7. Multi-factor authentication

Single-factor authentication

Single-factor authentication requires only one type of log in method, such as a username and password. This has previously been the usual way to log in to accounts on many websites and platforms.

This method can reduce your account security as anyone who gets access to your log in details will be able to get into your account.

Two-Factor and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

In recent years, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and MFA have become more common ways to login to online accounts, helping protect users from data breaches.

After a user has entered their normal login details (username and password), they are prompted to confirm their identity in another way, i.e. entering a code sent via text or email, confirming the login attempt via an app on their phone or entering a code generated by an authentication device.

Laptop screen shows username and a password. Mobile phone shows "Is that you?" message and tick and cross options.
Two methods of authentication

2FA requires two methods of authentication and MFA requires two or more methods. Examples of other multi-factor authentication options are biometrics like FaceID by Apple and fingerprint scanning.

We recommend that you turn on MFA for your accounts wherever possible.

Protect Yourself: Multi-Factor Authentication from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has links with instructions for setting up MFA on different services, such as email, banking, shopping, gaming and social media.

Video Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (Vimeo. 43s) from the ACSC:

MFA at Charles Sturt University

Charles Sturt University requires you to use MFA to log in to certain systems.

The Multi-factor authentication (MFA) page explains how to activate and troubleshoot MFA at Charles Sturt University.


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Digital Skills: Security and Safety Copyright © 2023 by Charles Sturt University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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