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Setting up two factor authentication to secure your WBS account

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What is two factor authentication?

Two factor authentication means that in addition to knowing your username and password to log into my.wbs you will also need to have possession of your mobile phone. You may have used similar systems in the past to log into banking sites or similar. This extra authentication factor means that even if someone did manage to steal your username and password they still would not be able to log in as you unless they also managed to steal your phone.

How do I turn on two factor authentication for my.wbs?

You may have two usercodes, one provided by WBS (typically this will be 6 or 7 characters long and will mainly be made up of letters that reflect your course, the year you started studying and your initials - something like FM18XX). These instructions cover WBS accounts only. If you log in with a central IT Services account (of the form u1234567 or similar) then you can set up two factor authentication for that by visiting here.

To set up two factor authentication using a WBS usercode:

  1. Ensure you have a Google-authenticator app installed on your phone. You can find these for free on your phone's app store. These instructions apply for Google Authenticator but there are excellent alternatives available. The first time you set this up ensure you do so sat at a computer.
  2. Log into my.wbs as normal on the computer
  3. Click your photo towards the top right to go to your profile
  4. Click the Preferences section
  5. Click 'VIA APP' to turn on Two Factor Authentication. This will open a window with a QR barcode
  6. On your phone open your Authenticator app and select the option to add a new account

    Open your authenticator app and select the option to add a new account

  7. Select the option to scan a barcode and point your phone's camera at the QR code on the computer screen. Your phone should very quickly register the account and it will then display a 6 digit number against this account in your phones authenticator app. A new code is shown every 30 seconds.

    You will see a 6 digit code next to the mywbs account in your authenticator app. This number changes regularly.

  8. Type the number you see into the 'Code' section below the QR code on the computer screen. Click Verify Code & Code. Assuming the code is correct the screen will disappear and you are all set.

    Enter the code shown to confirm all is working correctly

Now I have two factor authentication set up how do I log in?

  1. Visit my.wbs and enter your username and password as normal and click sign-in
  2. You will then be prompted to enter your autthentication code. You get this from the authenticator app on your phone. Click 'Proceed with code' to log in.

    Enter the code currently showing on your phone when prompted

  3. If you want to change how often you are asked for this code you can choose the appropriate option from the drop-down list.
    You can change how often you are prompted for a code from the drop down menu