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Learn About Two-Step Verification - Knowledgebase / Security - OIT Service Center

Learn About Two-Step Verification

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Two-Step Verification is a security process that requires users to provide two different authentication factors before granting access to an account. Typically, these factors involve something the user knows (like a password) and something the user possesses (such as a mobile device for receiving a one-time code via an application, call, or text message).

Be aware when receiving prompts, or pushes, from a Two-Step Verification service. Hackers who may have compromised your password can try to log in as you and may send you a fraudulent two-factor authorization prompt. If you unwittingly approve their prompt, the hackers immediately gain unauthorized access to Brown services with your credentials.

Only accept those Two-Step prompts or pushes that you requested yourself. Never approve any Two-Step Verification prompt unless you are actively trying to log in to a Brown service or system. Prompts from Duo, Brown University’s Two-Step solution, can be visible as push notifications on your mobile device, text messages, phone calls or prompts to touch a security key.

 If any aspect of a push request seems unusual, or the push itself is unexpected, OIT recommends the following:

  • Click “Deny” and then answer the question "Was this a suspicious login?" with the response “Yes". This will indicate to our team that the notification was not legitimate.

  • Change your Brown password at

  • Contact the OIT Help Desk for follow-up support (see below for contact information).

If the OIT Help Desk notices repeated suspicious login attempts on your Duo account, they will follow up with you to perform a health check of your Brown account.

If you accidentally approved an unexpected Duo prompt, have concerns that your accounts have been compromised, a Duo two-step prompt seems unusual, or the prompt itself is unexpected, please reach out to the OIT Help Desk at or 401-863-4357 for support. If you need help outside of business hours, call 401-863-4357 and press 0 to leave a message, and our on-call staff will be alerted.

 Remember: If in doubt, reach out. The Help Desk is here to assist you with your IT needs.

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