MFA Setup

Security Services
Samuelson 255
(509) 963-2001

Multi-factor Authentication at CWU

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides an extra layer of security before signing in to an online service. MFA helps ensure that you are the only person who can access your account(s), even if someone steals your password. For certain applications at CWU, you will sign in using your MyCWU account and as a second step, reconfirm your identity using a verification device of your choice, like a phone or tablet.

MFA is critical in preventing unauthorized access to personal and institutional information if your password is compromised. CWU Information Services & Security staff are working to integrate MFA into all services utilized by the Wildcat community.

Get Started

You will need to register your device(s) to use MFA. Download the Microsoft Authenticator App and register online in minutes!

Visit the how-to guide about setting up MFA.

Security Features and Benefits

  • Protects sensitive data, even if a MyCWU password has been compromised
  • Helps mitigate phishing attacks by preventing access to sensitive information
  • Conveniently functions worldwide via a variety of device types
  • Flexible verification options meet multiple scenarios

Notification Types

Below are the ways you can choose to verify your identity when signing in to MFA-enabled university systems.

  • Authenticator App (Recommended)

    The Authenticator app is a verification solution compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices, including tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches. This is the recommended method for verifying your identity. It can be used with or without an internet connection.

  • Phone Call

    The phone call option is another verification solution. Answer the call and press the appropriate key on your phone to approve and sign in. Visit the how-to guide to add the phone call option as a backup, or as your default verification method.

MFA Notification Comparison

Table key: illustration of duo app mobile phoneAuthenticator App illustration of duo app mobile phone Passcode illustration of duo app mobile phone Phone Call

Scenario Notification Option
I have a mobile device and an internet connection. illustration of duo app mobile phone illustration of duo app mobile phone illustration of duo app mobile phone
I work in an area where I do not have cell service. illustration of duo app mobile phone
I frequently travel internationally and sometimes have limited internet connection. illustration of duo app mobile phone
I have limited or no cell phone coverage illustration of duo app mobile phone
I don't have a smartphone. illustration of duo app mobile phone

Manage your registered devices

You can manage your registered device(s) at any time, including:

  • Adding a phone, personal email or other device as a backup in case your primary phone is unavailable. This is highly recommended.
  • Changing your primary device to receive notifications.
  • Changing your notification type.
  • Reactivating the Authenticator app on your device

CWU continues to be proactive in using various technologies to protect personal student data and the data of the entire university community. As members of the university community, we all have a responsibility to take steps to protect our MyCWU passwords, which will ultimately protect access to your sensitive information.

How to manage registered devices.

"Stay Signed In"

You have the option to click "yes" in a "stay signed in" box, which will bypass the need to use MFA for subsequent sign ins for 8 days. You will, however, still need to use your MyCWU username and password for each sign in.

Currently requested quick links:

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How to setup MFA on your CWU account

How to change, add, or delete MFA methods

Upcoming MFA events

MFA article by CISA

Troubleshooting your MFA access

If troubleshooting your MFA access did not resolve your issue, you may request MFA assistance.

Don't have a phone? No problem. Information Services has another option for you, please reach out to the Service Desk for details. You can reach them by phone at (509) 963-2001 or via email at

Please note that after February 27, 2023, the Authenticator app will begin to ask for number matching. This will mean that once you enter your username and password, instead of clicking the Approve notification on your smartphone, you will enter the number that appears on the device you are trying to sign in to. Explained further, when you enter your username and password, your device will present a number (example: 42); next, you will need to type that number into the Authenticator app to complete the approval.