FAQ: Two-Step Verification for Brown Accounts


  • Is two-step verification required?
    Yes, it is required for students, staff, and faculty. Other populations, like guest accounts, are required to use it when accessing Brown's VPN.

  • How do I set this up? How do I use it?
    See brown.edu/go/twostephelp for all instructions.

  • When will I be prompted to verify?
    When logging into the Brown single sign on screen with your Brown account.

  • Does this apply to my email account, too?
    No. Google has a similar feature but it works a little differently. You can enable it separately, and it's recommended but not required. For more information, visit https://accounts.google.com/SmsAuthConfig

  • Can I use this if I don’t have a smartphone?
    Yes, you can use it on "non-smart" cell phones and even landlines. You can also use the bypass codes instead of a phone. Also, the IT Service center has tokens for anyone who needs them.

  • What if I get a new phone with the same number? 
    If you get a new smartphone with the same number, you can use the Reactivate link in MyAccount's Two-Step Verification to load your account. (Not a smartphone? You don't need to do anything). We have more detailed instructions in our article Set up a Replacement Smartphone (same phone number) for Two-Step Verification.

  • What if I share a phone with someone else?
    If you add a phone number that is already in use, you will be asked to verify that you have access to the phone by receiving a text message or phone call with a verification code.

  • Can I add an international number?
    Yes, just add a + in front of the country code (for example, a German number would start +49). Note that Chinese phone numbers (+86) can't receive automated phone calls from the US, but can use other methods of verification.

  • What should I do if I will be traveling? Does this work outside of the US?
    Please see our article Use Two-Step Verification When Traveling

  • What should I do if I'm not receiving the verification phone calls?
    Check that the Duo calling phone number (401-200-4873) is not blocked. Also, if you have a Chinese +86 number, you will not be able to receive automated phone calls from the US, but you can use other verification methods.

  • How can I verify if a call or text to my phone is legitimate?
    Make sure it is associated with an authentication attempt you made, and that it is directed to you. If a call, it will come from the Duo calling number 401-200-4873.

  • If I request a new set of codes, does the first set continue to work?
    No, only your latest set of codes works.

  • What should I do if I am locked out of my account?
    Contact the IT Service Center at (401) 863-4357. They will verify your identity and can disable Two-Step temporarily so you can get in and update your settings.

  • How can I add additional devices or phone numbers after setting up Two-Step?
    The process is the same as when you originally added your current device: just click the "Add Devices" button in the two-step verification section of MyAccount. See this article for more: Add Phones and Devices for Two-Step Verification

  • When do my bypass codes expire?
    See this article for details: Use Bypass Codes with Two-Step Verification

  • What if I get an unexpected Duo notification on my phone when I am not logging in myself?
    Yikes! This means that your account's password must have been compromised and Duo is keeping someone from maliciously accessing your account. You should:

    1. First, deny the fraudulent login attempt from Duo.
    2. Second, log into myaccount.brown.edu and change your Brown password.
    3. If you used the same password for other accounts, change those as well.
  • I received a message about being locked out of my account. What should I do?
    This means that there were 10 invalid authorization attempts (these might have been malicious or might have been a mistake - for example, if you accidentally typed in 10 incorrect codes, or let 10 requests time out without approving). You will need to contact the IT Service Center to unlock your account.
  • What else should I be aware of?
    If after logging in with two-step, you are directed to an unexpected location, this could mean that your account might have been compromised. You should change your password and contact the IT Service Center to report this.

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