Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an extra level of security which makes you safer when logging into our digital platforms.

Every student needs to use MFA, a process where you are prompted during sign-in for an additional form of identification. Many online services use MFA such as  making a payment using a banking app or logging into accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
 
 
Image of Student Ambassador with mobile phone
If we only ask for a password to authenticate a user, it leaves the University at risk of attack from cyber criminals. If the password is weak or has been exposed elsewhere, we don’t know if it is our user signing in with the username and password, or an attacker. 

When we require a second form of authentication, security is increased as this additional factor is not something that's easy for an attacker to obtain or duplicate. It helps protect our users and the University’s data.

MFA helps safeguard access to data and applications while maintaining simplicity when signing in. It provides additional security by requiring a second form of authentication and delivers strong authentication via a range of easy-to-use authentication methods.
 
 

Updating your MFA device or method

Do you have a new device?  If so you can change your device or authentication method yourself at any time by going to https://mysignins.microsoft.com/security-info (you can also do this at: https://aka.ms/mfasetup). 

If you get a new mobile device and still have the old device please update your MFA method while you still have access to the old device. 

If you have a new mobile device and don't have access to your old device, then you should contact the IS Service Desk to request for your authentication method to be reset.  This will enable you to set up your new device with an authentication method. 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

What MFA compatible authentication method should I use?

You can use either of the MFA compatible authentication methods – ‘Authenticator app’ or ‘Phone’. We recommend using the Microsoft Authenticator app on an Android or iOS device as it is the most reliable, secure and convenient method.

What is the Microsoft Authenticator app?

The Microsoft Authenticator app allows enterprises and educational institutions around the world to perform MFA.

 

You can also use the Microsoft Authenticator app to secure other accounts, such as your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

 

You can download the app onto an Android or iOS device from the app store you normally use.

 

The University uses the Microsoft Authenticator app for MFA purposes only.  By installing the app and syncing your University account you are not providing us with any personal data or means through which to control your device.

 

You'll need to use the app each time you're asked to use MFA, so don't delete the app once MFA has been set up.

 

Find out more about using the Microsoft Authenticator app on the Microsoft website

I already have an authenticator app, but it isn’t the Microsoft one, can I use it?

Yes, as long as the app uses time-based one-time password (TOTP) then you can use it for MFA. 

However, push notifications, where you can simply click approve or deny are only available on the Microsoft Authenticator app. If you use a different app, you will need the app to generate a 6-digit verification code that can be entered in the sign-in interface.

The Microsoft Authenticator app is the only authenticator app supported by the University.
 

How do I check what MFA compatible authentication method I have set up?

 

How do I set up an MFA compatible authentication method?

  • Go to: https://mysignins.microsoft.com/security-info
  • If prompted, log in to your University Microsoft 365 account using your Edinburgh Napier email address and password.
  • Click Add Method.
  • Choose either ‘Authenticator app’ or ‘Phone’ from the drop-down menu and follow the on-screen instructions to register your sign-in method.
  • Where possible we recommend you use the Microsoft Authenticator app on an Android or iOS device.
  • You can add multiple authentication methods if you wish.
  • The ‘Security questions’ option is not compatible with MFA so if this is an option you have selected make sure you have an additional method set up. 
 

Why is the ‘Security questions’ authentication method not compatible with MFA?

Microsoft do not allow the ‘Security questions’ to be used for MFA as they can be less secure than other authentication methods because some people might know the answers to your questions.

I don’t have a smart phone or an Android or iOS tablet, can I still set up MFA?

One of the MFA compatible authentication methods is text messaging, this can be used when you don’t have a smartphone. 

  • Go to: https://mysignins.microsoft.com/security-info 
  • If prompted, log in to your University Microsoft 365 account using your Edinburgh Napier email address and password.
  • Click Add Method.
  • Choose ‘Phone’ from the drop-down menu and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you do have a smartphone then we recommend using the Microsoft Authenticator app wherever possible as it is more reliable, secure and convenient. Also, the Microsoft Authenticator app does not rely on the strength of your phone signal like the text message authentication method does. 

 

I don’t have a mobile phone, can I still set up MFA?

Please contact the IS Service Desk who will be able to advise you.

I have tried to set up an MFA compatible authentication method, but I can’t, what should I do?

If you have been unable to set up an MFA compatible authentication method using the instructions above, then please contact the IS Service Desk

How do I change my MFA authentication method or device?

You can change your authentication method or device yourself at any time by going to https://mysignins.microsoft.com/security-info (you can also do this at: https://aka.ms/mfasetup). 

If you get a new mobile device and still have the old device please update your MFA method while you still have access to the old device. 

If you have a new mobile device and don't have access to your old device, then you should contact the IS Service Desk to request for your authentication method to be reset.  This will enable you to set up your new device with an authentication method.  

I've lost my device; how do I change my MFA settings?

If you have lost your device, then you should contact the IS Service Desk to request for your authentication method to be reset.  

This will enable you to set up a new device with an authentication method.
 

I live in China, will setting up MFA be different for me?

You should still be able to set up MFA with either the ‘Phone’ or ‘Authenticator app’ authentication methods. 

The Microsoft Authenticator app is available on the Lenovo, Huawei and Samsung Galaxy app stores. Please see Microsoft’s advice:  Authenticator for Android in the public cloud in China
 

Can I choose not to use MFA?

No, all students need to use MFA. It helps protect you, other users and the University.

If you have circumstances that prevent you from using MFA, please contact the IS Service Desk

 

When will I be asked to use MFA?

MFA is required whenever you access your University Microsoft 365 account (including your email and calendar) and other online University systems such as Moodle, Library eResources, the Edinburgh Napier app and myFuture. 

MFA will learn where you access from and the web browser and device you use so that you will have to perform MFA less often. 

When I am on campus will I be asked to use MFA?

When you are on the University network or on the eduroam Wi-Fi on one of our campuses you will be asked to use MFA less frequently.

I have received an unexpected MFA verification notification, what should I do?

If you are getting unexpected MFA notifications, then you should contact the IS Service Desk and reset your password via the Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) service immediately. 

This could be an indication that your account has been compromised.
 

How can I find out more about MFA?

You can find out more about MFA on the Microsoft website