Setting Up 2-Factor Authentication

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NC State is working to increase the security of the accounts used by members of staff. One method to increase security of accounts is to enable two factor authentication (2FA). Two Factor, also known as Two Step, is a process where a second step is added to the login procedure after your Username and Password have been accepted.

If new employees have not enabled Two Factor by the time the requirement is enforced in 90 days then you will be unable to use the account until Two Factor is enabled for that account. The following instructions will help in setting up Two Factor for both Google and Unity accounts.


Is this necessary?  Yes. The helpdesk has seen a severe uptick in phishing attacks that try and trick users into giving up their username and passwords. These phishing attacks are not only more common but they are just really good at tricking people.

How does Two Factor prevent phishing?  Two Factor does not prevent phishing attacks. Two Factor puts up a new barrier once your username and password have been compromised. This barrier is something only you have and most likely have on you.

Is this going to cause me more work? A tiny bit. You will be directed to a new page to complete your second factor after login. You will enter your second factor and off you go. Pay attention and you will notice that a check box on the page will let you go for 14 days before having to enter the second factor again.

I only have to do this once every 14 Days? Kind of. You will need to enter your Two Factor for each computer/browser combo you use. If you use both Chrome and Firefox on the same computer then you will need to enter the two factor information in each browser. The same is true if you use a web browser on a smartphone.

Will this affect my ability to check email on my smartphone and tablets? Yes. When you setup your account on your phone you will need to follow the two-factor prompts .

What if I do not have a smartphone?
We have directions below for using text messages (SMS) and directions if you have no cell phone at all.

Do I have to download software and use my smartphone for this? No you do not but the apps make it easier. They provide a way to get a code even if cell service in your office is not good. The apps also lets you authenticate in different manners. This has proven to be the easiest method for interacting with two-factor.

If I use my cellphone for this will it be subject to records search? No. The University lawyers have said that using your phone for 2-Factor authorizations will not subject the phone to records searches.

Follow the directions below for the scenario you find yourself in.


SMARTPHONES – Apple iOS and Android

Please download the software linked below to your smartphone before going on. If you do not want to use an app on your smartphone then skip to the directions for “text message setup”.

Apple iOS

Duo –


Duo –


  1. Log in to using Chrome
  2. Add a new device and choose your smartphone type.
  3. Follow the directions to setup your smartphone
  4. If you have a USB 2FA key then choose to Add a Device
    1. Choose U2F Token and follow directions

You are done setting up your smart phone



  1. Log in to using Chrome
  2. Add a new device and choose mobile phone.
    1. When asked what type of phone you have answer “Other”
    2. Finish the setup
  3. If you have a USB 2FA key then choose to Add a Device
    1. Choose U2F Token and follow directions



*** You must have a USB 2FA Key and use Chrome***

Log in to using Chrome

  1. Add Security Key

Written By

Nathan Snodgrass, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionNathan SnodgrassOperations and Systems Specialist Call Nathan Email Nathan Extension Information Technology
NC State Extension, NC State University
Updated on Feb 28, 2023
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