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2 Factor Authentication Rollout

McLean County Unit 5 2 Factor Authentication Rollout

Cyber attacks on K-12 school districts are increasing and as a result insurance companies are requiring additional security best practices to be implemented by districts.  The district’s Insurance Company has required all staff to be in compliance with 2 Factor Authentication by December 31, 2021.  2 Factor Authentication is an extra layer of security designed to ensure that you're the only person who can access your Unit 5 Google Account, even if someone knows your password.

You may already be using 2FA with other accounts, such as with Tyler where you receive an email with a code.  Other examples wherein you may be using 2FA include Apple, which requires it with an iCloud account, or a bank or credit card institution.

2FA sets a second level of protection with your account.  It requires the user to use a password and then authenticate the log in with a second device/application/key.  The goal is to stop someone from stealing your username and password and log into your account without you being there because the additional method of authentication is something only you would have access to be able to use.

The Unit 5 Technology Department (U5TD) has been working to connect the majority of systems/applications that you currently use to connect with your Google Account.  At the beginning of this school year we changed your Infinite Campus account to use your Google Account.  This was all part of our move to the 2FA security change.

The biggest issue foreseen is making sure that you have your key available to you when you need to log into your account.  Most 2FA systems try to be as easy as possible so the most common key is your phone.  Using your phone may be as easy as pressing the YES button on your phone to indicate that it is you trying to log in.  There may be other applications that will use a rolling 6 digit code from an app on your phone.  If you believe that you will not be able to use your cell phone to work with your 2FA account, we will have physical security keys available, but, for most people, our recommendation is that you use your phone as it will be the easiest way for you to authenticate from wherever you are at.  The physical security key will need to be kept secure at all times and needs to be returned if you leave the district.

You can also generate recovery codes that will work if either a cell phone or a physical security key are not available.  These codes are for recovery purposes only and should not be used regularly in place of using a cell phone or a physical security key.  You will need to keep your account recovery codes secure at all times if generating them.

Please read the following pages for information on how to set up 2FA for your account, apps used, and other important information.

Thank you,

Unit 5 Technology Department