Here is how multi-factor authentication works

Sept. 17, 2021

Here are some tips on how to set up multi-factor authentication –– an online security step that will soon be required for all University of Alaska employees.


Log in to ELMO, select Security Settings and choose the Multi-factor Authentication option.

  • Enable MFA
  • Once multi-factor authentication is enabled for your account, your first access to one of the relying services (UA Blackboard, Google Workspace @ UA, UAonline, DegreeWorks, OU Campus, MyUA,  etc.) triggers a login screen requesting your UA Username and UA Password.
  • You will be presented with a page to automatically enroll and register the device(s) you will use for multi-factor authentication.   

Enroll your device(s)

We recommend using Duo Mobile on your smartphone because it’s free, secure, and simple to use. Duo Mobile creates no data on your device.

Manage your MFA-registered devices

You can manage your registered device(s) at any time, including:

  • Adding a phone or other device as a backup in case your primary phone is unavailable
  • Changing your primary device to receive notifications
  • Changing your notification type
  • Reactivating the Duo Mobile app on your device

Learn more about managing your device(s).


Sign in with MFA

Once you set up a device, you’ll be ready to sign in with MFA.

  1.  Browse to the system or application that requires signing in with MFA. It will initiate the process of signing in.
  2. Sign in with your UA Username and password, as usual.
  3. Check “Remember me on this browser” if you’re browsing on a computer or device that you can trust to protect your browser. This option reduces how often you have to sign in with MFA on the same web browser.
  4.  Authentication methods depend on your choice of device.  They include:
    • “Send Me a Push” – Duo sends a notification to Duo Mobile on your smartphone or tablet. You then tap “Approve” to sign in. An internet connection (Wi-Fi or cellular data) is required to receive push notifications.
    • “Enter a Passcode” – Open Duo Mobile on your smartphone or tablet to generate a passcode, with or without an internet connection. Or, if you have a hardware token, use the passcode from it.
    • “Call Me” – Duo calls your smartphone, mobile phone, or landline. Answer the call and follow the instructions to approve. This option only works with phone numbers in the US and parts of Canada.
    • USB Security Key – If you set up USB security key device, depending on your security key model, you'll need to tap, insert, or press a button on your device to proceed.

      View all authentication methods
  5.  If successful using your MFA device to confirm it’s really you, sign-in is complete. Your browser will continue to the system or application that initiated the sign-in process.

Learn more about Authenticating with the Duo Prompt

The Office of Information and Technology has put together a helpful website to answer any questions you may have about MFA.