Microsoft Office 365 – Two-Factor Authentication

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

To access your school-based or personal accounts, you will typically rely on a username and a password. This is a single factor authentication process and it is used to verify who you are.

Two-factor authentication is a process that introduces an additional layer of security in which you are required to provide two authentication factors to verify your personal credentials.

Two-factor authentication not only requires a username and password but also something that you uniquely hold to verify who you are, for example, a physical device such as a smartphone or your land-line telephone may be used.

Why should I use Two-Factor Authentication?

Two factor authentication will further secure your log in credentials and protect against  attackers that seek to exploit any weak or stolen personal credentials.

If this were to happen, this may lead to a serious reputational risk to both you and your school.

Moreover, if there is an unauthorised disclosure of data, the Information Commissioners Office may impose financial penalties, an enforcement notice or even prosecute.

When should I use Two-Factor Authentication?

You should employ two factor authentication if:

  • You share important, confidential or sensitive personal information or data with other colleagues or stakeholder services
  • You send important, confidential or sensitive personal information or data to yourself, for example, from your Office 365 E-mail account to another personal E-mail or an alternative work E-mail
  • You retain a personal work filing system that contains important, confidential or sensitive personal information

In summary, you should utilise two-factor authentication if you use your school-based or personal Office 365 E-mail account to collect, store, use or dispose of personal data.

… just consider what damage or distress may be caused if there was an unauthorised disclosure owing to a security breach?


Microsoft Office 365 and Two-Factor Authentication

Microsoft provides a two-factor authentication solution that will require a user to not only enter their username and password, but also to pass a user verification process utilising either a text message, a telephone call or mobile application notification to your personal or workplace devices.

To take advantage of this feature, you must request that your account be enrolled to receive two-factor authenticationn verification. This may be requested at either an individual user level or for implementation across the whole school estate.


How do I set up Two-Factor Authentication?

The process is very straightforward…

Once your account is enrolled for two-factor authentication, you will see this screen the first time you log on

Just contact the service and we will arrange to enroll your account


Click on <Set it up now> and you will receive this message:



Please enter your details and follow the instructions, as prompted.

In the following example, a personal phone was selected:



Two-factor authentication is now set up…



So the next time you log on….

Microsoft will send a unique code to your preferred device.

Just enter the code as prompted.



Need to change your preferred device?

Click here if you wish to change your settings or add another device.