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The University of Southampton

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) refers to the use of an additional credential to verify your identity when signing in to university IT services.

Once configured, you will need the secondary credential when logging into Office 365, your email account and an increasing number of other university systems.
The second method can be one or more of the following:

It is recommended that you use the Microsoft Authenticator app as your primary MFA solution.

Enabling MFA considerably increases the security of your university IT account, and protects against access to university services using your account when your password is known to someone else.

Further information about how to set up MFA on your IT account can be found in the FAQs below:

How do I set up MFA?

You can register for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) at and select 'Sign in to Manage My Account'. 

Under the Password and Security section, click on Manage your Multi-Factor Authentication(MFA) - In here you will find further information and a video for how to set it up.   

It will take approx 10 minutes to setup MFA.  

Further information about how to set up MFA on your account can be found here.

How do I get help setting up MFA?

If you have followed the guides and are still unable to set up MFA on your university account, or something has gone wrong, please contact ServiceLine. The set up guides and video can be found here. 

If you need to speak to us urgently call ServiceLine on:  Ext. 25656 (internal calls), 73-25656 (SGH) or +44 (0)23 8059 5656 (external calls).  
The phone lines are open from 08:30 - 18:00 Monday - Friday when the University is open.  

Further information about ServiceLine can be found here: ServiceLine - The IT Service Desk  

What do I need to set up MFA?

You will need a mobile phone (recommended) or a landline phone.

I’ve registered in Subscribe, now what happens when I log in? 

The first time you open an Office application such as Outlook or Teams after registering for MFA you will be prompted to setup your second method to prove who you are which takes about 10 minutes. 

If you need any assistance during the setup, please contact ServiceLine who will be happy to walk you through the process.  

When will I be asked to use multi-factor authentication?  

When you open any Office 365 program such as Outlook or Teams you will be prompted for a second method of authentication on your mobile device either by an application pop-up message, text message or a call to your phone.    

Your browser will remember this information for 30 days if you mark the device as trusted, at which point you will be asked to prove your identity again.

You will be asked to provide MFA again if:  

  • Your switch to using a different browser (chrome, firefox, Edge, Safari etc)  
  • You use a different computer (e.g. in a meeting room)  
  • You've turned on private browsing which clears the information each time you close the browser window.  

Are there any alternatives if I don't want to use my personal device for MFA to run the authenticator app?

We understand that some people might not want to use their personal mobile device for multi-factor authentication. If this is the case please contact ServiceLine to discuss alternative options.

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