Duo Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) FAQ

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What is Duo Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Two-factor authentication is a second method of protecting a user's account against unauthorized access. The first method of security is your username and password. Two-factor authentication is sometimes referred to as “multi-factor authentication” or “two-step verification." Two-Factor Authentication at Murray State University is powered by Duo Security.


And why should I care?

  • Passwords alone are no longer secure enough to protect user accounts from unauthorized access.
  • Many businesses, especially those that handle financial information, have moved or are moving to two-factor or even three-factor authentication methods.
  • For Murray State University, this is the next step to further protect your personal, financial, and private information.

So what’s the best way to set it up?

There are different options available for each user. For most users, downloading the Duo Mobile app on their mobile device is the preferred method. However, you can also choose to receive a text message, set up your tablet, use a USB security key, or use your backup passcodes. Because you can set up multiple ways for authentication, you may choose any combination of these methods.

If you are using a personal computer or a computer that you frequently access, you can have Duo 2FA remember you for 30 days, meaning you don’t have to worry about authenticating every time you access your Murray State account for 30 days on the same browser and computer. If you switch to another browser on that same computer, or even to a different computer, you’ll still be prompted to authenticate first.

Our Enroll in Duo Two-Factor Authentication article provides step-by-step instructions for setting up Duo 2FA.

What if I don't have a mobile device? 

You can set up and print out backup passcodes that you can use from anywhere. You can only generate 10 backup passcodes at a time, and each passcode can only be used once. But you can generate a new set of 10 backup passcodes at any point while you are logged into myGate. We recommend every user set up backup passcodes, just in case you lose your phone or have left your phone at home, or change your phone number, etc.

There are also USB security keys that you can carry with you. Once purchased and set up, you only need to insert the security key into a USB port on the computer you are using. View Duo's articles regarding USB security keys for more information.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Sometimes accidents happen. Maybe you left your mobile device at home. Maybe the battery died and you can’t find a charger. Maybe you’ve lost your phone or now have a new mobile phone number. Lost your USB security key? Before this happens, we recommend you set up backup passcodes, or even a second device if you have one. You don’t want to start working on an assignment in Canvas on Sunday evening and realize you can’t login. We have provided instructions for setting up backup passcodes or a second device for Duo 2FA.

What if I lose my phone or change my phone number? Then what?

We’ve got you covered! The MSU Service Desk can assist you if you’ve lost your phone, changed your phone number, or for whatever reason just can’t get into myGate. Give us a call at 270-809-2346 for assistance. Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm Central.

In the event you are unable to contact the Service Desk for assistance, we recommend users set up backup passcodes or a second device just in case.

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Article ID: 79303
Wed 5/29/19 1:22 PM
Fri 2/16/24 2:31 PM

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A step-by-step guide for setting up Duo Two-Factor Authentication.
Backup passcodes will allow you to get back into your Murray State account even when you don't have access to your device.