something you own, such as a protected USB key or a smartphone.

Something personal, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition technology.

How does function?

Let’s imagine you enter your username and password to log into your work or school account. If that’s all you need, anyone in the world with access to your login and password can log in as you!

But things get more fascinating if you have two-step verification (or multi-factor authentication) enabled. In order to sign in for the first time on a device or app, you must first enter your username and password as normal. After that, you will be asked to provide a second factor to confirm your identity.

Maybe your second factor is the free Microsoft Authenticator app. When you launch the app on your smartphone, it displays a 6-digit number that is dynamically generated and specific to your device, which you enter on the website to gain access.

However, if someone else tries to sign in using your credentials, they’ll enter your username and password and get stuck when the second factor is requested! They cannot enter that 6-digit number unless they own YOUR smartphone. And the 6-digit number in Microsoft Authenticator changes every 30 seconds, so even if they knew the number you used to sign in last week they’re still locked out.

Tip:  Get the free Microsoft Authenticator app

Microsoft Authenticator can be used not only for your Microsoft, work, or school accounts, you can also use it to secure your Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and many other kinds of accounts. It’s free on iOS or Android. 

Important things to know

First, it’s crucial that the variables be of various types. Two passwords, or a password plus a remembered PIN, are merely two examples of the same kind of element — something you know — and if one is compromised, both might be compromised. To be secure, it must incorporate at least two of each of the three types of criteria. Criminals may obtain your password, but they will have difficulty obtaining your fingerprint.

The second benefit is that you won’t need to complete it each time you sign in. Multi-factor authentication is only utilized the first time you enter into an app or device, or the first time you sign in after changing your password, despite some people’s concerns that it will be extremely annoying. Following that, all that will be required is your primary factor, which is typically a password, PIN, fingerprint, or face recognition.

The additional protection stems from the likelihood that whoever is attempting to access your account is not doing so on your device, therefore they will need that second factor to gain access.

Not just for work or school, multi-factor authentication is also useful. You should go into the account settings for those services and turn on adding a second stage of authentication for virtually every online service, including your bank, personal email, social media accounts, and email accounts.

One of the easiest ways for criminals to access your data, your identity, or your money is through compromised passwords. One of the simplest ways to make it significantly more difficult for them is to use multi-factor authentication, also referred to as two step verification.

For your Office 365 account, configure as follows:

Please download the Microsoft Authenticator app on your supported mobile device from the AppStore. Direct links to the many supported platforms are provided below:

  • Android:
  • iOS:
  • Windows Phone:
  1. Go to in your web browser on your workstation, laptop, or tablet. Select “Sign In”
  2. Click “Next” after entering your Concord College email address.
  4. Select Next.
  5. Please sign in with your standard network password and click “Sign In”:
  6. The next page will be displayed after the redirect. Select Next.
  7. The setup page for additional security verification and multi-factor authentication will now appear, and you have a few choices.
  8. Select “Mobile App” and “Receive notifications for verification” from the drop-down menu. Select “Set Up”
  9. The following pop-up window will show a “QR” code.
  10. On your phone, launch the Microsoft Authenticator app.
  11. Alternatively, select “Add account” from the options menu by tapping + > Work or School Account. Note: You might be prompted to add an account during your first run. Please move on. If the choice is given, it is crucial that you select “Work or school account” and not any other account type.
  12. Scan the QR code that is visible on your computer screen with your phone.
  13. The app will instantly add your account and provide a six-digit number.
  14. Return to your computer and select “Next.”
  15. Wait for your phone to finish configuring once you see the phrase “Checking activation status.”
  16. Make sure “Receive notifications for verification” is checked on your computer, then click “Next.”
  17. When you return to your phone, a new sign-in notification will be displayed.
  18. Visit the Microsoft Authenticator application.
  19. To accept it, tap Approve.
  20. Follow any instructions you may see after you are back on the computer, such as adding a mobile number.

It is advised that you include a mobile number because it might be used as a backup authentication method. When finished, click “Finished.”

  1. You will now be taken to a “web page for additional security verification.” This page can be updated as needed with new information, including other multi-factor authentication methods. You can securely close the window once you are satisfied with the information entered.
  2. You will now launch the Authenticator app on your phone and hit Approve anytime you have a new sign-in or add your Office 365 work or school account to an app.

Source: Microsoft, Youtube

Author: Richard Fairbank