Protect yourself online with multi-factor authentication

University Technology Services (UTS) is offering a new service that will make it easier to protect your account.

Beginning Wednesday, March 31, free multi-factor authentication will be available to members of the McMaster community.

It’s an easy-to-use, free service that adds an extra layer of protection to your online experience and protects your accounts even if you lose your password.

To get started, click this link and complete the sign-up process using your Mac ID and password.

The recommended way to use multi-factor authentication is to set up the Microsoft Authenticator App on your smartphone, but there are other options to choose from.

How MFA works

The traditional single-factor way that we access online accounts is by providing a username (or MacID) and a password.

This approach has vulnerabilities; if hackers steal the password, they use those accounts to further their attacks. This may include sending phishing emails from the stolen account, accessing emails or documents on OneDrive, and in some cases, committing fraud.

The consequences include lost personal information that could lead to identity theft.

Multi-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification, works by requiring something beyond just a password.  There are a range of options to provide that second factor, including mobile app notification or text message.

Most importantly, it is something that the hacker does not have. MFA does not prevent hackers from stealing your password, but they will not be able to access your account without the second factor.

Benefits of using multi-factor authentication include:

  • Prevent hackers from gaining access to your McMaster accounts
  • Reduce the impact of account lockouts due to password guessing attacks
  • Use the Microsoft Authenticator App to protect your personal online accounts, including your personal social media accounts and your personal email.

This service does not replace the Mosaic multi-factor authentication powered by Duo.

Get more information about multi-factor authentication.