Why is Niagara College – Toronto using multi-factor authentication (MFA)?

Increasingly, bad actors try to compromise accounts to steal personal and financial information, send spam (unsolicited email), malicious software and ransomware. Ransomware is often used to block access to your data until money has been paid. Enabling MFA is an effective way of preventing these types of attacks.

Who has to use multi-factor authentication (MFA)? 

Niagara College – Toronto (NCT) employees and students will need to use MFA when accessing college resources off campus. However, some applications may require MFA regardless of where you are accessing them from. 

How often will I have to verify my identity? 

The frequency will vary depending on the application being accessed and where it is being accessed from.

Where do I find my verification code?

Mobile Devices: If you chose the Microsoft Authenticator application, use the application to get your one-time passcode (OTP). If you chose SMS (text message), you will receive a text message with your OTP.

Security Key: If you are using a security key, you will need to plug this into a USB port on the device you are using to connect with.

I don’t own a mobile device. What do I use for multi-factor authentication (MFA)?

You can use a security key to plug into a USB port on your Windows-based computer (currently not supported on Mac). 

PLEASE NOTE: Security keys are not provided by Niagara College – Toronto and must be purchased by users.

While a security key is not the preferred method for MFA, students wishing to use a security key must purchase an IT department-approved and compatible security key.

The blue Yubico Security Key Near Field Communication (NFC) can be purchased on the following sites:



Do I have to pay for a Security Key if I want to use one?

Yes. Niagara College – Toronto does not supply security keys.

Are there any benefits to using my cell phone rather than a security key?

Yes. The Microsoft Authenticator application is easy to use and can be used without a data plan or if cellular reception is poor.

A security key is an additional item to have with you and is more likely to be forgotten than your mobile phone. 

Note: Accessing college applications and services may not be possible without multi-factor authentication (MFA).

When I set up multi-factor authentication (MFA), I provided information such as my personal email and cell phone number. Is that information used by other Niagara College – Toronto (NCT) systems?

No. Personal email addresses and phone numbers are not used in other NCT systems.

I was prompted to approve a login I didn’t initiate, what should I do?

Never approve a request you did not initiate. If you are receiving numerous multi-factor authentication (MFA) prompts but are not trying to log in, be sure you do not have any applications or Niagara College – Toronto (NCT) webpages open. If you are still receiving prompts, contact the IT Helpdesk at support@nctorontostudents.ca

How can I change my multi-factor authentication (MFA) settings?

College employees and students can manage their MFA settings and devices by visiting the website.

Note: If you would like to switch your preferred MFA option you must authenticate using your current method. For example, if your current MFA method is through SMS and you would like to change it to the Microsoft Authenticator application, you will first have to enter the one-time passcode (OTP) via SMS first before you can change it to the Microsoft Authenticator application.

What should I do if my mobile device/security key is lost or stolen?

In the event of a lost or stolen phone or security key please contact the IT Helpdesk at support@nctorontostudents.ca so that the lost device can be removed from your account.

I removed the Microsoft Authenticator application or have a new device. What should I do?

If you have a new device and no longer have access to the old one, please contact the IT Helpdesk at support@nctorontostudents.ca so your MFA method can be reset.

I no longer have access to the phone number linked to my account. How will I be able to access my account?

Please contact the IT Helpdesk at support@nctorontostudents.ca. The IT team will confirm your identity and help you update the phone number linked to your account.