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Duo Two-Step Verification Overview

The Office of Information Technology provides extra login security for some services and systems using Duo Security's Two-Step Verification. This helps protect against increasingly sophisticated and frequent attacks designed to gain unauthorized access to your Odin account and information.

Duo Two-Step Verification introduces a secondary credential used when you sign in to Duo-enabled systems or applications, such as the Portland State University Virtual Private Network (VPN). In order to access these systems, you’ll combine your Odin login information with a secondary credential delivered through your phone or tablet. This prevents anyone else from signing in to systems like the VPN, even if they know your password.

To reduce or eliminate the need to change your Odin account password, enroll in Duo Two-Step Verification and then add Duo protections to both Single Sign-On (SSO) and Direct Deposit. Passwords for students who add Duo protections to both SSO and Direct Deposit will not expire. Passwords for employees and student employees who add Duo protections to both SSO and Direct Deposit expire once every two years. 

More information regarding Duo Security and Two-Step Verification can be found on Duo Security’s website.

Using Two-Step Verification

Duo Two-Step Verification is required to access the VPN. See Connecting to VPN with Two-Step Verification for further instructions.

Enrolling a Device

To start using Duo Two-Step Verification, you must enroll a device. Instructions for enrolling a device can be found at Enrolling in Duo Two-Step Verification.

Adding Duo Protections

After enrolling a device, you must add Duo protections to specific Duo-enabled systems or applications. Instructions can be found at Managing Duo Protections.

Methods of Verification

Duo Security offers four methods of Two-Step Verification: push (recommended), SMS, phone, and passcode. Depending on the devices you have available, you may not be able to use some options.


  • Compatible with: Tablets and smartphones
  • Description: Sends a notification directly to an app on your smartphone or tablet to alert you when a login is attempted. You can either approve or deny the login. This method requires that you download the Duo app before use.


  • Compatible with: Mobile phones and smartphones
  • Description: Generates and sends a text message to your SMS-enabled phone with a 7-digit passcode. This passcode is then entered as a second password during the login process. It expires within an hour of your login attempt.


  • Compatible with: Landlines, mobile phones, and smartphones
  • Description: Calls your phone with an automatic message, informing you of the login attempt and asking you to approve it by pressing 5, or deny and report it by pressing 0.


  • Compatible with: Tablets and smartphones
  • Description: Allows you to generate a temporary passcode from your smartphone or tablet with the Duo app for your secondary verification. This passcode will expire after one use, or an hour has passed.

Further Resources

For further assistance with using Duo Two-Step Verification, send an email to or contact the Helpdesk.