How to Protect Your Online Data With 2FA

Student looking at phone.
Posted by Lindsay Rogers on

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On Jan. 22, two-factor authentication (2FA) will be required for currently enrolled students to gain access to their WMU account and other campus services that require a BroncoNet ID and password. The services will include but are not limited to goWMU, Elearning, and W-Exchange. 

Western Michigan University and other public universities nationwide hold a large amount of sensitive information such as financial and academic records. This type of information holds value to motivate online attackers. The 2FA process was implemented in September to protect students who are at a higher risk of data fraud than those in other economic and societal sectors. Since 2016, over 1,500 WMU accounts have been compromised by criminals who have stolen Bronco NetIDs, passwords, financial information and money.  

2FA is a login method in which an individual requires not only a username and password but something they have, like a mobile device. People already use this method when accessing their bank account at an ATM and making chip-and-PIN payments at the store. Both systems require two things that verify an individual’s identity, the knowledge of their PIN and the physical card in their possession. The 2FA process is even more convenient as users can activate several of their devices to remember their login credentials for 30-day intervals.  

When users enroll in 2FA, they’ll be asked to download the Duo mobile app —available at the Apple Store and Google Play Store—and register their device. After the device has been registered, users will receive a push notification on their smartphone or tablet device to verify their identity after entering their Bronco NetID and password. Activating push notifications on smartphones, tablets or other compatible devices is the recommended 2FA method.  

Visit the WMU 2FA website for more information and to enroll in 2FA