This document provides an overview of two key concepts that are essential to understand so that you can better secure and protect your Penn identity and your data


  1. 2-step Authentication, and 
  2. Authentication Apps like Duo Mobile


What is 2-step Authentication?

Also called multifactor authentication or 2-step verification, 2-step authentication is signing in ("authenticating") to accounts that require using two or more of the following methods:

  • Something the user knows   (like a password or PIN)
  • Something the user is   (like face recognition or a fingerprint)
  • Something the user has   (like a smart phone or secure USB key)


2-step is a way of proving that you are who you say you are when you try to sign in. It also dramatically reduces the risk of someone stealing your data & your Penn identity.


At Penn, if you have a smart phone, you can use the Duo Mobile app for your second verification step in the 2-step process. 


How does an authenticator app work?

Once installed on your smart phone, an authenticator app typically generates 6-digit passcodes every 30 seconds. The passcode is used as a second factor to verify identity when signing in to an account. Authenticator apps are not tied to your phone number or SIM card. 


Duo Mobile Benefits

  • Is easy to use and provides an added layer of protection
  • Provides a consistent experience when authenticating into PennNet & web applications
  • Can be used with a variety of other accounts including financial, social media, and other email accounts


We strongly recommend the GSE community enroll in Duo Push for 2-step authentication.




Next Steps


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