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Multi-factor authentication (MFA) FAQs

Information Technology recently enabled MFA for our staff and students. Soon all staff and students will be required to use multi factor authentication to secure their information and the university’s network. 


What is MFA?  

Multi-Factor Authentication adds a second layer of security to your account to ensure that your account stays safe, even if someone else knows your password. This will mean that, for certain services, including Microsoft Outlook, Teams, etc. you will be prompted to provide more information in order to authenticate your identity as a Stellenbosch University student or staff member. More about MFA here. 

Why is it so important that I enrol for MFA?  

By enrolling for MFA, you ensure that your account is more secure.  You are protecting your own data (including your HR, payment details, etc.), your colleagues and the university.

How do I enrol for MFA? 

By following the steps set out in the .pdf document. 

What must I do if the document does not open? 

If the document does not open, it could be due to a slow internet connection or you do not have a PDF reader (e.g. Adobe Acrobat) installed. Please also clear your browser history or try to open the link in a different browser.  

How can a PDF reader be installed? 

Please raise a request on the ICT Partner Portal that is available at  

What can I do if I have problems to enrol for MFA? 

If you are struggling to enrol for MFA, please log a request on the ICT Partner Portal and a technician will contact you.  

When do I have to enrol for MFA? 

Please enrol for MFA as soon as possible. It is critical that all our staff and students use two-factor authentication. 

How will I know that I have successfully enrolled for MFA? 

A confirmation message will be displayed on the last screen of the enrolment process. 
You are now enrolled for Multi Factor Authentication.

What must I do if I don’t see the  screens as indicated on the enrolment document? 

Raise a request on the ICT Partner Portal at  

Will I be charged for the MFA authentication SMS’s? 

No, the SMS’s are at the cost of the University. 

Can I enrol for MFA if I stay in an area without cell phone signal? 

No, you need a cellphone with reception to enrol for MFA.

Which IT services will be activated for MFA? 

For the first phase all Microsoft365 (Outlook, Sharepoint Online, OneDrive for Business, etc.) applications will require MFA authentication. 

What will happen if a service is activated for MFA? 

Before you can access the service you will be requested to enter the one-time pin number that will be sent to the cell phone number that you have indicated during the enrolment process. Or if you chose to use the Authenticator App a message will be sent to your phone via the app which request that you approve and in some cases it might also ask for a scan of your thumbprint. 

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