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Multifactor Authentication creates a layered approach to security by requiring two or more credentials for logins. These credentials may include something you know (eg password), something you have (eg smartphone, key), and something you are (eg fingerprint). This multi-layered approach helps reduce successful login attempts from criminals and bad actors.

titleTable of Content

Table of Contents


Beginning January 2023, MFA using Microsoft Authenticator App or phone call methods will be required to connect to the USF VPN. To change your authentication method, see How do I change my default sign in method?

  • USF IT strongly recommends setting up multiple authentication types - such as text and authenticator app. This will help in case you lose your primary device and need a backup.
  • Please also ensure that you are using an up-to-date app/access method for your Email. This is one of the most important steps you can take. Click below for a table of approved Email apps (clients) for your use. 

What does it look like?

Depending on your preferred set-up option, you will receive a login prompt like the one below.

First Time Set-Up

Setting up MFA is self-service - meaning that you can set this up on your own. To begin, click the topics below or visit 

How do I perform first time set up?

Visit and login if prompted with your USF credentials. If asked, choose 'Work or school account'.  The program will walk you through first-time set-up. We strongly recommend setting up multiple methods in case you lose your device.

For instructions, visit

Auth Setup
Auth Setup
How do I set up the authenticator app?

Once you have the app downloaded from your app store (click here), you can head over to and select the "authenticator" checkbox.

For a detailed walkthrough, visit

How do I change my default sign in method?

Visit Under Security Info, click on Change

Select the method you wish to use from the drop down. (Select Phone - call or Microsoft Authenticator - notification if you will be using the USF VPN)

Will I be prompted every time to login?

No, but you will be required to validate your credentials with multifactor at least once per device, per 60 days. So, if you are prompted on your computer (which will happen the first time) you will not be prompted again on that same computer for 60 days. If you log into USF email or Teams from a kiosk at the airport, you will be prompted at that point in time.

Why implement this now?

Everyone is working remotely - consequently USF IT has lost the ability to 'trust' that a computer has the appropriate virus protection or other security settings. Multi-factor authentication dramatically improves the security of your account, compared to a traditional username and password combination.

I can't sync my email on my mobile phone.

Make sure you are using a supported client from the table below. 

If you are using a supported client, please remove and re-add your Office 365 account to your mobile device.

Approved Email Applications

Email programPlatformSupported
Outlook Web AccessWebYes
Outlook 2016 and newerWindows/MACYes
Outlook 2013 and earlierWindows/MACUnsupported - contact the Helpdesk for assistance
Outlook MobileiOS/Android (Mobile)Yes
Built-in MailNewest 3 major iOS versionsYes
Built-in MailNewest 3 major Android OS versions (with caveats depending on device manufacturer)Only certain devices - we suggest using Outlook mobile
Mac mailNewest 3 major macOS versionsYes


AllNo - Thunderbird version 77.0b1 or later will work, but is still not supported.


If you are unable to solve your issue with this knowledge base article, please contact the USF IT Service Desk by calling (813) 974-HELP (4357) or emailing

If you find any errors or omissions in any knowledge base article, please contact and inform the USF IT Service Desk by calling (813) 974-HELP (4357) or emailing