Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides an additional layer of security to all Microsoft 365 services. This includes your Kent email and apps such as Teams and OneDrive. All staff are currently being enrolled onto MFA.

Once set up, MFA is easy to use and provides added protection against cyber-attacks which is especially important now as many staff are working from home. 

MFA provides a 99.9% reduction in compromised accounts and will also help to protect your own personal information.

What MFA is

Multi-factor authentication asks you to use more than one method to prove who you are when logging in. 

So, in addition to your Kent IT password, you need to set up at least one more authentication method which will be used when you access Microsoft 365 services (email, Teams and more) from off campus. 

What you'll need to do

Set up your authentication method when prompted

When MFA has been enabled on your account - we've emailed you the date for this - the next time you try and log into an M365 service from off campus, you're asked to set up your preferred authentication method. Follow the steps below:

  1. To use the Microsoft Authenticator app follow steps 3 - 8.  We recommend using this app over other methods as it's more secure, and quicker to authenticate in future (using one tap rather than a 6-digit code) 

  2. If you prefer to use a text message or telephone call (which can be to an office phone, landline or mobile), or to use another authentication app such as Google or Authy, click I want to set up a different method and follow the process on-screen. You can skip steps 3 - 8 below, as they cover setting up the Microsoft app

  3. Download the Microsoft Authenticator app to your smartphone from either Google Play or the iOS app store

  4. Using a laptop or a different device from your smartphone,  open a web browser and login to outlook.office.com with your Kent IT details

  5. You'll get an alert saying you need to provide extra information: click OK and a QR code will be displayed

  6. On your phone, open the Microsoft authenticator app

  7. Click ‘add account' then  ‘add work or school account

  8. Your phone will open the camera and ask you to scan the on-screen QR code. This pairs your phone with your Microsoft 365 account

You won't need to use MFA every time you log in

You're only asked to use MFA authentication in the following circumstances:

  • When logging into email, Teams or any other Microsoft 365 (M365) service from off campus (ie, not using Kent WiFi or the Kent network).

Even then, it's only required if:

  • You're using a device for the first time to access an M365 service
  • It's over 90 days since you used the device to log into an M365 service
  • If you've changed your Kent IT password

Help and support

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