GHC Sites > Information Technology > Multi-Factor Authentication (Duo) > MFA FAQs


Do I have to use Multi-Factor Authentication?

Yes. All employees will be required to utilize Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in order to gain access to systems owned or operated by Georgia Highlands College. Students will be required to use Duo effective July 31st, 2020. This is a requirement for all institutions within the University System of Georgia (USG).

What is MFA, exactly?

Essentially, MFA requires two or more forms of authorization when you login to a college system online. When you attempt to access a system protected by MFA, you will enter your password as usual and be prompted for secondary form of authorization such as a notification on your personal phone, a text message to your personal phone, a phone call to your personal phone, a phone call to a desk phone, or through a code or button press on a hardware device. Once this is complete, you will be granted access to the system and will not have to re-enter either form of authorization while you using that system.

Do I have to use a smartphone?

No, you may use a device such as a tablet, “land line” phone, or U2F security key to verify your identity.

Is MFA (Duo) flexible?

MFA does not have a single mandatory mode of use. Duo allows an individual to select from several second factor authentication options. You may choose the method that works best for you.

Is Duo Push the easiest option?

We strongly suggest that you try the ‘Duo Push Notification’ option first. Based on feedback we received during pilot testing, users reported that this option was by far the least intrusive and easiest way to sign-in. The push notification typically appears instantly and the authentication process completes less than two or three seconds after pressing the “Accept” button.

What are my options if I often work from a single office?

Some staff and faculty members with significant administrative duties spend most of their time in an office, or teach mostly online from a GHC or home office, might choose to have a desk phone as the primary means of MFA. You can elect to use push notifications or other options as a backup for when you are away from your office.

What does the Duo app cost?

Duo Mobile is a free download. It requires permission for push notifications and to use the camera (since taking a picture of a QR code is part of setup process). It uses very little data. According to Duo’s online documentation, receiving 500 push notifications in a month would use one megabyte (MB) of data. More information is available at Duo’s Knowledge Base.

What if I Don’t Have a mobile phone or access to Wi-Fi?

The Duo Mobile app can be used to generate single-use login passcodes if you do not have cellular service or Wi-Fi connectivity.

Which systems will require MFA?

All systems that can be accessed with your GHC Single Sign-On (SSO) account will require MFA. This includes Banner, email, D2L, and related systems.

Where will I be prompted for MFA authentication? Classrooms?

Students and employees will need to verify their identity using MFA each day on each different device and for each different web browser they use.

What are my options in a “worst-case” scenario where I have no way to use Duo?

If your primary and secondary methods of MFA are not functioning properly, you can call or drop by an available IT office for a bypass code.

Why is Duo asking for access to my camera?

Enrolling your account in Duo utilizes your phone’s camera to finalize registration of your device with Duo.  During setup, you may be prompted to allow access to your camera for this process. After your Duo enrollment is complete, you can disable access to the camera.

How do I change a method, update a setting, or add a new phone or backup device?

Employees and students can update their Duo settings using the Duo Security Web Portal.

Why am I seeing security warnings?

Duo will prompt you with one or more security warnings if the device you’re using has out-of-date web browsers or your operating system is out-of-date. GHC IT always recommends that you keep your devices up to date in order to ensure they are protected with the latest security updates. If you encounter a Duo security warning on a GHC classroom or employee-use computer, please contact our help desk so that we can resolve the issue.

What if I encounter cellular connectivity issues?

If you regularly visit a classroom or office with connectivity issues, wifi issues, or poor cellular reception, please contact IT. If there is consistently poor phone reception in your office or classroom, you can still sign-in using a U2F security key or the six digit passcodes generated in the Duo mobile app.

How will Duo work at the Marietta site?

KSU is also using Duo for Multi-Factor Authentication. Students and employees at the Marietta site will need to enroll in Duo with both their KSU NetID and GHC SSO account. Both accounts will work in the same app (although you’ll have to go through the setup separately for each school).

What if I have a phone I can’t use with Duo Mobile?

If you are unable to install the Duo Mobile app on your phone, you can choose to receive texts, phone calls, or use a U2F security key for Duo.

Can I use a hardware token?

You can use a U2F security key with Duo. Please note that U2F security keys may offered limited compatibility with specific devices or applications.

What do I do when my phone is lost or stolen?

You can do a few things to prepare in case your device is lost, stolen, or if you’ve simply forgotten to bring it somewhere. You may set up multiple devices or phone numbers to work with Duo.

When you replace a device or phone, if your phone number remains the same, you can choose to receive a phone call instead of a app notification until you re-setup a preferred method of notification (Instructions).

If your phone number changes after losing a device and a secondary phone or device option is not available, contact the IT Help Desk for assistance accessing your account and getting a link to re-set up Duo if needed.

How do I use MFA while traveling?

There are several factors to be noted when traveling.  As long as you have cellular service or Internet access, you can authenticate as you always do. Otherwise, there are a few alternatives:

  • If you have no Internet connectivity, you can use the Duo Mobile app to generate a passcode.
  • You can use a U2F security key that has been added to your Duo settings.

What kinds of data does Duo track?

Duo only tracks sign-in and device information (if applicable) related to your GHC login activity. This may include your device’s operating system version and security configuration, browser version, and your IP address.

In addition, the Duo mobile app reports the model of the device on which the app is installed or the phone number if a mobile number is registered. No other information about the device or user is tracked or exchanged.

Who do I contact for assistance?

Contact IT via to create a ticket. Tickets can be handled by any IT staff member on any campus, thus is usually the fastest path to resolution. If you feel your situation is more of an emergency situation with the technology, call 706-295-6775.


Note: FAQs developed in part by IT and Faculty Senate