Multifactor Authentication (MFA)


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  Phone: 252-328-9866 / 800-340-7081


Multifactor Authentication (MFA) is a security action to verify your identity during log in to several ECU resources from a non-ECU network such as your home Wi-Fi or cell service. During login, you type in your PirateID and passphrase and then verify your identity using a separate device such as a mobile phone.

Verification options

During setup, you will choose one of the verification methods below.

Mobile app approval popup or one-time code. Recommended, especially during international travel. Install the Microsoft Authenticator app to your mobile device. After log in to your computer, select approve from the mobile app popup or use the one-time code. Standard message and data charges from your carrier may apply.

Text message. Microsoft texts a 6-digit code to your mobile phone. After log in to your computer, enter the code to verify your identity. Carrier text messaging rates apply.

Phone call. Microsoft calls your mobile phone. After log in to your computer, answer the phone call and select the pound (#) key to verify your identity.

App Passwords for older mobile devices and apps. Once MFA is enabled for your account, some apps and older mobile devices may not support MFA. One example is the default email app on Android and iOS mobile phones. An app password is a random list of letters generated through your Office 365 account that replaces your ECU passphrase when setting up some accounts. See this app password article from Microsoft to learn more.

PLEASE NOTE: For most users, installing the Microsoft Outlook email app is the best way to avoid using an app password. Outlook mobile is also the recommended and supported mail app for ECU users.

MFA is important because:

  • Account compromise was reduced by 97% after student MFA adoption.
  • A passphrase can meet complexity but still be vulnerable. See these tips for creating a secure passphrase.
  • Easily-guessed answers to security questions can lead to account compromise.
  • Compromised accounts can be used to send phishing emails leading to compromised data and personal information.

Related Links

Passphrase Maintenance Portal

Available To

Faculty, Staff, Students

Get Started

New users are prompted to set up MFA the first time they access email. Enrollment takes approximately 10 minutes and can be completed on campus or off campus. You will need your computer, mobile device and access to the internet. Choose your primary verification method, then access step-by-step instructions from the Related Articles section.

Features and Benefits

"Trust" your computer. The first time you verify your identity after MFA enrollment, check the box to trust your computer. You will not be asked to verify your identity on that device for 60 days.

Remove the "trust" from a computer. If a trusted computer is lost or stolen, an unauthorized user could access your account without verifying through MFA. Restore MFA to the computer through the passphrase maintenance portal.

Reset MFA for your ECU account. If your mobile phone - your verification device - is lost or replaced, reset MFA for your ECU account through the passphrase maintenance portal. You can then re-enroll using a different verification mobile phone.

Primary and secondary form of verification. During initial enrollment, you configure the primary method of verification. It is recommended that you set up a secondary form of verification in case your primary method is ever unavailable. For example, you access Office 365 over Wi-Fi with no cellular service. You can then use the authenticator app to get a code for verification.

Also Known As

2-step verification or two-step verification


No fees are associated with this service.


Related Articles (9)

Frequent questions from users about MFA.
Access Microsoft 365 account settings to to manage verification method, mobile number and create additional app passwords.
Set up multifactor authentication using the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app. Recommended MFA method.
Configure your account for Multifactor Authentication (MFA) using the phone call option.
You may need to reset MFA for your Microsoft 365 account if the mobile phone you use for account verification is lost, stolen or replaced.
Switch your primary MFA verification method to the mobile app. This is the recommended option, especially for international travel.
Enroll your Microsoft 365 account for Multifactor Authentication (MFA) using a text message.
Some apps and older mobile devices may not support MFA. You will need to configure these accounts using a Microsoft app password to replace your ECU passphrase.
A list of Multifactor Authentication how-to articles.


Service ID: 31556
Thu 6/6/19 1:58 PM
Thu 8/11/22 9:28 AM
Service Owner
Unified Communications