What is Multi-Factor Authentication for Office 365?

Multi-factor authentication for Office 365 is available to all Normandale Community College students and employees for securing your access to our Outlook email, OneDrive file storage, Teams collaboration and phone, and productivity system. MFA is the best way to prevent someone who steals your StarID password from accessing your Office 365 account.

How it works: Once multi-factor authentication (MFA) is enabled, when you go to sign into your Microsoft Office 365 account you will be prompted to verify your StarID credentials with a notification sent to your cell phone or office phone. This is setup with an Authenticator app.

Enable MFA

Enabling MFA on your Microsoft Office 365 account is a two-step process:

  1. Enable MFA by going to https://www.minnstate.edu/mfa
    Note: Once you enable MFA, you must configure MFA before you can access your Office 365 email and apps.
  2. Configure MFA by following the MFA First-Time Setup Wizard

Go to Getting Started with Multi-Factor Authentication for more information.

Your initial verification options

MFA for Office 365 uses your phone as a second step to verify your Office 365 credentials. When you first enable MFA, your three verification options are:

Authentication phone

Choose this option to receive a one-time password (e.g., a random sequence of digits) via a robocall or text message sent to a phone number you provide. Although this does not need to be a smartphone, the text messaging option does require a compatible phone. Text messages will arrive via your phone's default messaging app (e.g., Apple iMessage). 

You can also choose to receive a phone call with a voice message.

Office phone

Normandale Employees should never use their Office phone as an authentication method. Normandale uses Microsoft Teams as its phone system and you may not have access to receive calls if you are not logged in. 

Mobile app

Choose this option to use the Microsoft Authenticator app to approve access. You can decide whether to receive a notification from the app that you can tap to approve access or use one of the rolling, one-time passwords generated by the app. Use any device on which the Microsoft Authenticator app is installed, including your mobile phone, tablet, or smartwatch. You can use the Microsoft Authenticator app or another authentication app, such as Google or LastPass.

Personalize your MFA settings

Once you have completed the initial setup, you can edit your MFA settings at any time to:

Add an alternate phone

Add a third phone as a verification backup, in case you cannot access your primary authentication phone, office phone, or any device with the Microsoft Authenticator app configured. If you enable this option, you choose to receive a confirmation request via a robocall to an alternate phone number (e.g., your home phone).

Enable multiple backup verification methods

Enable any of the other verification methods as fail-safes. If your default method fails or is unavailable (e.g., your mobile phone's battery is dead), you can use a different method instead.

Change settings

Change phone numbers, choose a different verification default, or enable/disable the other verification methods.

Pair or remove Microsoft Authenticator devices

Pair other devices running the Microsoft Authenticator app with your Normandale Community College Office 365 account or unpair existing devices.

Our recommendation

Normandale Community College Information Technology Services strongly recommends using the Microsoft Authenticator app as your default verification method, while enabling the other three methods as fail-safes. Install the app on any Apple or Android mobile phone or tablet to which you have continuous access and that is connected to the Internet via your cellular data plan or WiFi service.

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Article ID: 118011
Thu 10/8/20 5:46 PM
Thu 7/21/22 10:02 AM

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You have the ability to enable multi-factor authentication on your Microsoft Office 365 account for extra security to help protect your information and keep the College safe.
Enroll in Multi-Factor authentication using a phone to receive a voice call.
Multi-factor authentication is a powerful security tool to help you protect your accounts. Find answers to your questions here.