Multi-Factor Authentication FAQs


The following article details frequently asked questions regarding multi-factor authentication (MFA) and how it is used at the University of Alaska. 

In this article:


Multi-Factor Authentication - General

  • Who is eligible to enroll in MFA, and why should I use it?
    UA employees (including student employees) are currently able to opt-in for MFA.  MFA helps to protect your account (and by extension the University) from the risk of account compromise and data breach. As you’re no doubt aware, phishing attacks resulting in account compromise are happening with increasing frequency. By ensuring that network logins at UA require something you know (your password) and something you have (your MFA device), we can dramatically reduce the risk of an unauthorized entity accessing your account and the information you have access to.
  • What applications, websites, and services use MFA?
    The list of MFA-supported applications and services is growing, but popular applications and services include UAOnline, Google Workspace @ UA, Office 365 @ UA, OU Campus, DocuSign, and Zoom. Most services accessible via single-sign-on (SSO) also support MFA.
  • How many devices should I enroll, and what kinds of devices can I use for MFA?
    We recommend you enroll at least two devices and that one of those is a cellular phone (or another device that you take with you wherever you go). You can use a smartphone (requires app install), regular cellphone, work/home telephone, security token, or security key (popular options include YubiKey, Google/Titan Security Key, or most any FIDO U2F or FIDO2-compatible keys).
  • I chose "Remember Me for XX Days" but I'm getting prompted for MFA earlier than that - why?
    More than likely, you’re using a different computer or different web browser (or both). “Remember Me” remembers the device and web browser you used. For example, if you use Microsoft Edge to access UAOnline and choose “Remember Me”, but then use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to access your UA email, you’ll be prompted a second time.
  • I don't have access to my registered device - how do I login?
    Please contact the UAA Technical Support Center for assistance.
  • I don't like installing apps on my smartphone - is there another way to MFA?
    Sure - you can use your smartphone as a "dumbphone" - MFA can initiate a voice call to your cell phone. Or skip the cellphone entirely and call you at home or work.  If those options won’t work, please contact the UAA Technical Support Center for assistance.


Multi-Factor Authentication (Duo)

  • How do I know the app is legitimate? How about a phone call?
    When installing apps on your smartphone, it's a very good idea to only install them from the authorized app store (Duo Mobile in the Apple App Store for iOS version 12+; Duo Mobile in Google Play for Android version 8+). Phone calls will come from 907-455-2100 (you can call that number back to confirm that it's maintained by UA). If in doubt, contact UAA Technical Support Center for assistance.
  • What if I'm getting an MFA prompt (Duo Push or phone call) but I didn't try to login?
    Please DO NOT approve any unexpected Duo request. If you don't recognize it and didn't initiate it, please report it as fraudulent (follow voice prompt instructions or tap "Deny" in the app). Reporting suspicious MFA attempts will allow UA Information Security to promptly investigate any potential issues.
  • What's the fastest/easiest method of Duo multi-factor authentication?
    It depends. For most people, the "Duo Push" to their smartphone is the fastest and most convenient method of MFA. For others, phone calls to a landline can be faster or easier. We encourage you to enroll multiple devices and try various options to see what you prefer.
  • What can you see on my phone if I install the Duo app?
    We don't have access to your phone. The only information available to UA Duo administrators is some demographic information - make (brand), model, telephone number, and version of the Duo Mobile app installed.
  • I have poor or inconsistent cellular service - can I use the Duo App?
    The Duo Mobile app will work with a wifi connection if a cellular connection isn’t available. If you have no data connection at all, you can still use the app - just open Duo Mobile, find the relevant MFA-protected application (“Duo-Protected University of Alaska”), tap it to expand the entry, and show a one-time code you can enter at the MFA prompt.
  • I used to get Duo Push notifications but they've stopped - how do I fix this?
    First, check to see if the notification is appearing in the app; open the “Duo Mobile” app on your smartphone and look for a green bar at the top indicating that you have requests pending. If you don’t see the green bar, please contact the UAA Technical Support Center for assistance.
  • I already use the Duo App for other services, such as Facebook and Instagram - can I still use Duo for the University of Alaska?
    Yes, Duo authentication can be used for multiple services.


Multi-Factor Authentication - Microsoft Authenticator


Need additional help or have issues

For additional assistance contact the IT Services Technical Support Center via phone at (907) 786-4646, toll-free at (877) 633-3888, email us at

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Article ID: 541
Tue 5/25/21 3:09 PM
Thu 1/20/22 8:58 AM