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Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA FAQs)

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Messiah University has implemented Microsoft Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). This provides a second form of authentication beyond a password to increase security of individual user accounts as well as protect our institutional systems in this era of increasing need for appropriate and proactive cybersecurity measures. 

The preferred method for MFA is the use of the Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone. This is the most secure and easiest to use option for securing your Messiah University account.

Instructions to setup Microsoft Authenticator and secure your account

It is highly recommended that you set-up at least one additional method for MFA as a back-up such as a text message or a call to your personal cell phone. This is especially important for regaining access to your account if you ever get a new phone as credentials for Microsoft Authenticator do not transfer. Instructions for how to set-up additional verification methods can be found in our FAQs below.

While Microsoft Authenticator is the preferred method for MFA due to ease of use and added security, it is highly recommended that you have a secondary MFA method set-up as a backup in case you encounter issues with Microsoft Authenticator (i.e. if you get a new phone). Here are the steps to set-up this secondary method:

  1. Access your account by going to https://myaccount.microsoft.com/
  2. Once signed into your account, click on Security Info on the left menu.
  3. Select Add sign-in method.
  4. Select Phone.
  5. Enter your personal cell phone number and select Text me a code or Call me.
    1. If you are setting up text messaging, enter the code you receive and select Next. You will see a prompt that says "SMS verified. Your phone was registered successfully."
    2. If you are setting up phone calling, answer the call to your phone and follow the prompts. If successful, you should receive a message on your computer that says “Call Answered”
  6. Click Done to complete the process.

If you still have your original phone number on your new phone and have set-up texting or calling to that number as a secondary MFA method, you can regain access to your account and setup Microsoft Authenticator on your new phone by following these steps:

  1. Download the Microsoft Authenticator app on your new phone
  2. Access your account by going to https://myaccount.microsoft.com/
  3. When the page comes up to authenticate, click on I can’t use my Microsoft Authenticator app right now.
  4. Choose the option to text or call your phone and follow the prompts to complete the sign-in process.
  5. Once signed into your account, click on Security Info on the left menu.
  6. Remove your previous Microsoft Authenticator method by clicking the Delete button on the right
  7. Select Add sign-in method
  8. Select Authenticator app from the drop-down menu and select Add
  9. You should now be able to continue from Step 4 of the  
    Instructions to setup Microsoft Authenticator and secure your account

If you have a secondary method set-up, you may be able to click the link when signing in to try using that. If you do not have a secondary method or that is also not working, we will need to verify your identity before we can make any changes to your account so you can regain access. You can stop by ETS – Technology Support’s Office on the first floor of Old Main or contact ETS – Technology Support by calling 717-796-4444 for assistance.

You can view and edit your correct verification methods by signing in at https://myaccount.microsoft.com/ and clicking Security Info. You can also add additional verification methods and select your default sign-in method. If needed, more detailed instructions for changing those settings can be found here.

You may need to start over by following the instructions. If you are still experiencing difficulties, please contact ETS – Technology Support so we can help you complete the registration process.

After setting up MFA, some users are not prompted to authenticate their account for the Mail app on iPhones and their account is no longer in sync. To resolve this issue, you need to remove your Messiah e-mail account from your iPhone and add it again. Here are detailed instructions for this process:

  1. Go to Settings 
  2. Tap on Mail then tap on Accounts
  3. Tap on your Messiah account
  4. Tap on Delete Account to remove the account from your device. (All your e-mail will remain on the server. This just removes it from your device.) 
  5. After the account has been removed, tap on Add Account 
  6. Tap on Exchange (NOT Outlook.com)
  7. Enter the following Information: 
  8. Click the next button in the upper right corner 
  9. When prompted with Sign in to your “messiah.edu” Exchange account using Microsoft?, tap on Sign in
  10. Enter your Messiah account password when prompted and complete the sign-in process
  11. Tap Next and verify the account information you wish to be sync’d
  12. Tap Save to save the account 

If you have received the above error message, it is likely you did not install the correct app. The Microsoft Authenticator app has a blue icon of a lock with the silhouette of a person inside it. The correct link/QR code for the iOS or Android app can be found in the Instructions to setup Microsoft Authenticator and secure your account

The Microsoft Authenticator app for both iOS and Android is completely FREE! If you are being prompted to pay for the app, you are not installing the correct one. The correct app has a blue icon of a lock with the silhouette of a person inside it. The correct link/QR code for the iOS or Android app can be found in the Instructions to setup Microsoft Authenticator and secure your account

The main purpose for Messiah University implementing MFA is to prevent unknown users from accessing accounts from unknown devices. In general, you should expect to use MFA any time you need to sign into your account when entering your Messiah University e-mail address and password and the frequency of being prompted for that has not changed.

When using an application like Outlook, you will likely be prompted once when initially setting your account up and may be prompted again after changing your password or signing in on a new device. You will be prompted to use MFA any time you sign into Canvas or Office 365 on the web. However, you may be required to sign into Office 365 when accessing it on the web less frequently on devices you use consistently, and Microsoft begins to see them as trusted devices.

Microsoft provides some helpful tips on this page including what to check if you are set-up, but don’t seem to be receiving notifications to verify your sign-in. If you cannot find the answer you need there, please contact ETS – Technology Support for further assistance.