Help Desk

Computing & Information Services

Two-Step Authentication at Reed

Two-step authentication is implemented at Reed as an added layer of security, protecting the community and helping safeguard college data. A service called Duo is being utilized for two-step authentication. Read below to learn more.

Duo services in China may be restricted. If you travel to or live in China, please read this article on using Duo Mobile in China.

What is two-step authentication?

Two-step authentication (also commonly referred to as two-factor authentication, two-step verification, or second-factor authentication) is an additional layer of security beyond a username and password. Typically it involves an app installed on your mobile device, a hardware token that displays a 6-digit code, or a text message sent to your phone. After signing into a service with your username or password, you are then prompted to enter a passcode, or confirm via the app that you're trying to sign in. You may already be familiar with this process if you've enabled two-step verification with popular consumer services such as Gmail, Apple ID, Twitter, Facebook, as well as most financial institutions.

Why does Reed do this?

Increasingly, accounts are being compromised in a variety of ways – weak passwords, re-used passwords, phishers, hackers, malware, etc. Two-step authentication helps protect community members from targeted attacks and unauthorized access to college and personal data. 

Your data is important.  Two-step authentication provides protection for the following:

  • student records (grades, enrollment information, letters of recommendation, and more)
  • college confidential and legally protected materials
  • sensitive correspondence in email
  • candidate materials in job searches
  • in the event your password is phished, guessed, or hacked, the attackers cannot impersonate you or propagate further attacks from your Reed email address
  • prevents attackers from using your Reed account to gain control of personal or professional services unrelated to Reed (personal email address, financial services, etc), where your @reed.edu email address may be set up as a recovery address.

What do I need? How do I get started?

To use Duo, you will need a mobile device (phone/tablet), a landline phone, or a hardware token provided by CUS. You can learn more about hardware tokens below. To use your mobile device, you will have to download the app from the app store. You can view video tutorials on using each authentication method here. 

Hardware Token

A hardware token is a small device – requiring no network connectivity of any kind – that can be attached to your keychain or slipped into your bag. It generates one-time passcodes on demand, which can be used as your second step during authentication.

If you don't have a phone or would prefer to use a hardware token, visit the help desk in the ETC to speak with a staff member. We'll assign a token to you, walk you through enrollment, as well as your first two-step authentication with your hardware token.

What if I got a new phone? 

If you have the same phone number, then you can follow our guide on enrolling a replacement phone. If you have gotten a new phone number, please see us in the ETC for more help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to commonly asked questions can be found on our two-step FAQ page.