Two-Factor Authentication

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Duo two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is process that requires something you have (e.g. mobile phone, smart phone, landline, or security fob) in addition to something you know (your Alma password) to access network applications and services.  Duo Security is our two-factor authentication service provider.


Why is Alma College implementing two-factor authentication?

Passwords may be stolen and used without your knowledge.  Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security.  It prevents unauthorized account access by using your phone or other device to confirm your identity when logging into campus applications and systems.


Who is impacted by the change?

All Alma staff and faculty will be required to enroll in Duo to access Alma College network systems and services.  Students may use the service on an opt-in basis.


How does it work?

After registering one or more devices, Duo will notify you when your credentials are used to log into a network service or application protected by two-factor authentication.  The Duo service will allow you to either accept or decline the login.  If your password has been compromised and is used to access a protected system, you will receive an alert on your registered device.  By rejecting the log in, you deny system access.


Where can I access an enrollment guide?

Duo provides an enrollment guide with step by step instructions along with a video overview here.


How do I get setup for two factor authentication and manage my Duo settings?

Device registrations and Duo preferences may be managed here.   This link is also available on the portal under “Applications”.


What type of devices and authentication methods are supported by Duo?

  • Desk phone - Phone callback
  • Smart phone – Duo Push App, Phone Callback, SMS Passcode, or Duo Mobile Passcode
  • Mobile phone – Phone callback and SMS Passcode
  • Hardware Token – Passcode
  • Security code – Passcode


Are older Apple iOS devices supported?

The minimum supported operating system version for Duo Mobile 3.17.0 and above is iOS 9.  Users installing Duo Mobile for the first time with devices running iOS versions below 9 need to download Duo Mobile 3.16.7 from the App Store using the iTunes application on a Mac or PC computer.  You must be signed in with the same iTunes account you plan to use with your phone.


What if I get an authentication message and I’m not trying to log in?

Deny the access request and report the incident to the Alma College help desk at 989-463-7303.


Which systems and applications are protected by 2FA?

  • Virtual Private Networking (VPN)
  • Remote Desktop Service (RDS/RDP)
  • All Single Sign On Applications
    • Inside Alma Portal             Moodle                             Alma web (authenticated access)
    • Starfish                              Parchment
    • Etrieve                               Tableau                            Slate
    • Helpdesk                           Sidewalk Hero                  Clio
    • Colleague will be added soon


How do I register additional devices with Duo?

Use Duo’s self-service portal to register additional devices, manage existing devices, or change your default device.


How do I access Duo’s self-service portal?

When logging into any 2FA protected web application select “Settings” then, “Add a new Device” or “My Settings & Devices”.



If I leave my phone at home, how do I authenticate?

ITS recommends registering more than one device to avoid the problem.  If you need a one time passcode contact the help desk at 989-463-7303.

Can I register more than one device with Duo?

Yes, having more than one device registered with Duo is recommended.  Additional devices may be registered through the Duo self-service portal.

Will my mobile phone company charge me for Duo communications?

If you use Duo phone calls or SMS messages to your mobile device, normal carrier charges will apply.  If you use the Duo Push application on a smart phone, no charges apply when using Wi-Fi, otherwise normal cellular data charges apply.  The Duo Push application is also able to provide single use security codes.  This method does not use SMS, voice, or cellular data services.

Will the College reimburse me for charges related to Duo use?

No.  You may register personal devices as a convenience, but multiple no cost alternatives are available including desk phones, Duo Push with security codes, and hardware tokens.

Can I use my smart phone to authenticate even if it does not have cell or Wi-Fi data access?

You may use your Duo smartphone app passcode function to authenticate even if your phone does not have carrier service or Wi-Fi.

What if my phone is lost or stolen?

Contact the help desk at 989-463-7303 as soon as possible.

What if my phone number changes?

Use the Duo self-service portal to change your phone number.

How do I report a locked Duo account?

Contact the help desk at 989-463-7303.

What do I need to know to access College network services while traveling?

If you travel internationally and need access to resources protected by Duo, you may wish to set your two-step verification method to Duo Mobile Passcode.  Using Duo Mobile Passcode (available for smartphone or tablet), you can generate authentication codes even if you don’t have an Internet, Wi-Fi, or cellular connection.  Please note that if you’re traveling internationally (or have an international phone number) and are using text messages as your method of two-step verification, you may be subject to your carrier’s roaming charges for SMS messages.  SMS use is not recommended for international travelers.

Is Duo going to challenge my login every time I authenticate?

VPN and Remote Desktop users will receive a two-factor verification contact for every log on.  Web applications using 2FA will verify each log on unless you select the option to “Remember this device” when authenticating.  This feature is browser dependent and requires cookies be enabled.


How do I replace a lost Duo fob?

Fobs do not work with all network services and are issued only when no other second factor device is available.  If you loose a fob linked to your account, contact the help desk at 7303 as soon as possible to have it deactivated.  Replacement fobs are available through ITS for $25.