Duo Multi-Factor Authentication

Duo is a multi-factor authentication tool chosen by Towson University to prevent data breaches, and to prove that you are you. This page provides self-help resources for using Duo at TU.

Please note: This service is cloud hosted and updates are not controlled by Towson University. Towson University documentation for the service is reviewed quarterly to bring it into alignment with the most recent version of the service or software.   

What is Duo Multi-Factor Authentication (Duo)?

Duo is a security method that requires a second form of identification to help you securely login to systems the university wants to strongly protect. All current faculty and staff are required to use Duo when using their NetID to access certain TU resources, and authenticate their identity using both their password and enrolled mobile device. Students, student employees, retirees and Guest NetIDs are not be eligible to use Duo at this time.

Which Services require Duo?

Services include, but are not limited to, Office 365, Salesforce, PeopleSoft, OU Campus, Taleo and Remote Desktop connections to computers in high-risk departments. This list is subject to change.

How Do I Begin?


You must manually enroll your devices in Duo, and it is recommended at least two are enrolled. Examples include a smartphone (the preferred device), a tablet, your office landline, and/or home landline. Using a personal computer, enroll your smartphone by following the steps below. Instructions on enrolling other devices, can be found under Self-Help Resourceson this page. 

Step 1: Enroll AT least two Devices

  1. Log into Duo: navigate to www.towson.edu/netid and click the Enroll and Manage Duo Devices link under the Faculty/Staff NetID Tools.
  2. Choose the type of device you will add (mobile phone, landline, tablet).
  3. Enter your phone number.
  4. Choose the type of phone (iPhone, Android, etc.).
  5. Install Duo Mobile on your smartphone.
  6. Activate Duo Mobile by scanning the QR code or choose to receive an activation link.
  7. Device is enrolled.

Step 2: Authenticate

For this step, you will use your NetID, password and an enrolled device. 

  1. Enter your NetID username and password into a protected TU system.
  2. Use your enrolled device to verify your identity. This may come in the form of a push notification through the Duo app, a telephone call, or a code generated by the app or sent via a text message (some may have a hardware token).
  3. You can now access the system.

Self-Help Resources

These resources guide you through enrolling different devices, authentication methods and managing devices:

topic self-help video
Enrolling an iPhone  (PDF)
Enrolling an Android Phone  (PDF)
Enrolling an iPad (PDF) (VIDEO)
Enrolling a Landline (PDF) (VIDEO)
Enroll and Authenticate Using a Hardware Token (PDF)  
Authentication Methods & "Remember Me" setup (PDF) (VIDEO)
Managing Devices (PDF) (VIDEO)
Pre-Create Emergency Duo Passcodes (PDF)  
Quick Reference Guide (PDF)  
FAQs (PDF)  
Five Questions With: Patrick Rohe   (VIDEO)



How do I authenticate with my smart phone if I don't have a cell signal, data, or a reliable Wi-Fi connection?

You can use the Duo mobile app (available for smartphone or tablet) to generate passcodes (PDF) even if you don't have an Internet, Wi-Fi, or a cellular connection.

My account is locked out from multiple bad attempts (or Duo is stating that "my session has expired"). What should I do?

The most common reason for your account to be locked out is from multiple incorrect NetID password attempts or multiple failed Duo login attempts in a row. Wait for your NetID and your Duo access to both automatically unlock after 10 minutes, or contact the OTS Faculty/Staff Help Center at 410-704-5151 for assistance.

I don't want to log in every day. How do I get Duo to "remember me" for an extended period of time?

When authenticating with Duo through a web browser, you may see a "Remember me for 30 days" option. If the computer is not a shared or public machine, you can enable this option (PDF) to avoid Duo authentication requests for up to 30 days. This will remain in effect as long as you are authenticating on the same computer/browser, and do not clear browser cookies. If you configured Duo to automatically call your phone or send you a push notification, the "Remember me for 30 days" option may be grayed out or hidden when the Duo prompt first appears. If the option is unavailable, you must click "Cancel" on the blue bar, and repeat the authentication process to access the “Remember me” checkbox.

If I don't have a supported mobile device, what options do I have for using Duo?

You do not need to have a mobile device to use Duo. Landlines (like an office or home phone) can be used to authenticate via a phone call. In limited circumstances, a hardware token (a small electronic device that may be attached to a keychain and generates a passcode) can be requested by contacting the OTS Faculty/Staff Help Center.

Is the Duo mobile app free? When I try to get Duo from the Apple App Store, I’m asked for payment information.

Yes, the Duo mobile app is free. However, the Apple App Store requires payment information on record even when downloading a free app.


For additional assistance with Duo, submit a TechHelp service request, or contact the OTS Faculty/Staff Help Center.

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