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 (such as phones or mobile devices) prevents anyone but you from accessing your accounts, even if your password is stolen .
How does it work?
Once two-factor authentication is set up, logging into supported services will prompt further verification. This could be as simple as accepting a notification from your phone or entering a PIN from a text or phone call.
1. Enter your password
2. Use your password to verify your identity
3. You're securely logged on
Who can use two-factor authentication?
Anyone with WatIAM credentials can use two-factor authentication. This includes:
- Students (undergraduate, graduate)
- Faculty and staff
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 by following the instructions in the Two-Factor authentication enrollment video (with DUO) or by following the instructions under the Two-Factor Authentication Enrollment Guide.
Why should I use two-factor authentication?
Passwords are becoming increasingly easier to compromise. They can often be stolen, guessed, or hacked and can result in unsecure accounts. Others can access your accounts without your knowledge. You could even be locked out of your own accounts!
Two-factor authentication adds a second layer of security, keeping your account secure even if your password isn't. If someone tries to log in to one of your accounts, you will be alerted immediately.
Am I required to have two-factor authentication enabled?
Two-factor authentication is currently optional for everyone. However, Information Systems and technology (IST) have recently kicked-off a project to facilitate the implementation of two-factor authentication across campus. In the near future, it may be required in order to use some systems.
Signing up for two-factor authentication protects your accounts for all supported services. The following services are currently supported by two-factor authentication (with more coming in the future):
- Office 365 Web Portal
- Outlook Web Application (OWA)
- Quest student banking (off campus)
Support for two-factor authentication
If you have any questions or concerns regarding two-factor authentication, please contact any of the following services:
- IST Service Desks
- Arts Computing Office Help Desk
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 519-888-4567 x33190
 “Two-Factor Authentication.” Information Systems & Technology, 3 Jan. 2019, uwaterloo.ca/information-systems-technology/services/two-factor-authentication.