Set up 2-step verification for Office 365

Once your admin enables your organization with 2-step verification (also called multi-factor authentication), you have to set up your account to use it.

By setting up 2-step verification, you add an extra layer of security to your Office 365 account. You sign in with your password (step 1) and a code sent to your phone (step 2).

  1. Check whether your Office 365admin has turned on multi-factor authentication for your account. If they haven’t, when you try to do these steps you won’t see the options in Office 365.
  2. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account with your password like you normally do. After you choose Sign in, you’ll see this page:First Sign in screen
  3. Choose Set it up now.
  4. Select your authentication method and then follow the prompts on the page. Or, watch the video to learn more.Choose your authentication method and then follow the prompts on the screen.
  5. After you verify your alternate contact method, choose Next.
  6. You’ll get an app password that you can use with Outlook, Apple Mail, etc. Choose the copy icon to copy the password to your clipboard. You won’t need to memorize this password.Image of the copy icon to copy the app password to your clipboard.
  7. Once you complete the instructions to specify how you want to receive your verification code, the next time you sign in to Office 365, you’ll be prompted to enter the code that is sent to you by text message, phone call, etc.To have a new code sent to you, press F5.When you sign in with 2-step verification, you'll be prompted for a code.

We strongly recommend setting up more than one verification method. For example, if you travel a lot, consider setting up Microsoft Authenticator for your verification method. It’s the easiest verification method to use, and a way to avoid text or call charges.

To use the app password in Outlook

You’ll need to do these steps once.

  1. Open Outlook, such as Outlook 2010, 2013, or 2016.
  2. Wherever you’re prompted for your password, paste the app password in the box. For example, if you’ve already added your account to Outlook, when prompted paste the app password here:Paste your app password in the Password box.
  3. Or, if you’re adding your Office 365 account to Outlook, enter your app password here:Enter your app password in both Password boxes.
  4. Restart Outlook.

Tip: You can have more than one app password for your Office 365 account, for example, if you want one for Outlook and another for a different application. To generate another app password, see Create an app password.

How to prevent Windows 10 from using all your bandwidth

How Windows 10 can steal all the bandwidth during updates, and how to change this settings

Windows 10 has introduced many new features for its users. With the new version of Windows, users do not need to download drivers anymore. The reason is that it does everything automatically over the internet. Indeed, as soon as Windows 10 has an internet connection available, it start downloading all it needs to work properly.

Another interesting feature introduced by Windows 10 is the Peer-to-peer P2P file sharing function for updates. Windows 10 automatically shares Windows update files through the Internet and the local Network. Now, this functionality is very useful and it saves time. However, while it doesn’t create any issue in the local Network, it can become disastrous for users using a limited bandwidth internet plan.

Windows 10 using bandwidth P2P updates

Luckily, the user has the possibility to disable this feature or to limit it to only the local Network. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options. From here, go to “Choose how updates are delivered”. Here you will find the option to “turn off the p2p transfer entirely” or just “limit the p2p transfer to PCs on your local network”.

Windows 10 using bandwidth P2P updates

Click on Update & security

Windows 10 using bandwidth P2P updates

Click on Advanced Options

Windows 10 using bandwidth P2P updates

Choose how updates are delivered

Windows 10 using bandwidth P2P updates

Select the option you prefer

This new feature is a very smart idea. But on the other side, it can create big bandwidth problems as well as make the computer vulnerable to hacking attempts. A good practice from Microsoft might be to notify users about this new feature, and let them decide if they want to share data or they prefer to turn the functionality off.

High Performance with pfSense Caching Server

A caching server will greatly improve the internet performance of business networks where many users visit similar web pages.

With the release of pfSense version 2.1 comes a squid package with reporting and web filtering. We have been testing our own prototype build and there is a big internet performance increase.

We will be deploying our custom build pfSense Caching Server to our customers in Brisbane soon.

Watchguard’s new Fireware XTM v11.8 Operating System

Watchguard has released a new Firewire XTM Operating System now in version 11.8. Earlier this week, we installed the new firmware to a couple of customers around Springwood and it fixed a couple of issues pertaining to Proxies and VPN.

In addition, the new firmware introduced a new reporting tool called Watchguard Dimension. It is a dashboard on steroids with a streamlined web user interface, comprehensive graphs and reports. With this new representation of network data, Managed Service Providers can effectively analyze the problems on the customer’s network in a short amount of time.