This article is intended to instruct UNCSA faculty, staff, and students on the importance of implementing multifactor authentication and how UNCSA will enforce the use of this stronger security feature, whereby UNCSA members can safely access their Microsoft Office 365 applications, VPN, and other single sign on applications while on and/or off campus.

What is Multifactor Authentication?

Multifactor authentication is a security mechanism that verifies a user’s identity by requiring multiple credentials. As such, UNCSA has adopted the use of the Microsoft Authenticator App for added security purposes.

What is the Microsoft Authenticator App?

The Microsoft Authenticator App is available for free and can easily be downloaded and installed on mobile devices, including iPhones, Android phones, Windows phones, and tablets. The Microsoft Authenticator app helps users to securely sign into their accounts by providing a randomized 6-digit code. This code changes automatically every 30 seconds, which prevents somebody from using the same code multiple times.

How Multifactor Verification Works with the App.

UNCSA members will have two choices on how to use the applications 6-digit code for verification purposes.

During the initial multifactor authentication setup in Outlook, members can choose either Receive notifications for verification or Use Verification Code. Further instructions for Setting up Multifactor Authentication are outlined below.

System/Hardware Requirements
  • Smartphone and/or Tablet: Android, iPhone, iPad.
  • Microsoft Authenticator App.
  • Outlook Application Installed on smartphone or tablet (Please see the knowledge base article “How to Install Outlook App on Phones” if this app has not already been installed).

How to Setup Multifactor Authentication and Install the Microsoft Authenticator App on Your Phone

  1. From a non-UNCSA network, log onto a computer and sign into https://office.com with your UNCSA credentials.
  2. You'll see the “More information required” prompt.
  3. Choose Next.

  4. Under "Step 1: How should we contact you", choose “Mobile app” from the Authentication phone drop-down list.
  5. Under “How do you want to use the mobile app”, select the method you want to use to sign in:
    1. Select “Receive notifications for verification” to authenticate directly from your mobile app. With this option selected, the Microsoft Authenticator App will send a notification to your phone/tablet asking you to “Approve sign-in” or “Deny” the 6-digit generated code each time you attempt to log into your Office 365 apps off campus.


    2. Select “Use verification code” to enter a new verification code each time you authenticate. The Microsoft Authenticator App will generate a randomized 6-digit code that will need to be copied from the app each time you attempt to log into your Office 365 apps off campus.
  6. Click on "Set up".

  7. Leave the Configure mobile app window open on your computer.
  8. Install Microsoft Authenticator App on Phone/Tablet
    1. On your mobile device, go to either the Play Store for Android devices or to the  App Store for iOS  devices.
    2. Search for "Microsoft Authenticator" or use these links:

    3. Install it.
    4. open the application.
  9. From within the Authenticator app, follow the prompts to complete the wizard, and then choose the plus (+) sign to add your account.
  10. Choose “Work or school account”.
  11. Choose “Allow” when prompted for permission to take pictures and record video.
  12. Then follow the instructions to scan the QR code in the open window on your computer from step 6.
  13. After the account has been added, click on Next from the open window on your computer.

  14. After clicking next, Microsoft will prompt your mobile app device for verification.
  15. Either respond to the notification on your phone by clicking "Approve" or enter the one-time passcode.

  16. You may be prompted to add a phone number in the event you lose access to the mobile app. 
    1. Select your phone number's country or region from the drop down list
    2. Enter your phone number
    3. Click done.

  17. Once you click done, you have completed setting up multifactor authentication.

How to Use the Microsoft Authentication App on Your Phone:

  1. Once the Microsoft Authentication App has been installed on a phone/tablet and multi-factor authentication has been setup using the instructions above, sign into https://office.com while off campus by entering your UNCSA email address.

  2. Enter UNCSA password.

  3. A dialog box will appear “Approve sign in request”.

  4. Using the phone/tablet with the Microsoft Authenticator app installed, either “Approve sign-in” if this option was selected when Multifactor Authentication was setup or copy/enter the “Verification Code” that the Microsoft Authenticator app generates.
  5. Once this code is Approved or copied from the Microsoft Authenticator app, the sign in process should complete and your Office 365 account and apps should launch.

If technical assistance is required for resetting/troubleshooting Multifactor Authentication, Please contact Eric Bickle via email bickler@uncsa.edu or by phone 336-726-6943.


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