Two-step Verification

What is two-step verification? Why should I use it?

Two-step verification adds a second layer of security to your HarvardKey account by augmenting something you know — your HarvardKey password — with something you have: your mobile device, hardware token, or landline. Using your phone as a "second factor" to verify your identity (by responding to a push notification or using a code sent to you by text or voice call) makes it harder for anyone but you to log in as you, even if they know your HarvardKey password.

When you set up and activate two-step...

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What devices can I use for two-step verification? What if I don't have a smartphone or don't wish to use a personal device?

Use Duo on Smartphones, Mobile Devices, or Regular Phones

You can use two-step verification on a variety of devices, making it easy to add an extra layer of security to your HarvardKey login. The simplest method is to download and set up the Duo Mobile app for your iOS or Android smartphone — then, in order to log in, just tap on the push...

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What can I expect after I set up two-step verification?

After you set up and activate two-step verification, when you go to log in to a resource protected by HarvardKey, you'll be prompted to verify your login using the secondary method of your choice — either a push notification on your smartphone, code displayed on your phone or mobile device, code sent via SMS text message, or code delivered via regular telephone call. In some of these instances, you'll see an extra page displayed after the regular HarvardKey login screen asking you to enter the code you receive. This works as follows:

  • If you use push notifications...
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I frequently travel internationally. How does this affect two-step verification?

If you travel internationally and need access to resources protected by HarvardKey, you may wish to set your two-step verification method (under "Manage Two-step Verification" in the HarvardKey self-service portal) to Duo Mobile Passcode. Using Duo Mobile Passcode (available for smartphone or tablet), you can generate authentication codes even if you don't have an Internet, wi-fi, or cellular connection.

Please note that if you're traveling internationally (or have an international phone number) and are using text messages as your method of...

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I no longer receive push notifications for two-step verification.

If you're having trouble receiving push notifications when you try to log in to HarvardKey, this may be because there are network issues between your phone and the Duo service — particularly if you're moving between buildings on Harvard's campus, as many phones can have trouble determining whether to use the wi-fi or cellular data channel when checking for push requests. You may be able to troubleshoot this problem easily simply by turning your phone to "airplane mode" and then back to regular operating mode again, or turning off your device's wi-fi connection and forcing it to use its...

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