Communication Services & Information Technology
University of California
Communication Services & Information Technology

What is DUO


To address the substantial risk of on-line account compromises this risk and improve the security of university information assets, UC ANR has invested in an organization-wide license for a multi-factor authentication (MFA) service called Duo.

Duo adds a new layer of security to your on-line accounts by requiring a second piece of information, typically an electronic code generated by Duo and delivered to you, after you enter your password/passphrase. Once individuals authenticate with Duo, their Duo sessions can last up to 14 days. A fuller description of Duo is available at

The use of MFA is a standard best practice. Many banks and credit card providers use it. Other UC campuses already use Duo, as do areas of UC Davis, and UC Davis Health. 

Duo works by delivering the code it generates to you, typically and most conveniently by using your smartphone. Duo can be set up so that you only need to touch a button to verify that you intend to log in. Individuals who do not have a university smartphone, or who do not wish to use their personal smartphone, can use a landline or a hard token. Only officially approved tokens should be used. Tokens are currently sold at UC Davis campus stores. The cost of a token is modest, but the landline option is without any cost.

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