I teach as an adjunct faculty member at a well-known state university. At the moment, I’m only offering one course per term, so as you can imagine, I have some unstructured time to write ruminations such as this one.
Just for fun, let’s examine all the major and minor steps:
- Launch a VPN client on my computer (that’s a virtual private network program that encrypts all communications between me and the campus network [nowhere else, just to campus and back]) with an encryption level that when first introduced was actually classified as a munition and therefore could not be taken outside the borders of the US. (Amazing the stuff you learn as an IT director.)
- Enter my university user name and password plus an extra “password” that sends a push notification to a separate app on my phone.
- Wait for the VPN to authenticate me and then wait for my phone to buzz with the request to approve the authentication that I just made.
- Open the app and press the OK button, thus proving that I am who I am and I am the person trying to get the VPN started. I can now connect to the campus administrative information system.
- Again, enter my university user name and password. (The same ones as before.)
- I immediately get a popup requiring me to have another push authentication sent to the same app I just used. I press the PUSH button that sends another push notification to the same app on my phone.
- Again, wait for my phone to buzz with the request to approve the authentication that I just made.
- Open the app and press the OK button, thus proving that I am who I am and I am the person trying to gain access to the website.
- I click on the little compass icon in the upper right hand corner of the administrative webpage. (Why a compass? I don’t know. “Ours not to reason why…”) Luckily, the email gave detailed instructions of how to do this starting at the 12th paragraph. I did appreciate the screen grabs showing what to look for.
All done. Until next year when I do all the above again.