Multi-Factor Authentication FAQ

Table of Contents

Why has IT implemented Multi-factor Authentication?

The Department of Information Technology is responsible for the information security processes that protect College information and online services. With account compromises on the rise, we have implemented Multi-factor Authentication to protect information and mitigate account compromises from stolen passwords, typically from phishing attacks. MFA uses your password plus another verification method to authenticate your log in, using technology similar to a bank, healthcare provider or online retailers. MFA will stop malicious actors from gaining access to your account using a stolen password.  Additionally, it will stop account lock outs from hackers using brute force to attempt to guess your password. and account hacks.

Which method of verification does IT recommend?

If you log into the My Security Profile page, you can see all the verification methods that IT supports. In fact, each verification method is being used by IT employees; so one isn’t more preferred than the other.

While receiving a text message may be convenient for one person, a call may be more convenient for someone else. The Microsoft Authenticator is another popular option because you can either have a 6-digit code that changes every 30 seconds, or a simple ‘Approve’ or ‘Deny’ notification on your phone.

We encourage you to try out different verification methods to see which one works best for you.

Should I register multiple verification methods?

Yes, we recommend also using the Authenticator app or an alternate phone number. By adding multiple verification methods, you have more convenient ways to authenticate your device in case your mobile device is lost or stolen.

I replaced my cell phone. How do I register my new cell phone for MFA?

What you need to do largely depends on if your phone number changed. If your phone number has not changed, you will need to re-download the Outlook app on your device to reconnect to your Stonehill Office 365 email. Upon signing in, provide your additional verification method when you log into the Outlook app on that device. It will register to your account and nothing more is required.

If your phone number has changed, you will need to change your phone number on the My Security Profile page. Make sure you remove the old phone number as well! You may need to temporarily change your default method to receive the new verification code. If the SMS text option was the only additional method you had registered, please change it before your mobile device is replaced. If you need assistance, please contact the Service Desk and IT Staff can assist you with clearing your old verification methods.

What should I do if I receive an additional verification that I didn’t expect or initiate?

There may be times where you receive a notification that you didn’t expect. If you are not actively logging into an Office 365 product and you are off-campus, you can safely ignore or delete this verification. It is possible that a malicious actor has guessed your password, only to be prompted with an additional verification that they won’t have access to. Because of this, IT recommends that you change your password and contact the Service Desk.

For more information regarding Multi-factor Authentication and more in-depth instructions to set up these verification methods, please visit Microsoft’s documentation page.

What Mail Clients will work with MFA?

The Department of Information Technology recommends using the Microsoft Outlook App for accessing your Stonehill email and calendar on mobile devices. This is available for both iOS and Android devices. 

On your computer, you can use the Microsoft Outlook application, or Office 365 online

What Mail Clients do not work with MFA?

With the increased security that MFA brings, IT highly recommends using the Microsoft Outlook App, Outlook on your computer, or Outlook on the web because they fully support the modern authentication methods MFA brings. Many applications will no longer work with MFA, including:

  • Mail on Android Devices
  • Gmail or other webmail using POP, IMAP, SMTP and Active Sync
  • Thunderbird
  • Seamonkey 

Will iOS Mail Work with MFA?

We offer limited support for accessing Office 365 services with the built-in iOS Mail, Calendar and Contact apps. We have tested Multi-factor Authentication on those apps, but it requires you to remove and reconnect your existing connection to set it up. Please see our iOS Knowledge Base article on this subject. Also note that when using the iOS built-in apps, you may need to be manually reauthenticated every 60 days to maintain the connection.

The Microsoft Outlook App is supported and is the most reliable way to access your Office 365 Stonehill account.

I plan to study or travel abroad. Will MFA work?

Yes, at minimum, you need to be connected to wifi for Microsoft Authenticator codes to be valid. A data plan may be required if you choose to receive an SMS text message or phone call to validate your device.

If the SMS text option was the only additional method you had registered and you won’t have a data plan, please consider changing your verification method before you travel and consider adding a second (or third) verification method on the My Security Profile page.

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Article ID: 90746
Tue 10/29/19 10:41 AM
Mon 8/7/23 10:09 AM