When logging into the large majority of our University systems (including Blackboard, Me@Reading, your email and more), you will be asked to complete Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) before you can access them. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is commonly used in banking and other online apps, such as social media, and requires you to ‘approve’ a login notification on your smartphone or tablet, or by entering a unique code delivered to your telephone number.

The University implemented this for all staff and students earlier this year to keep your data and our community safe and secure. The University’s IT Service Desk receives many queries from students unable to log in, often having recently updated their devices or unsure about the Authenticator process and so we have compiled some hints and tips below.

We recommend:

  • Using the app to authenticate – this is a quicker and easier method, and allows you to approve across multiple devices. This is independent to your SIM and so if you change devices, you will still be able to authenticate.
  • If you are planning to change phone or will be in a different country and can foresee a period of time without a phone – consider setting up an alternative authentication method to use in the meantime (this could be the Authenticator App on an iPad or a home telephone number).
  • If you haven’t previously set MFA up, when you log in, you will be directed to a page asking for “More Information”, you will then be able to enter your details.
  • You can also use MFA with our Self Service Password Reset functionality, this will mean that you can reset your password without having to ask the IT Service Desk for help. You can set up Security Questions which will allow you to bypass the Service Desk and reset your password quickly and efficiently. Instructions to do so on our useful DTS Blog.
  • If you are having issues logging in to your apps using MFA, please email the team at dts@reading.ac.uk. It will speed up the response to your query if you add MFA to the subject line of your email.

MFA is a vital part of our work to make the University and its IT systems secure. Every week, around 40 University accounts are hacked – requiring urgent work to secure those accounts. We need your support to facilitate a secure infrastructure that our community can use to work and study flexibly.

If you have any questions or concerns about your MFA access, please email IT Service Desk.

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