How do I use a hardware token to access VPN with two step-verification?

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If you do not have, or cannot reliably use a mobile phone or landline as your primary two-step verification device, please send a request for a hardware token to ithelp@harvard.edu.

A hardware token is a small device that, when plugged into your computer, offers two-factor verification with a touch of a button. Some important things to know about hardware tokens:

  • Tokens do not work with mobile devices, but can be used as an alternative two-step verification method for HarvardKey.
  • Each token is exclusive to a user and cannot be assigned to more than one HarvardKey account. 
  • Two-step verification must already be activated on your HarvardKey account with another device for a token to be added. Activate two-step verification now before following these instructions. 

Follow these steps for requesting and setting up your hardware token on your HarvardKey account.

1. Users must first set up two-step verification for HarvardKey with a primary device, such as a mobile phone or landline. Instructions can be found at http://huit.harvard.edu/twostep. If you do not have access to a primary device, contact ithelp@harvard.edu or call 617-495-7777.

2. To request a token, contact ithelp@harvard.edu with the subject line "Request a hardware token" or call 617-495-7777. Each hardware token must be pre-configured by HUIT.

3. Once you receive your token, insert it into an open USB port on your computer with the metal "Y" face up. 

4. For Windows users, your computer will recognize the device and automatically install the necessary software. When complete, a pop-up balloon will indicate the device is ready to use.

For Mac OS users, the first time you insert a hardware token, your computer will recognize it as a USB keyboard. Simply close the pop-up window to continue.  

5. Visit a HarvardKey-protected website or application, like the Harvard internal directory, connections.harvard.edu. When prompted for two-step verification, click Enter a Passcode.

6. Tap the metal "Y" on your token and you will be automatically logged in. If you experience difficulty, contact the HUIT Service Desk at ithelp@harvard.edu or 617-495-7777.