What is two-factor authentication?
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your University accounts. Verifying your identity using a second factor (like your phone or other mobile device) prevents anyone but you from accessing your accounts, even if they know your password.
Why should you use Two-Factor Authentication?
Passwords are increasingly easy to compromise. They can often be stolen, guessed, or hacked and as a result of this, you could potentially be locked out of your account, or you might not even know someone is accessing it.
Two-factor authentication adds a second layer of security, keeping your account secure even if your password is compromised. With two-factor authentication, if someone is trying to log in as you, you will be alerted right away .
Signing up for two-factor authentication once protects your account for all supported services. The following services are currently supported by two-factor authentication, with more coming soon:
- Office 35 Web Portal
- Outlook Web App
Who can use two-factor authentication:
Anyone with WatIAM credentials can use two-factor authentication. This includes undergraduate students, graduate students, alumni, faculty, staff, retirees, and guests.
How does it work?
Once you’ve opted in to two-factor authentication, login in to supported services is as simple as accepting the notification on your phone, or entering a PIN from a text message or phone call. It’s as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Enter your password
2. Use your password to verify your identity
3. You're securely logged on
Am I required to have a Two-Factor Authentication account?
Two-factor authentication is currently optional for everyone. However, in the future, it may be required in order to use some systems.
How do I enroll for two-factor authentication?
It takes less than five minutes to set up an account for two-factor authentication. You can enroll for two-factor authentication from following the instructions as shown in the Two-factor authentication enrollment video (with DUO) or from following the instructions under the Enrollment Guide.
Support for two-factor authentication
If you’re looking for additional information about two-factor authentication, you can visit Duo’s knowledge base Guide to Two-Factor Authentication.
 “Two-Factor Authentication | Information Systems & Technology.” Campus Wellness, 12 Apr. 2018, https://uwaterloo.ca/information-systems-technology/services/two-factor-authentication.