OKTA and Accounts

Okta is the university’s systemwide network authentication service, designed to provide more robust security tools and resources. Okta manages user accounts, passwords, authentication, Single-Sign-On (SSO), and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Here are things you need to know about the OKTA services and WSU accounts:

Accounts & Passwords

First-time WSU network users will need to create an account. Initially, you will be sent an account activation email to whichever non-WSU account email address you gave on your Hires paperwork (or account request form). This email contains your network identification (NID) and a temporary password. You must follow the activation instructions within the allotted time period. If you fail to do so, you will be required to request another activation email from crimsonservicedesk@wsu.edu.

When you activate your account using your temporary password you will be prompted to reset your password. All passwords must be at least 9 characters long and contain at least one capital letter, at least one special character, and at least one number. Please note that you will be required to reset your password every 120 days. You will receive an email from Okta (example email) reminding you when it gets close to the expiration time. Putting a reminder on your calendar is a good idea, especially if your travel a lot. If you fail to reset your password before it expires you will be locked out.

Alternatively, if you do not have an email account to receive the activation request, you can call the Crimson Service Desk at 509-335-4357 or 1-800-608-3839 and obtain your network ID and temporary password. You will need your WSU ID#, date of birth and last 4 digits of your social security number for the call. You will then use a computer to complete the activation process by logging into account.wsu.edu as soon as possible.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Once you have completed the password setup steps you will need to set up your Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). This is an added security process used whenever you seek access to more secure areas within the WSU Network, such as personnel information, budgeting information, and student-related records. It is not used when you log into your computer or email account.

When setting up MFA you must choose at least two options from the following:

  • Okta Verify Mobile App – two options include a code that changes every 60 seconds, or a Push method, to approve authentication. The Okta App is available both for Apple and Android devices.
  • Google Authentication Mobile App – a new code generates every 60 seconds,
  • SMS – a text code will be sent to the user’s configured mobile device.
  • Voice call – an automated message providing a 5-digit code will be delivered to the user’s configured telephone (Home, mobile, or desk).
  • U2F Security Key – this device, similar to a flash drive, inserts into a USB port. When activated, it sends a verification code to Okta.  Note: this option does not work with the Safari browser. Chrome or Firefox is preferred.

At times when MFA is required to access certain areas of the WSU network, you will be able to select which of your choices you want to use for that occasion, i.e., whichever is most convenient at the time.

Changing or adding to your OKTA verification settings

If you later decide that you need to add or change your settings you can do that by going to account.wsu.edu and logging in. You will need to click on the Edit Profile button at top right and verify your password. This will take you to where you can edit your profile settings and locate the “Extra Verification” box.

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