Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) - Overview

This document provides an overview of the MFA system used by Southwest Tech.

MFA Overview

MFA example screenshot

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is a secondary method of authenticating when you sign in with your Southwest Tech account into a Microsoft service. Upon entering your email address and password, you will be brought to a screen asking you to authenticate the login by using:

  • Microsoft Authenticator app - You will be sent a notification on your device that has the Authenticator app installed. On that notification, select "Approve" to authenticate the login. Once you select "Approve" the login process will complete automatically. This method is generally the fastest and doesn't require cell phone service. For these reasons, this is the recommended method.

  • Phone call - You will receive an automated call from Microsoft. When you answer the call, you will be prompted to press the "#" when to authenticate the login. This can be used on a cell phone or landline phone.

  • Text message - You will receive a text message from Microsoft with a numerical code. You will enter the code you received into the sign-in box on the website to authenticate the login.

New Students and Staff

When signing into your account for the first time, you will be required to add a phone number for MFA and Self-Service Password Reset.

This method will be your default method for MFA unless you add another authentication method below.

Authentication Methods

To use MFA, you can authenticate through push notifications via the Authenticator app, phone calls, or texts.

It is recommended that you have multiple methods set up in case one option is not available to you.

Expand the sections below to see how each authentication type works and to register them.

Microsoft Authenticator Logo Microsoft Authenticator App (Recommended Method)

How it works

When signing into a Microsoft service with your Southwest Tech account you will be sent a notification on your device that has the Authenticator app installed. On that notification, select "Approve" to authenticate the login. Once you select "Approve" the login process will complete automatically.

Microsoft Authenticator example screenshot


Download the Authenticator app on your device

Android

iPhone


Register the Microsoft Authenticator app

Option 1 - Sign into the Authenticator app with your Southwest Tech credentials.

  1. Open the Microsoft Authenticator app.

  2. Select "Add work or school account". If you're already using the Microsoft Authenticator app for other services you will first need to click the "+" in the top right corner.

    Authenticator main screen screenshot

  3. Select "Sign in".

    Sign in screenshot

  4. Sign in with your Southwest Tech email address (ex. abc1234@swtc.edu) and password.

    Email address sign in screenshot

  5. If prompted, use your phone to authenticate.

    Phone authorization screenshot

  6. Select "Finish"

Option 2 - Manually add the Authenticator app through Microsoft's website.

  1. Visit https://aka.ms/mfasetup

  2. If prompted, sign in with your Southwest Tech email address and password.

  3. Click "Add sign-in method".

    Screenshot of add sign-in method

  4. From the drop-down list, select "Authenticator app" and then click "Add".

    Screenshot of selecting the Authenticator app

  5. You should already have the Authenticator app installed, but if not, install it and then click "Next".

    Screenshot of authenticator app

  6. Follow the on-screen prompts.

    Screenshot of authenticator steps

  7. Scan the Code in the Authenticator App and then click "Next"

    Screenshot of QR screen

  8. "Approve" the Notification on your Authenticator App

    Screenshot of waiting for approval

  9. Once approved, this screen will appear. Click "Next" to complete the registration process

    Screenshot of completed registration

Phone icon Phone Call

How it works

When signing into a Microsoft service with your Southwest Tech account you will receive an automated call from Microsoft. When you answer the call, you will be prompted to press the "#" when to authenticate the login.


Register Phone (Mobile, Landline, of Office)

  1. Visit https://aka.ms/mfasetup

  2. If prompted, sign in with your Southwest Tech email address and password.

  3. Click "Add sign-in method".

    Screenshot of sign-in method

  4. From the drop-down list, select "Phone" or "Office phone" (Staff only)

    Screenshot of phone selection screen

  5. Enter your phone number and click "Next".

    Screenshot of enter your phone number screen

  6. Answer your phone and press the "#" key when prompted.

    Screenshot of calling phone screen

  7. Once your phone is verified, click "Done"

    Screenshot of completion screen

Smartphone icon Text Message

How it works

When signing into a Microsoft service with your Southwest Tech account you will receive a text message from Microsoft with a numerical code. You will enter the code you received into the sign-in box on the website to authenticate the login.

Text message screenshot example


Register Phone (Mobile)

  1. Visit https://aka.ms/mfasetup

  2. If prompted, sign in with your Southwest Tech email address and password.

  3. Click "Add sign-in method".

    Screenshot of sign-in method

  4. From the drop-down list, select "Phone" or "Office phone" (Staff only)

    Screenshot of phone selection screen

  5. Enter your phone number and click "Next".

    Screenshot of enter your phone number screen

  6. Answer your phone and press the "#" key when prompted.

    Screenshot of calling phone screen

  7. Once your phone is verified, click "Done"

    Screenshot of completion screen

If you would like to change the default method used between Authenticator app, calling, or texting, follow the instructions below.

Change your default authentication method

  1. Visit https://aka.ms/mfasetup

  2. If prompted, sign in with your Southwest Tech email address and password.

  3. Click the "Change" link next to Default Sign-in method.

    Screenshot of the change screen

  4. Select your preferred default method from the drop-down list and click "Confirm".

    Screenshot of default method dropdown

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What if I have poor cellular service?
    If you have poor cellular service at home, on campus, or anywhere else you may need to sign in, we recommend using the Microsoft Authenticator app because it can operate over Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.

  • How can I sign in where there is no cellular service or Wi-Fi?
    The Microsoft Authenticator app also has the ability to work with no internet connection. When you sign in, select "I can't use my Microsoft Authenticator app right now" and then select "Use a verification code". Then open up the Authenticator app on your phone, select your "swtc.edu" account and enter in the 6-digit "One-time password code".

  • How can I use MFA in a location where I can't have a phone?
    If you need to sign into a Southwest Tech service where no phones are allowed (cell phone or landline), please reach out to Southwest Tech Technology Support. You will be provided with a hardware token with a rotating 6-digit code used for authentication.

  • Can I set Microsoft Authenticator to auto-approve all MFA notifications?
    No - Auto approval of notifications isn’t an option. For MFA to be effective, you must be aware of when you should approve/deny a notification.
    Example - You are away from work for the weekend and you receive an approve/deny notification on the Microsoft Authenticator app – you should DENY the login.  If you are unsure if you requested the login, the login should be denied.

  • What happens if I forgot my phone at home?
    If you have one configured, use a secondary method to authenticate. This can be done by selecting the "I can't us my ..." link below the approve sign in request. If no other methods are available to you, contact the to Charger Technology Support Center for temporary methods to gain access.




Keywords:microsoft authenticator app mobile multi factor authentication mfa call text sms sspr password reset selfservice   Doc ID:121002
Owner:Jake W.Group:Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
Created:2022-09-01 08:09 CDTUpdated:2022-09-22 13:00 CDT
Sites:Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
CleanURL:https://kb.swtc.edu/mfa
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