This week’s post for Cybersecurity Awareness Month covers Multi-Factor Authentication.
What is MFA?
An authentication factor is a way for a person to identify oneself to a computer. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) means using more than one factor to prove to a computer that you are who you say you are. Typical authentication factors come in three types:
- Something you know (like a password or PIN number)
- Something you have (like a phone or ID card)
- Something you are (biometrics like a fingerprint or facial recognition)
You probably use MFA all the time: when you use an ATM, you use a debit card (something you have) with a PIN (something you know). When someone checks that your face matches the picture on your driver’s license, they’re authenticating you with two factors.
How does MFA help?
According to Microsoft, 99.9% of account compromise attacks can be stopped with MFA. When you use MFA, a cybercriminal who wants to use your account will face a much greater challenge. If your password is compromised but a second authentication factor is required to sign in, a criminal using your password will not be able to authenticate as you. Visit the National Cybersecurity Alliance MFA page for more information.
Where should we use MFA?
You should use MFA with any service that stores sensitive information. These include:
- financial sites (like your bank, credit card company, or investment account)
- social media (like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok)
- email (like Gmail or Hotmail)
- your Kalamazoo College network account
MFA is required for all students, faculty, and staff, and more information can be found at our Multi-Factor Authentication page.
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This week’s post for Cybersecurity Awareness Month covers habits relating to passwords and password managers. To be cybersecure:
1. Create passwords with these three principles
- Long – All passwords should be at least 12 characters long.
- Unique – Never reuse passwords and create unique passwords for each account.
- Complex – Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
Remembering passwords and following these principles may sound hard, but there’s a better way…
2. Use a Password Manager
Password managers make it easy to use passwords that are long, unique, and complex. They save time, work across all your devices and operating systems, and can alert you when a password has become compromised. Visit the National Cybersecurity Alliance password managers page for more information including password manager options you can use to be more secure.
3. Know When to Change your Password
As reported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology it is no longer recommended to change your passwords every few months. For personal accounts we recommend focusing on creating long, unique, and complex passwords. Should you become aware that an unauthorized person is accessing an account or a password was compromised in a data breach, change your password immediately. Please note that as part of our process at Kalamazoo College, we require users to change your KNET password periodically; however, there may be a change to this process in the future.
The information on this page was adapted from the National Cybersecurity Alliance’s passwords and NCSAs password manager page.
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Congratulations Class of 2022!
Your graduation is the first of many proud, successful moments for you. To be of assistance to you, we would like to share important information relating your Kalamazoo College network accounts as you transition into an alum.
Your Network Account
Now that you have completed your course of study at K, you may retain your network account for 10 months after the end of your course of study (graduation, completion of a year as a visiting international student, or completion of the engineering 3/2 program).
Information Services will also send reminders in the months and weeks approaching the end of this period. Please note that your accounts and associated electronic files are then permanently deleted after this 10 month period.
- Review Emails – Be sure that existing emails are reviewed and addressed appropriately. This may mean forwarding emails to a personal account or exporting emails to an external file.
- Update Subscriptions and Services – If you have services or subscriptions (social media, streaming services, etc.) connected to your kzoo.edu email account, you’ll want to update those services and subscriptions to use a different, personal email address of yours.
- Contacts and Info – Review information in your email contacts and copy any necessary information before the 10 months is up.
- M: drive – If you’re still on campus and used your M: drive, review files there and delete, move, or copy them as appropriate.
- Review Files and Folders – Review files in individual OneDrive folders and delete, move, or copy them to others as appropriate.
- Make Succession Plans – Think about any clubs or organizations you might belong to, and make succession plans with next year’s leadership by reviewing files in other personal cloud based storage (e.g. Google Docs, Dropbox). Be sure to delete, move, or copy them to others as appropriate.
- Note – Please note that you will no longer have access to Microsoft Teams through K.
Alumni Email Forwarding
Kalamazoo College offers a lifetime e-mail forwarding option to its alumni. All email forwarding addresses are in the format “email@example.com.” To sign up, please complete the Email Forwarding Signup form.
For additional information, please contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at 269.337.7300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your question is not listed below, please contact the Help Desk (email@example.com, 269.337.5800), or visit us in the Upjohn Library Commons, room 117.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) means using more than one key (e.g. password) to log on to a given service. You are probably familiar with MFA if your bank sends you a text message when you log in.
MFA protects your account and protects Kalamazoo College because when you sign in, you prove your identity in two ways: with something you know (a password) and something you have (usually a phone).
Got one minute? Use this link and add your cell number to confirm your logins via text message: https://aka.ms/MFAsetup. Got two more minutes? Continue at that link and set up the Microsoft Authenticator app.
Why is K implementing MFA?
MFA is a standard practice at most colleges, universities, and businesses that allow access to protected information. It helps protect personal and institutional information from theft, cyberattack, and ransomware. Additionally, K must implement MFA by July 1, 2022 to renew our cybersecurity insurance. Use of MFA will be required for all who use K’s Office 365 apps.
What’s the timeline for implementation of MFA?
All students completed MFA enrollment by May 27. The deadline for staff was June 3, 2022. The deadline for faculty was June 17, 2022.
My email stopped working; what do I do?
After enabling MFA on your account, some users find that their email stops synchronizing on their phone. It’s easy to fix: just remove your email account from your phone and re-add it. You can use our instructions for Connecting Email to a Mobile Device.
What applications will use MFA?
We are implementing MFA for all Office 365 apps (like email, Teams, Word, etc.). Notably, this list does not include signing into Windows itself, nor does it include Moodle or HornetHQ.
Briefly, Office 365 applications are Microsoft Forms, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Exchange Online (our email), Office 365 SharePoint Online (including apps that depend on SharePoint online, like OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
How often will I have to use MFA?
You should expect to see prompts to authenticate with MFA about once every 90 days.
What if I reboot my computer?
Rebooting your computer does not sign you out of the apps on your computer. You should not expect a reboot to trigger an MFA prompt.
What about Colleague? What about VPN?
MFA for Office 365 apps does not change how you will use Colleague or VPN. Continue to use these services as before.
You may choose to install the Microsoft Authenticator app for iOS or the Microsoft Authenticator app for Android on a tablet, and use it in addition to (or instead of) a mobile phone. If you use Office 365 apps on your tablet, you may find it convenient to have the Microsoft Authenticator app on your tablet. Having the Microsoft Authenticator app on a tablet in addition to a phone is a good idea, so you can use your tablet to authenticate in case you get a new phone or new phone number.
Should I register more than one device for authentication?
Yes; Information Services recommends you add at least two authentication methods. For most folks, it makes sense to add a mobile phone and the Microsoft Authenticator app. It’s smart to add another method (like the Microsoft Authenticator app on a tablet) as a backup.
If I use Office 365 apps on multiple devices, do I need Microsoft Authenticator on each device?
No. You only need to download the app on one device to be able to authenticate using the Microsoft Authenticator app. For instance, when you log into Teams on a laptop, you can confirm the logon with the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile phone. It’s smart to add the Microsoft Authenticator app for iOS or the Microsoft Authenticator app for Android to a second device, in case you have problems with your main device.
What if I’m traveling internationally? What if I don’t have signal or data?
We suggest you download and configure the Microsoft Authenticator app for iOS or the Microsoft Authenticator app for Android before you leave. With it you can sign in without receiving a text message. If your phone is connected to the Internet, you can approve sign-ins via notifications. If your phone is not connected to the Internet, the Microsoft Authenticator app can still generate codes that you can use for authentication.
What if I get a new phone number?
If you have configured a second authentication factor (like the Microsoft Authenticator app for iOS or the Microsoft Authenticator app for Android) you can add your new number (even an international number) at https://aka.ms/mfasetup. You should then remove your old number if that number will not be in your control. If you have already gotten a new phone number and did not previously configure a second authentication factor, please contact the Help Desk.
What if I get a new phone and new number at the same time (like on study abroad)?
If you will get a new phone and new phone number at the same time (perhaps upon arrival in a study abroad location), the transition will be straightforward if you bring an existing authentication factor with you (like your old phone, or a tablet to which you’ve added the Microsoft Authenticator app for iOS or the Microsoft Authenticator app for Android). You can add your new number for text verification at https://aka.ms/mfasetup, and approve the sign-in with your existing authentication factor. For example:
- Before leaving to get a new phone and new number, add the Microsoft Authenticator app to your old phone (you could also add the app to a tablet and bring that). This will be your existing authentication factor.
- Bring the existing authentication factor with you when you get your new phone
- When your new phone number is ready to receive text messages, visit https://aka.ms/mfasetup to add your new phone number as an authentication factor.
- When prompted, approve the sign-in as normal. If you can’t receive a push notification to the app on your existing authentication factor, you can choose to use a verification code. To get this code, open the Microsoft Authenticator app on your existing authentication factor, and tap the entry with your kzoo.edu email address. Use the one-time password code here to approve the sign-in.
- When your new phone number is added as an authentication factor, be sure to get the Microsoft Authenticator app for iOS or the Microsoft Authenticator app for Android for simpler, more secure sign-ins.
Additional MFA Questions
Please contact the Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org, 269.337.5800), or visit us in the Upjohn Library Commons, room 117 for additional questions.
We’re Here to Support You…
We understand that times are uncertain in terms of health and there are challenges with attending courses due to COVID. To support you, we will continue to provide technical support through transparency, documentation, and communication.
Listed below are essential technical resources to help you succeed in your academics. If you have additional questions, we’re here for you!
Visit the Student Tools page for specifically tailored student announcements, popular student resources, and methods of support. Also note that general IS announcements such as system maintenance can be visible on the home page.
Communication and Collaboration
- Webmail – How to access your “Kzoo” email messages, calendar, and contact information.
- Microsoft Teams – A virtual space where you can chat, meet, audio/video call, and collaborate with others from a distance. Watch the Microsoft Teams tour video if you’re new to Teams.
- File Sharing – Visit our file sharing page to see all of ways you can share files with your peers, professors, and employers.
- Video Streaming – Microsoft Stream is a secure platform where the K College community can upload, view, and share videos within the College. Visit the video streaming page to learn more.
- Moodle – where most of your instructors will post course materials and grades throughout the quarter. View the Moodle Quick Guide for Students for more information on enrolling in your classes, submitting assignments and more.
- Virtual Labs – We have converted the DEW 207 lab back into a virtual lab for Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff. This lab has Windows computers running SPSS, Atlas.TI, Stata, R Studio, MATLAB, Adobe Creative Suite, ArcGIS, Office 365, and other apps.
- Office 365 – Your free access to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Stream.
- Hornet HQ – The place to plan your degree, register for classes, update your emergency contacts, find info on financial aid, billing, time cards and more.
- File Storage – All Kalamazoo College students have access to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage. OneDrive keeps your files safe, allows you to access files from any device, and also offers offline access.
Accounts and Passwords
- Expired Passwords – Did your password expire? If so, no problem! Visit the change password page. If your password meets the security requirements, you will receive a message stating “Your password has been changed. Finally, click OK to sign in with your new password.
- Forgot your Password – If you have forgotten your password and you need IS to reset it, complete the secure Password Reset Request Form. If we are able to verify your identity against our records, your password will be reset within two business days.
Visit our passwords section for more information on processes and procedures.
Student Tech Support
The Information Services Website
The IS website it equipped with tons of documentation to help troubleshoot an issue or learn about further services.
- Search Tip : Use the IS Search on the right sidebar (or near the bottom of the page if on a mobile device) to find the information you need faster!
Are you still not finding how to solve your issue on the website? Our Help Desk team and Student Computer Consultants are available to you during the following times:
- Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern Time
- Note that you also email the Help Desk at HelpDesk@kzoo.edu for support.
Student Computer Consultants
- Library – Mondays: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Tuesday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Hicks 24 Hour Lab – Fridays: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Are you still not finding how to solve your issue on the website? Email the Help Desk or our Student Computer Consultants!
- Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m EST. Email the Help Desk at HelpDesk@kzoo.edu
- After hours – Students can email StuTech@kzoo.edu
- Email Tips : Provide a precise and concise subject line of what you would like solved. Add the steps that you took leading up to the issue and add a screenshot of the issue you’re experiencing.
Are you having issues with Moodle? If so, please inform your professor and they will help direct you from there. You can also view the Moodle Quick Guide for Students for more instruction on submitting assignments, notifications, and more!
Your Librarians are here for you! Connect with us on the Library website!
Additional Resources Worth Mentioning
- Visit the Wi-Fi troubleshooting page to assist you in resolving your issue. Please attempt all troubleshooting tips that apply to your circumstance before completing a report.
- Due to the complexities of Wi-Fi-related problems, specific details are needed to help resolve Wi-Fi related issues. You must provide the following in order to submit a Wi-Fi Outage Report.
List of Required Information to Complete the Wi-Fi Outage Report Form
- The wireless network you were attempting to connect to
- Screenshot of the error you encountered or the exact error message as displayed on your device
- Note: A full screenshot of the error you are encountering is the most reliable way we can assist in resolving your issue
- Date of occurrence
- Time of occurrence
- Location of occurrence
- If this issue has happened elsewhere on campus. If so, the location(s) it has occurred
- If the device was able to connect successfully in any other locations on campus. If so, the location(s) it has been successful
- Type of device experiencing the issue –
- Note: If you are using a device running on Android 10 or iOS 14 you will need to disable MAC randomization on your device first. See the Wi-Fi Troubleshooting section for instructions.
- MAC Address – If you are unsure where to locate your MAC Address please see, How to Find Any Device’s IP Address, MAC Address, and Other Network Connection Details article by How-to-Geek.
- If there were any other apps running on the device while the issue was experienced. If so, which apps
Do you feel like we missed something in this quarter’s tech resources kit? If so, please let us know by contacting the Web Services Specialist, Katrina Frank at Katrina.Frank@kzoo.edu.