Multi-Factor Authentication

On April 16th, 2021, Hamilton County Schools began requiring multi-factor authentication to better secure our network and prevent unauthorized use.  Multi-factor authentication is a process in which a user is prompted during the sign-in process for an additional form of identification, such as to enter a code on their cellular device or to provide a fingerprint scan.  Multi-factor authentication increases security for the district and decreases the likelihood of successful phishing attacks by adding an extra layer of protection during the login process.  At this time, multi-factor authentication is only being used if you are accessing email or Microsoft Office 365 resources from outside of the Hamilton County Schools' network.

Multi-Factor Authentication Comic How it Works

There are four different options available for you to choose from when setting up multifactor authentication.  The process of authenticating with each option is described below:

Option 1 - Sign in using your phone number

  1. Sign in to your account with your username and password.
  2. Answer your phone and follow the instructions if you are signing in.
  3. If you are not signing in, hang up without pressing any keys on the phone and change your password.

Option 2 - Sign in using a text message (recommended*)

  1. Sign in to your account with your username and password.
  2. Open the text message and type the code from your text message into the Enter code box.

Option 3 - Sign in using an authenticator app notification on your mobile device

  1. Sign in to your account with your username and password.
  2. Select Approve from the approval notification sent to your mobile device.

Option 4 - Sign in using an authenticator app code on your mobile device

  1. Sign in to your account with your username and password.
  2. Open your authenticator app and type the randomly generated code for your account into the Enter code box.
PLEASE NOTE:  It is important to have an alternate method of authentication setup so that if your default method is not working, you can click Sign in another way to try a different method.

*Option 2 is recommended at this time since it is easy to setup and multi-factor authentication will be needed infrequently.

Setting Up Multi-Factor Identification

To setup multi-factor authentication on your account you must visit and setup one or more methods of authenticating.  If you have any questions please contact the IT Security team via email at [email protected].  


To ensure compatibility with new security features it is recommended that you use a recent version of Microsoft Outlook (version 2016 or higher).  The IT department is working to ensure all users have the latest versions of all software but users who are working remotely may not receive the updates in a timely manner.  If you are using an earlier version of Outlook, and you have administrative rights on your machine, you can download a new version by visiting this link below and clicking the “Install Office” button.  If you do not have install rights, please contact the helpdesk for more options.  If you check your email using the Office 365 web portal, you do not have to install the new version of Office.

Frequently Asked Questions