MFA: Multi Factor Authentication FAQ

What is Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)?

By setting up Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), you add an extra layer of security to your sign-ins. "Multi-factor" refers to using two or more items to verify your identity when you sign in, typically:

  • something you know (i.e., your UFV email and password) and
  • something you have (i.e., a time-based passcode from your mobile device or email).

This creates a layered defense, preventing unauthorized access from your UFV account if your password is compromised.


What services are protected by MFA?


MFA protects sign-ins to some browser services (Outlook, BlackBoard, etc.) when:

  • you are not on a UFV campus/UFV computer, or
  • there is something new / unusual about your sign-in (e.g. a new location, new device)

If you see this UFV-branded login screen, your login may be protected by MFA:



What if I lose access to one of my verification methods?


See our knowledgebase article on how to reset your MFA methods.

If you are without your verification method (e.g., forgot phone at home), or plan to be travelling without it, you can obtain a tempoary access pass instead. To request a temporary access pass, please reach out to the IT Service Desk.


Why am I being asked to download an app or provide my phone number?

As UFV moves to the cloud, for all its substantial benefits, we want to keep your information safe. The largest threat we face is password compromise, usually by hacking of third party services, phishing, or weak passwords. Credential theft is easy and occurs frequently.  By providing an alternate phone number, or using a mobile app, individuals can register for self-service password reset and MFA. These alternative methods can be used instead of, or in addition to, a password.


Since the adoption of MFA in 2021, it has already blocked many fraudulent attempts to access UFV accounts.

Self service password reset (SSPR) allows you to easily unlock and change a password anytime and anywhere. Regardless if the password was forgotten, or has been changed due to a suspected compromise; you can unlock your account, change your password and get access restored: any time, anywhere.  


If you do not have a mobile device to download the app, or do not wish to use your mobile device, please refer to the article on FIDO 2 security keys.

How is my information protected?

We understand concerns about privacy, and both SSPR and MFA are designed to enhance privacy and security. Most of the UFV community will have already used these techniques when interacting with other universities, banking institutions and financial transactions, healthcare, or other personal services. Similar to these other institutions, UFV community members will enroll the methods that they decide will be used to validate their identity. This information remains protected and secure in our Canadian tenant.


Your email address or mobile device are only used to confirm your identity, either before resetting your password, or as an additional trust mechanism when required. If you have a smartphone, you can use an authenticator app to generate a secure onetime passcode, rather than enter a phone number


Is this really necessary, are other Universities doing this?


All Canadian universities are facing this same challenge and are already using SSPR and MFA technology to secure their systems. The recent report on security at higher education institutions in Canada shows this is becoming almost universally adopted. Outside higher education, the banking system and financial institutions have completely adopted this to protect their customer’s savings and investments. Health systems in Canada are also starting to adopt this for patient privacy, as the United States has already done.




I have other questions…

We would like to have anyone that has remaining concerns to reach out to the Cybersecurity team. We are proceeding with this rollout knowing there are going to be questions, and we will endeavour to answer each one. In doing so we will be transparent about why this is necessary, and how this will improve privacy for our community. Open a ticket with the Service Desk, or email our team at “”


Article ID: 817
Tue 9/22/20 10:44 AM
Wed 1/25/23 2:25 PM

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New UFV Employees and Students will be prompted complete this combined registration, which offers two benefits: SSPR (self service password reset), and MFA (multi factor authentication).