IT Connect

Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Two-factor authentication (2FA)

What is 2FA?

Two-factor authentication adds a layer of security when you sign in with your UW NetID. With 2FA, first you enter your password, then use a 2FA device to prove it’s really you.

When do I sign in with 2FA?

You’ll be asked to sign in with 2FA only when a system requires it. Many systems with sensitive data require 2FA, including UW administrative systems, Hyak, and others.

Why do I need 2FA?

2FA prevents others from signing in as you, even if they know your password. It protects you and the UW from the risks of phishing scams and other forms of passwords theft.

What’s new?

Duo available April 19

Duo is the new solution for 2FA with UW NetID. All employees, and students in approved programs, can use Duo. Entrust token users will migrate to Duo during spring/summer.

Workday will require 2FA – employees enroll by May 31

HR/Payroll Modernization asks all employees to enroll in Duo by May 31. 2FA is required for Workday training in May and for employee access to Workday in June.

Getting started

Choose and manage your device(s)

Manage 2FA Devices & Settings

To get started with Duo, first choose what device(s) you’ll use for 2FA.

We recommend using Duo Mobile on your smartphone. It’s free, secure, and simple to use.

The following table describes types of 2FA devices and their sign-in options.

Device Type Sign-in Options Notes
Smartphone or Tablet (Recommended)

Supported platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Mobile
  • Duo Push notification
  • Duo Mobile passcode
  • Phone call
  • Duo Mobile is free to download
  • Push notifications require an internet connection (Wi-Fi or cellular data)
  • Passcodes can be generated without an internet connection
Mobile Phone or Landline

Supported platforms:

  • Any mobile phone
  • Phone call
Hardware Token

Supported platforms:

  • Duo hardware token
  • Entrust hardware token (see notes)
  • Passcode
    • One-button device that generates a one-time passcode
    • UW-IT provides hardware tokens to people who require one
    • Entrust token users will migrate to Duo during spring/summer.

Sign in with 2FA

Once you set up your device(s), you’ll be ready to sign in with 2FA.

Sign-in options 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.
  • “Call Me” – Duo calls your smartphone, mobile phone, or landline. Answer the call and follow the instructions to approve.
  • “Enter a Passcode” – Launch Duo Mobile to generate a passcode, with or without an internet connection. Or, if you have a hardware token, use the passcode from it.

To learn more, review how to sign in with 2FA.

More Information