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Protecting Your Online Accounts with Two-Factor Authentication

About Two-Factor Authentication

What is two-factor authentication? Many websites and online services offer two-factor authentication (2FA), also referred to as multi-factor authentication (MFA), two-step authentication, or 'added security verification'. 2FA is an added security feature that helps protect users’ accounts and confidential information. 2FA makes it more difficult for unauthorized users to gain access by strengthening the sign-in process with the addition of an extra verification of identity, in addition to username and password.  2FA adds another step by requiring the user to submit something unique and additional that only they would have, before access to the account is granted. In addition to something you know (your username and PIN, password, or pattern), access would require something you have (e.g., ATM card swipe, or one-time code (generated by an app on your smartphone or texted to your phone), or something you are (fingerprint or voice). 

Currently, most online services that offer 2FA use a one-time code.  We strongly recommend that you use 2FA for your online accounts, especially the critical ones (i.e. financial accounts).  You should always read the backup options of 2FA for any service in the event of losing or having to reset your smartphone or account.

Video: Two Steps Ahead, Protecting Your Digital Life

Traveling with Two-Factor Authentication

If you are traveling and plan to use applications or accounts that require two-factor authentication, be sure to have a way to authenticate your login and configure authentication methods prior to traveling. Note that if use call or text for authentication, your mobile device will often require service at your destination(s). Additionally, if you use an office phone method (if available), an alternative method will be required while traveling. Many, not all, mobile app methods do not require an internet connection. If necessary, check with the support staff before traveling.

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Enabling Two-Factor Authentication in Third Party Applications

The table below is a list of popular websites that use 2-Factor Authentication, the term they use for it and some information on how to access it.  If you find a popular website that offers 2FA that is not on our list, please email us the website at


Term Used for 2-Factor Authentication

How to Find/Turn On "2-Factor Authentication"

Amazon Web Services

Multi-Factor Authentication

Go to

Two-Step Verification/Login Verification

Account Settings → Security Tab → Login Verification

Two-Step Verification

Settings → Security → Two-Step Verification

Two-Step Verification

Settings → Security Summary → Two-Step Verification

Login Approvals

Settings → Security

2-Step Verification

Launch URL → Get Started → Sign In → 2-Step Verification Settings

Google.comSecurity Key (Universal 2nd Factor)Physical USB-based 2FA component → Go to Google 2-Step Verification Settings → Must have FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F)
InstagramTwo-Factor AuthenticationSettings → Two-Factor Authentication → Require Security Code

iTunes(Apple ID)

Two-Step Verification

Go to → Manage Apple ID and Sign In → Password and Security → Two-Step Verification

Multifactor Authentication

Help Desk → Multifactor Authentication Options → Select the applicable Authenticator option

Two-Step Verification

LinkedIn Support → Turning Two-Step Verification On and Off

Microsoft(Office 365)

Microsoft Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Office Support → Multi-Step Verification

Syracuse University specific support and information found

Security Key

PayPal → Security Key

Two-Step Verification

Through Windows

2-Factor Authentication

Account Settings

Login Verification

"Getting Started with login verification" or Twitter Help Center

VenmoMultifactor AuthenticationSettings → Security → Touch ID & PIN

Two-Step Authentication

Support → Search "Two Step Authentication"


Second Sign-In Verification

Account Information Page → Sign-in and Security


Google 2-Step Verification

Through Google

 For another, more detailed list of websites and whether or not they support two-factor authentication, visit

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Getting Help

For support of the information above, contact the ITS Help Desk by calling at 315-443-2677, by emailing, or by stopping into 1-227 CST.

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