Passwords are not great. Increasingly, phishing emails make users vulnerable to unauthorised password resets. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) dramatically increases your security by requiring an additional code which is only visible from your smartphone or desktop computer. MFA can send a security code via SMS or a smartphone app that is linked to the web services you are accessing.
The Microsoft Authenticator app is the University’s recommended and supported application for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). However, the Microsoft Authenticator app is only available for smartphones.
- Google Android
- On your Android device, go to Google Play to download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app.
- Apple iOS
- On your Apple iOS device, go to the App Store to download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app.
What if you don’t have access to a smartphone?
If you do not have a smartphone (and yes, some people don’t see the point in having a smartphone), then you are going to find it difficult to get into your University accounts. There are hardware tokens, but these cost money. An alternative free solution is using a MFA app called Authy. Authy can be installed as a Desktop application as well as a smartphone app.
Below is a brief guide to installing Authy on to a desktop computer. Please note that you will still need access to a phone during the initial setup; this is because Authy needs to know it is communicating with the correct person.
Download Authy for Desktop – https://authy.com/download/
Once downloaded you can double click the installer which will start the setup process.
If you click SMS then you will receive a SMS text message with a code. If you clicked Phone Call then your phone will ring and an automated voice will tell you the code.
Either way you need to enter the code into the Authy verification box.
Now you will need to visit the Microsoft Security Info page and click the Add Method button – https://mysignins.microsoft.com/security-info
Use the dropdown list and select Authenticator app (NB – this is different from the Microsoft Authenticator app).
Now for some reason the Microsoft Authenticator app is listed in the dialogue box!
Do not despair! Just click the “I want to use a different authenticator app”
You should now see that the dialogue box now shows Authenticator app so you can click Next
Go back the Authy app on your desktop and click the + sign to add your first account
Now your desktop computer cannot scan a QR tag – therefore you will need to click the link just below the QR tag – Can’t scan image?
You will then see a Secret key.
Copy the Secret key and paste it into Authy and the click Add Account
You can now choose an Account Name – we suggest Nexus365
(You can also choose an icon for your Nexus365 account within Authy.)
Set your Token length to 6 and click Save
You will now be presented with an automatically updating six digit secure code which changes every 30 seconds.
Type the Security Code into the Authenticator app box on the Microsoft page to finish the setup and installation of Authy as your Authenticator app for Nexus365.
If you have several MFA methods then you can choose a default from the Security Info page – https://mysignins.microsoft.com/security-info