What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication (sometimes known as two-step authentication) is a technical way of needing two pieces of information to access a system - "something you know", like your password, and "something you have", like your telephone.

To access sensitive information, just using a password along with your email address isn't secure enough, as someone could guess this or try and make lots of attempts to access your account. After you've successfully logged in using your email address and password, two-factor authentication then sends a code or message to your phone which you have to enter on screen. This prevents someone who finds out or guesses your password from accessing your account, unless they've also got your phone.

These codes expire after a short period of time, so a code also can't be reused.

To setup Google Authenticator, first search for "Google Authenticator" from the App Store (if you are using an iPhone) or the Play Store (if you are using an Android phone). Install and open the application.

Click Begin Setup then Scan Barcode.

Scan the barcode displayed on your screen. Enter the six-digit code that is on your phone in this field and click Continue:

You will then have access to EdAware. In future, you will be asked twice a day, or when you switch computer, to repeat the last step - open Google Authenticator, type the six-digit code into the field, and press Continue.