Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Setting Up Multi-Factor Authentication
Configure your Microsoft Authenticator App
Configure SMS or Voice Calling
Configure a Yubico Security Key
How to update or add additional MFA options
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a mechanism that provides a secondary form of identification when signing in to ensure you are who you claim to be.

MFA combines at least two forms of authentication: a password and a secondary code generated by a cell phone or a code generator. In the event of a password compromise, your account cannot be accessed unless that party has access to your cell phone or code generator.

MFA is common with internet banking and social media platforms and is an effective way to prevent unauthorized access to your account and information.


Niagara College has created a How To Video about Multi-Factor Authentication – What is it and why is it more secure than a password alone!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Increasingly, bad actors try to compromise accounts to steal personal and financial information, send spam (unsolicited email), malicious software and ransomware. Ransomware is often used to block access to your data until money has been paid. Enabling MFA is an effective way of preventing these types of attacks.

Niagara College employees and students will need to use MFA when accessing college resources off campus. However, some applications may require MFA regardless of location. 

The frequency will vary depending on geographic location, application being used and permission levels.  

Mobile Devices: If you’ve set up MFA using the Microsoft Authenticator App, use that to get your code. If you chose SMS (Text) you will receive a text message with your One Time Passcode (OTP).

Security Key: If you are using a Security Key, you will need to plug this into a USB port on the device you are using to connect with.

You can obtain a hardware Security Key to plug into a USB port on your computer.

**PLEASE NOTE** This option is not provided by Niagara College and must be purchased separately.

While using a security token is not the preferred method for MFA, students wishing to use a token must purchase the ITS approved and compatible token.

The Yubico Security Key is compatible with Microsoft MFA and other verification systems and can be purchased on the following sites:

Yubico YubiKey 5 NFC – Amazon Canada

Yubico YubiKey 5 NFC – Yubico Website

Yes. Niagara College ITS does not supply Security Keys.

Yes. The mobile app is easy to use and can be used without a data plan or if cellular reception is poor.

The Security Key is an additional item to have with you and is more likely to be forgotten rather than your mobile phone. Note: Accessing college applications and services may not be possible without MFA.

No. Personal email addresses and phone numbers are not used in other Niagara College systems.

Never approve a request you did not initiate. If you are receiving multiple MFA prompts but are not trying to login, be sure you do not have any applications or NC web pages open. If you are still receiving prompts, you can contact the ITS Service Desk.