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New Passwords: Now's the Time for Multifactor Authentication

Just what is Multifactor Authentication? It's a process by which our systems become more secure - and we need your help as we transition to a more protected work environment!

When you sign into your online accounts - a process we call "authentication" - you're proving to the service that you are who you say you are. Traditionally, that's been done with a username and a password. Unfortunately, that's not a very good way to do it. Usernames are often easy to discover; sometimes they're just your email address. And since passwords can be hard to remember, people tend to pick simple ones, or use the same password at many different sites.

That's why almost all online services - banks, social media, shopping and yes, Microsoft 365 too, have added a way for your accounts to be more secure. You may hear it called "Two-Step Verification" or "Multifactor Authentication" but they all operate from the same principle. When you sign into the account for the first time on a new device or app (like a web browser) you'll need more than just the username and password. You need a second thing - what we call a second "factor" - to prove who you are.

A factor in authentication is a way of confirming your identity when you try to sign in. For example, a password is one kind of factor, it's a thing you know. The three most common kinds of factors are:

§ Something you know - Like a password, or a memorized PIN.

§ Something you have - Like a smartphone, or a secure USB key.

§ Something you are - Like a fingerprint, or facial recognition.

Within the next few weeks, the IT staff will be rolling out Multifactor Authentication for all users of the computer systems here at York County Community Action Corporation and Nasson Health Care. The IT staff will be notifying you when and how to upgrade your login credentials within the next few weeks.

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