Common problems

Netlink ID common problems

I forgot my passphrase

If you have forgotten your passphrase, you can reset it online. You will be asked for some personal information including your NetLink ID and V Number.

I want to change my passphrase

If you know your passphrase, you can change it at any time online.

My account has been deactivated. How do I reactivate it?

If you can't access your account because it has been locked or deactivated, please contact the Computer Help Desk for assistance.

 

I want a different NetLink ID. How do I change it?

We ask that you are selective when choosing your NetLink ID as currently you are unable to change it. If you feel you have a special case for consideration, please contact the Computer Help Desk to find alternative solutions. Note that if the change is not the result of a legal name change, there may be a charge for the service.

 

What is a passphrase?

A passphrase is a series of words or text used to access UVic systems such as Online Tools or Brightspace, along with your NetLink ID. A passphrase is used similarly to a password, but is generally longer for added security.

Your NetLink passphrase must be between 12 and 128 characters long and can contain the following characters:

  • lowercase letters
  • uppercase letters
  • digits
  • spaces
  • these special characters: !"#$%&'()*+,-./:;<=>?@[\]^_`{|}~

The passphrase will also be validated against known data breaches from Have I been Pwned.

Learn more about passphrase requirements and tips

I need a NetLink ID, but I'm not a student or employee

If you need access to UVic electronic resources, but are outside the UVic community, a sponsor can apply for you to get an external affiliate identity. Examples of external affiliates are:

  • Guest researchers
  • Visiting lecturers
  • Staff paid on a contract basis
  • Visiting students

Learn more about how to get an affiliate identity

What is my V Number?

Your V Number is the identifier UVic provides you when you first join. Since 2007 - everyone connected with UVic is issued a V Number.

  • Undergraduate students will have received their V Number when they were accepted into UVic. You can find your V Number on your student card or in your application confirmation email. Contact the Office of the Registrar for assistance.
  • Graduate students will have received their V Number when they were accepted into UVic. You can find your V Number on your student card or in your application confirmation email. Contact the Graduate Admissions and Records Office for assistance.
  • Continuing Studies students will have received their V Number on their registration receipt. Contact Continuing Studies for assistance.
  • Faculty and staff (current and former) will have received their V Number upon becoming an employee. Contact Payroll for assistance.
  • Former students and alumni will have the same V Number as when they were a student or will have been assigned one in 2008. Contact Office of the Registrar for assistance.
  • Affiliates will have received their V Number from their UVic sponsors. Contact your sponsor for assistance.

What will the university do with my email/phone/address?

The University of Victoria is committed to treating personal information in accordance with FIPPA and the university's privacy policy. The collection of personal information by the University of Victoria is in accordance with section 26 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the University Act.

The university uses the personal information for the purposes of providing educational and related services. For a detailed listing of the collection purposes see Protection of Privacy Policy: Schedule A, Procedures for the Management of Personal Information on the University Secretary's website.

Should you have any questions concerning your personal information please contact the access and privacy office at privacyinfo@uvic.ca.

Am I eligible for a NetLink ID and how do I get one?

To get a NetLink ID, you must have a V Number, which can be assigned to you through many means (see 'What is my V Number?') If you know your V Number, you can get your NetLink ID.

You are eligible for a NetLink ID if you are a:

  • applicant who has submitted their application to UVic
  • current undergraduate or graduate student
  • continuing studies student
  • faculty or staff member
  • former student or alumni
  • affiliate with a UVic sponsor

The passphrase reset form didn't work for me - what can I do?

If you are unable to change or reset your passphrase, you can contact the Computer Help Desk for assistance:

UVic MFA common questions

How do I sign up for UVic MFA?

Step 1: Install Duo Mobile on your mobile device

  • From your mobile device, download the Duo Mobile app for iOS or Android. A supported mobile device is required to enrol in UVic MFA. If you're unsure about your phone's compability, please see Duo's support information for Android and iOS devices.
  • Once the app is installed, you're ready to activate UVic MFA on your NetLink ID.

Step 2: Enroll your mobile device

Warning: if you do not complete this step, you may be locked out of your NetLink ID. Contact the Computer Help Desk for assistance.

  • From a web browser, navigate to your account security settings in your Online tools profile and click on Manage multi-factor authentication.

  • Confirm you're ready to enroll in UVic MFA, then click Enable Duo.

  • Follow the steps to enroll your first device. If you have more than one mobile device — like a phone and a tablet — we recommend adding both in case you're unable to access one of them.

 duo security widget in online tools

 

 

Does UVic MFA cost anything?

There is no cost to enroll in MFA at UVic. The Duo Mobile app is free to download and use to receive push notifications for UVic services. Duo Hardware tokens do have an associated cost; more information about hardware tokens can be found below.

 

Can I enroll more than one device?

Yes, you can! We recommend enrolling more than one device in case you lose access to your primary one or don't have it with you. 

You can add another device through the Manage multi-factor authentication page in the account security settings in your Online tools profile profile under the "I want to manage my devices" option.

 screenshot of the Duo security widget in online tools

 

When do I use UVic MFA?

Once you've enrolled in UVic MFA you'll receive Duo authentication prompts whenever you login to protected UVic-authenticated services. After you login with your NetLink ID & passphrase you'll see an additional security prompt for Duo Push or your hardware token passcode.

screenshot of the duo mobile app push notification

 

What if I get a Duo Push that I didn't expect?

If you receive a Duo Push notification that you did not generate, someone may be attempting unauthorized access to your account. Deny the push notification, and when asked ‘Was this a suspicious login?’ select Yes.


We recommend changing your NetLink ID passphrase immediately, and contact the Computer Help Desk for assistance.


For more information about Duo Push notifications, check out the UVic MFA: Approve or Deny video.

What are bypass codes and how do I generate them?

Users can generate 10 single-use codes that enable them to login if their mobile device is unavailable. We recommend generating bypass codes as soon as possible because they cannot be generated after a device is reported lost or stolen. Print out or write down bypass codes and store them in a safe place. If you use a password manager application you can store the codes within it.

Codes can be generated through the Manage multi-factor authentication page in the account security settings in your Online tools profile profile under the "I want to manage my bypass codes" option.

 

What happens if I lose my phone?

If you have a secondary device registered — such as a tablet, hardware token or security key — you can still use that device to access your account.

If you do not have a secondary device — and do not have a new phone with the same phone number — you will need a bypass code to access your account.

 If you do not have a second device or bypass codes, contact the Computer Help Desk.

What happens if I get a new phone or factory reset my device?

If your phone number is the same, you can use Device Reactivation to activate the new phone. You can access this feature through the Manage multi-factor authentication page in the account security settings in your Online tools profile under the "I want to manage my devices" option.

If your phone number has changed, and you do not have a secondary device with which to receive UVic MFA push notifications, you will need a bypass code to register the new phone.

 

What mobile devices are compatible with UVic MFA?

The Duo Mobile app is available for Android and iOS. Duo Mobile also works with Apple Watch and Touch ID on some MacBooks. Hardware tokens can be used in addition to, or instead of, the Duo Mobile app.

If you're unsure about your phone's compability, please see Duo's support information for Android and iOS devices.

 

I don't have a compatible mobile device. Can I still use Duo?

We recommend using a mobile phone with the Duo Mobile App if at all possible because the login experience is much easier and faster. However, a Duo Hardware Token can be enrolled with UVic MFA and is available to use as a second factor device if that is preferred over using your mobile phone.

Students can purchase a Duo Hardware Token from the UVic Bookstore.

Employees can obtain a Duo Hardware Token using a request form.

For more information about the Duo Hardware Tokens see Duo support article: Using Duo with a hardware token

What happens if I lose my hardware token?

If you lose your hardware token, you will need to use the Duo Mobile app or bypass code to access your account in order to remove the lost token from Duo. 

If you do not have another method of accessing your account, contact the Computer Help Desk to report the lost token and to receive a temporary bypass code.

 

What happens if my hardware token isn't working?

Hardware tokens can become un-sycned from the UVic MFA service if the button is pressed too often (20+ times) without being used for authentication. You can re-sync your token through the Manage multi-factor authentication page in the account security settings in your Online tools profile under the "I want to manage my devices" option. You will need another enrolled device or bypass code to change any settings.

If you do not have access to a secondary device or bypass code, contact the Computer Help Desk

 

Hardware tokens may also experience issues if the battery is failing or it has been damaged. If re-syncing your hardware token does not resolve the problem, contact the Computer Help Desk

Should I take any precautions regarding the security of my Duo-enrolled mobile device?

Yes. Using a device for two-step login comes with the obligation to take reasonable precautions to protect it. Such precautions normally include the use of a password or a PIN to unlock the phone, as well as keeping your device current and apps up-to-date. 

 

Can I use a third-party authentication service or hardware token?

No, you cannot. UVic MFA is configured for use with Duo Mobile and UVic-issued hardware tokens.

You can use the Duo Mobile app for authentication for non-UVic services, but cannot use third-party applications to replace Duo Mobile at UVic.

 

Does my computer need Duo software too?

No, your computer doesn't need any additional software or configuration to work with UVic MFA . If you login to any online resources protected by UVic MFA you'll see the prompt notification in your web browser window.

You don't need UVic MFA authentication to login to UVic computers or wireless internet.

 

What should I do if I'm not receiving Duo push notifications?

Open the Duo Mobile app and the push notification should be waiting there. 

You can read more about troubleshooting push notification issues for iOS and Android.

 

Will deleting the Duo app stop UVic MFA on my account?

No. Deleting the Duo app will not unenroll you from Duo. You will be locked out of your NetLink ID if you delete the app without a secondary device attached to your account. Reinstalling the Duo app will not grant access until it is re-registered to your account.

If you have a second device or bypass codes, you can re-register your device through the Manage multi-factor authentication page in the account security settings in your Online tools profile under the "I want to manage my devices" option.

If you've deleted the app and do not have a secondary method to access UVic MFA, contact the Computer Help Desk.

 

How do I unenroll from UVic MFA?

To keep your account secure and prevent unauthorized access, we recommend you keep UVic MFA enabled. If you feel you have a case for an exception, please contact the Computer Help Desk.

 

What happens when I graduate or leave UVic?

Only those with active university affiliations will be eligible for UVic MFA. When you graduate or leave UVic, your Duo account will be disabled and you will no longer be prompted for UVic MFA upon login to UVic services.

 

What happens when I'm travelling?

Your Duo Mobile app will continue to function provided you have an internet connection.

If your phone loses internet and you need to access your account, you can generate a one-time six-digit code by clicking on “University of Victoria” in the Duo Mobile app and entering it into the UVic MFA prompt upon login.

 

What happens if I change to a different SIM card in my phone?

Changing your SIM card will not impact your Duo Mobile use because the app is tied to the device's hardware security module (HSM). You will still be able to authenticate UVic services using your phone with Duo Mobile.

 


Additional information

Our commitment to your security and privacy

  • We maintain strict control over who can access your personal information
  • We help keep your personal information safe if your identity information is lost or stolen
  • We collect only personal information for the services you need access to

Signing in and your privacy

Your NetLink ID is your online identification at the University of Victoria. NetLink IDs can be used to access the computing services and applications which use the Sign in Service. Signing into UVic means you just need to enter your NetLink username and password once for most services on campus.

Protect your NetLink ID username and passphrase
Remember to sign out!

It is your responsibility to protect your account by ensuring you are signed out before leaving your computer.

Policies and guidelines

By signing in you will be authorized to access your applications and websites that use the Sign in to UVic service. Use is subject to but not limited to the following policies and guidelines:

For further information, see the listing of University Policies.