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VCU's new two-factor login for email, myVCU portal, Blackboard and more will affect online access to library resources

August 1, 2017

Beginning Aug. 1, Virginia Commonwealth University will implement two-factor authentication for several large web applications, including email, Google Drive, the myVCU portal and Blackboard.

For VCU Libraries, this means that off-campus users may be prompted to use two-factor authentication for some tools. These are: 
  • Off-campus access to articles and other e-resources (beginning Aug. 21);
  • Interlibrary loan (beginning Aug. 21);
  • My Library Account (as of July 31);
  • Study room and media reservations (as of July 31);
  • Faculty-only request forms (as of 7/31) and; 
  • Gmail and Blackboard (beginning Aug. 15). 

Two-factor authentication is intended to help guard information and applications from cyber threats. The VCU 2Factor Authentication System — also known as DUO — will perform additional verification for VCU accounts during login from unknown or untrusted locations, drastically reducing the risks associated with stolen account credentials. Taking a few minutes to add a second authentication factor to the login process will make it more difficult for cyber thieves to access VCU accounts and other personal and university information. 

Members of the university community who have not registered for two-factor authentication may be asked to register for it when logging in to various applications and services. Upon logging in, a pop-up screen will prompt users to “Protect your Virginia Commonwealth University account.” Simply follow the instructions to complete the process, which involves registering a cell phone or other device for secondary authentication.

The simplest way to use the VCU 2Factor Authentication System is to download the DUO mobile app and use the DUO push option. A landline can be used in lieu of a cell phone if necessary. University technology services has provided a 2Factor FAQ page and members of the VCU community are encouraged to contact their local IT support staff or the IT Support Center with questions. Visit the VCU 2Factor Authentication System website for more information.

A version of this article first appeared on University News and is used with permission. 

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