2-Step Verification FAQs

The following questions and answers will provide helpful information about 2-Step Verification. If you need additional help, the ITS Help Desk is available 24/7 during the regular semester with any problems you may have. Call the Help Desk at (323) 343-6170, email helpdesk@calstatela.edu, or stop by in-person in the Library Palmer Wing Lobby or the Annex Link Open Access Lab (ST E191).

1. What is 2-Step Verification? 

2-Step verification, also known as "two-factor authentication" or "2FA", provides students, faculty and staff with an extra layer of security in addition to their passwords. This additional step ensures that your information, transactions or online work is safer from unauthorized access by requiring a second method of authentication, such as a phone, code or other registered device, to verify your identity. Even if someone obtains your password, they cannot access your account without having your registered 2-Step device.

2 Step Verification

2. How does 2-Step Verification work?

2-Step Verification, also known as "two-factor authentication" uses mobile technology to send an authentication request to your registered device. When you log into the MyCalStateLA Portal with your MyCalStateLA ID, a notification will be sent immediately to your smartphone, SMS-capable cell phone, or other registered device. You simply tap Approve on the screen, which verifies that you are the person logging in and your access will be available.

2-Step Verification: How does it work?

3. Why should I use 2-Step Verification?

2-Step Verification provides extra protection for the sensitive information our systems contain in case you are a victim of phishing or hacking. If someone steals your credentials and tries to access your account, your user name and password will not be sufficient to log in. The thief will also need to have access to your device to complete the log in process. If someone else tries to log in to your account, you will be notified on your device and you can deny them access instantaneously.

4. Do I have to use 2-Step Verification to access my account?

2-Step Verification is optional for you to use to secure your access. If you choose not to enroll to use it, there is no change to the way you access your account.

5. What devices are supported to register for 2-Step Verification?

  • iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod)
  • Android devices (phone, tablet)
  • Blackberry
  • Windows Phone 7
  • Windows Mobile
  • Other cell phones (non-smart phones) and landline telephones

6. How do I get started?

To enroll in 2-Step Verification, go to www.calstatela.edu/2step.

  1. Login with your MyCalStateLA ID username and password.
  2. Click "Confirm".
  3. Within 24 hours you will receive an email message with information to register your phone and install the mobile phone application.
  4. Use your registered device to verify your identity.
  5. Once your device is registered, your access will be secured through 2-Step Verification.

7. How many devices can I enroll in 2-Step Verification?

2-Step Verification lets you register multiple devices to your account, so you can always access your account even if one device is temporarily unavailable. We recommend a maximum of three devices.

8. How do I manage or edit my 2-Step Verification devices?

Go to the MyCalStateLA portal page and log in. Once you see the 2-Step Verification push page, on the top righthand corner, click on My Settings->Devices->Add a new device.

9. I don’t have my 2-Step Verification device with me. What can I do?

Contact the ITS Help Desk at (323) 343-6170 for assistance.

10. Which University services or systems currently require 2-Step Verification for login?

The MyCalStateLA portal is the system currently set up for 2-Step. New systems will be added to this listing as services are added.

11. What do I do if I get a 2-Step Verification push notification on my device when I didn't log in?

If you get a push notification from the Duo app that you did not request, that means someone else is trying to log in using your account and your MyCalStateLA ID account may have been compromised. Tap the Deny button in your Duo app. Then log in to the MyCalStateLA ID system and change your password as soon as possible. This will ensure access to your account remains secured. Inform the ITS Help Desk at (323) 343-6170 or helpdesk@calstatela.edu immediately if this occurs.

12. How do I authenticate with my smart phone app if I don't have cell signal, data, or Wi-Fi connection?

You can generate a passcode in the Duo Mobile app by tapping the key icon to the right of the “California State University, Los Angeles” tag. The passcode (a set of numbers) will appear. Then log in to the system using the passcode.

13. Can I use the app on my smart phone without affecting my data plan?

To use the app with no impact on your data plan, you must first connect to a wireless network. Then open the Duo Mobile app and tap the key icon to the right of “California State University, Los Angeles”. A passcode (set of numbers) will appear. Using the passcode requires no data usage on your plan. Then log in to the system using the passcode.

14. I replaced the phone that I had registered in 2-Step Verification. What should I do now? 

If your phone number is the same:

  • If you use the phone call or text message option to authenticate with 2-Step Verification, no action is required. You will authenticate with 2-Step Verification exactly as you did on your old phone.
  • If you use the push option through the Duo Mobile app installed on your phone, follow this tutorial to reactivate Duo Mobile on your new phone.

If your phone number changed:

  • If you have an alternate/backup device enrolled in 2-Step Verification: 
    1. Log in to the Duo Enrollment website with your userID and password (needs validation).
    2. From the Device drop-down menu, select your alternate/backup device, then click “Manage Devices” to authenticate using Duo
    3. Use the Actions drop-down menu to delete your old phone, then click “Enroll another device” to enroll your new phone. (See the Device Management Guide for detailed tutorials.)
  • If you do not have an alternate/back-up device enrolled, call the ITS Help Desk at (323) 343-6170.

15. What should I do since I lost my device that I use to authenticate with Duo?

Contact the ITS Help Desk at (323) 343-6170 immediately if you lose your phone or suspect it has been stolen. They will disable your phone from being able to authenticate with 2-Step Verification and help you log in using another device.

16. My account is locked out. What should I do?

The most common reason why your account is locked is because you have entered an incorrect password for your MyCalStateLA ID account or the 2-Step has failed at least 10 times. Please contact the ITS Help Desk at (323) 343-6170 or helpdesk@calstatela.edu.

17. Why have I stopped receiving push notifications on the Duo Mobile app?

You may have trouble receiving push requests if there are Wi-Fi issues between your mobile device and Duo Security. Many mobile phones have trouble determining whether to use the Wi-Fi or cellular data when checking for push requests. Simply turning the phone to airplane mode and back to normal operating mode again often resolves these issues or if there is a reliable Internet connection available. Similarly, the issue may be resolved by turning off the Wi-Fi connection on your device and using the cellular data connection. If these two methods do not resolve the issue, contact the ITS Help Desk at (323) 343-6170 or helpdesk@calstatela.edu.

18. My iOS mobile device is running iOS 4.3 (or lower) and I am unable to install the Duo Mobile application from the App Store. What do I do?

The minimum supported operating system for Duo Mobile version 3.1.0 and above is iOS 6.0. If you are installing Duo Mobile for the first time on a device running pre-iOS 6.0:

  1. Download Duo Mobile from the App Store using the iTunes application on a Mac or Windows computer. (You must be signed in with the same iTunes account you use with your iOS device.)
  2. When the download is complete, open the App Store on your iOS device, and install Duo Mobile. You will be prompted with an alert informing you that you will receive the latest compatible version of Duo Mobile (v. 3.0.2).

19. What if I do not have a mobile device?

2-Step Verification is an added security feature that individuals have the option of using. You will still be able to access your account with your password as you normally do without enrolling to use 2-Step Verification.