Who is affected?
All GCTS users (students, employees, alumni) logging into accounts with a gordonconwell.edu email address and password. This includes:
- Individual accounts logging into: Webmail/Outlook, Microsoft Office 365 applications, Mimecast, LastPass, some employee Mac computers.
- Generic departmental accounts that have multiple people log into Webmail/Outlook using the same username and password.
This does not include shared mailboxes, which do not require login credentials for access.
What is happening?
As part of our ongoing work to better secure GCTS accounts and computers, we are implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on all GCTS accounts on Wednesday, March 23 at 1 PM Eastern. You must follow the instructions below to access your account.
What do I need to do?
You will need to register your preferred forms of authentication beginning the afternoon of March 23. The process should take less than 5 minutes. To prepare for this change, please review this process and download the Microsoft Authenticator app to your mobile device now.
- After Wednesday, March 23 at 1 PM, go to Webmail (mail.gcts.edu), preferably on a computer, and you will be prompted to register.
- Follow these instructions to register. We highly recommend using the Microsoft Authenticator app (Receive notifications option). You can install the Microsoft Authenticator app now to any mobile device. The app is the simplest and most secure way to authenticate. For more information about Microsoft Authenticator, please click here. (You may choose Phone as your main authentication option to receive a text message or a phone call, but it is not as secure.)
- We highly recommend setting up two methods of authentication, in case your primary form of authentication fails at any time. We recommend Phone for the second option. You should be prompted to set both of these (Authenticator app and Phone) when you register, but if you are not, once you have registered your main form of authentication, please follow these instructions in order to add a second form of authentication as a backup.
Please see the following information from Microsoft for a full picture of what MFA is and is not: What is multifactor authentication/MFA? (Note that “Microsoft 365 account” or “Work or School account” is your GCTS account.)
To what device should I download the Microsoft Authenticator App?
The Microsoft Authenticator app is just for iOS and Android devices, and you only need it on one mobile device. So you can download it on either your phone or tablet. That one device’s app will be used to approve your gordonconwell.edu email logins on any device.
What actually happens with multifactor authentication?
Once you have configured the app for authentication, here’s how the process will work: The first time you log into your gordonconwell.edu email on any device or browser, after you enter your password, it will prompt you to open the authenticator app on your phone to approve the sign-in. That is the second authentication. The authenticator app can use your phone’s face ID or fingerprint for the approval, so that makes it very quick!
Will I have to enter passwords or double authenticate to get into my email?
If you choose to stay signed in (to your browser, device, Outlook app, etc.) as many users do, you will not have to keep re-entering your password or using the authenticator app every time you open your email. The app is only needed immediately after entering your password. But if you log out or clear your browser’s cookies (which logs you out), you will have to start the login process again. The new login process has two steps: password and second form of authentication (e.g. authenticator app approval).
Contact us for more information!
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