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The Library: Passwords & Cyber Security

Multi-factor authentication

Please note: number matching has been added as an additional security layer to Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to all systems that support it. Please ask staff if you need help or take a look at our 'How you authenticate using MFA has changed' video.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA), sometimes called two-step authentication, is an additional security measure to protect access to university systems and services. This means that you have to provide another method of identification, after entering your username and password, before being able to access university systems and services.

  • It also gives you the tools to unlock and/or reset your own password should you need to.
  • Most people have experience of this kind of security, such as when you log into social media or shopping applications after a long period, or if you forget your password to an online account.

Visual representation of MFA - password plus second factor equals secure access


  • We recommend that you download the Microsoft Authenticator app onto your Android or Apple phone and use this as your default authentication method. If you don't have a smart phone or don't want to use the app you should choose to receive a phone call as your default authentication method.
  • We also recommend setting up authentication by text as an additional method of authentication to allow you to reset your own passwords and to also authenticate should you not have access to your default method.

How to register for multi-factor authentication (MFA)


Ask us about multi-factor authentication - try searching our FAQ