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U.S. Department of Agriculture

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What are the minimum technology requirements required for Two-Factor Authentication?

The minimum technology requirements for using two-factor authentication is either of the following:

  1. A device capable of receiving text messages.
  2. A device capable of running an authentication application.

How do I validate my email address and establish two-factor authentication?

  1. Visit the NFC Home page and select the My EPP icon from the application launch pad.
  2. View/read the warning page and select "I agree" to access the My EPP log in page.

If you use eAuthentication to log into My EPP:

  1. Select the eAuth log in button. You will be redirected to the eAuthentication Log In page. You may be prompted to select your Agency before being prompted to sign in to eAuth. PIV is required for all eAuth-enabled Agencies, but you may still have the capability to log in with your username and password.
  2. Once logged in, you will be prompted to create a user ID and password.
    Screenshot of creating a user ID and password.
  3. After establishing your user ID and password, you will be prompted to enter or edit your work email address. If you do not have a work email address, please select "I Don’t Have a Work Email Address."
    Screenshot of the Enter Your Work Email Address page.
  4. You will receive an email via your work email address that contains a verification code. Enter the verification code into My EPP.
    Screenshot of the email message you will receive to verify the email address you entered into EPP is correct.
    Screenshot of entering in the validation code to validate your work email address.
  5. After verifying your work email address, you will be prompted to enter your personal email address.
    Screenshot of the Enter Your Personal Email Address page.
  6. You will receive an email via your personal email address that contains a verification code. Enter the verification code into My EPP.
    Screenshot of the email message you will receive to verify the email address you entered into EPP is correct.
    Screenshot of entering in the validation code to validate your personal email address.
  7. After establishing your personal email address, you will be prompted to choose a two-step authentication option. At this point, the employee has two options to choose from for the second factor of their two-step authentication.
    Screenshot of the selection screen for the method of two-factor authentication.

If you use a user ID and password to log into My EPP:

  1. Enter your user ID and password and select the log in button.
  2. Once logged in, you will be prompted to create a user ID and password (if you are a new user).
    Screenshot of creating a user ID and password.
  3. After establishing your user ID and password, you will be prompted to enter or edit your work email address. If you do not have a work email address, please select "I Don’t Have a Work Email Address."
    Screenshot of the Enter Your Work Email Address page.
  4. You will receive an email via your work email address that contains a verification code. Enter the verification code into My EPP.
    Screenshot of the email message you will receive to verify the email address you entered into EPP is correct.
    Screenshot of entering in the validation code to validate your work email address.
  5. After verifying your work email address, you will be prompted to enter your personal email address.
    Screenshot of the Enter Your Personal Email Address page.
  6. You will receive an email via your personal email address that contains a verification code. Enter the verification code into My EPP.
    Screenshot of the email message you will receive to verify the email address you entered into EPP is correct.
    Screenshot of entering in the validation code to validate your personal email address.
  7. After establishing your personal email address, you will be prompted to choose a two-step authentication option. At this point, the employee has two options to choose from for the second factor of their two-step authentication.
    Screenshot of the two-factor authentication option screen.

Text Message (SMS) Authentication Option

  1. If you choose the Text Message (SMS) option, you will be prompted to enter your phone number and select submit.
    Screenshot of the selection screen for the method of two-factor authentication.
  2. You will receive a verification code via text message on your phone. Enter the verification code into My EPP.
    Screenshot of the QR code and verification code for use with an authentication application.
  3. After establishing your phone number, you will receive a text message confirming that two-factor authentication has been enabled for My EPP and you will then be logged into the My EPP application.

Authentication Application Option

  1. If you choose authentication application, you will be shown a text-based verification code and a QR code.
    Screenshot of the two-factor authentication option screen.
  2. You can choose to enter the text-based verification code OR scan the QR code with your phone via the app.
    Screenshot of entering in the validation code to validate your personal email address.
  3. Once you have verified through the authentication application you will then be logged into My EPP.

How do I change my two-factor authentication options (phone number or email)?

  1. Visit the NFC Home page and select the My EPP icon from the application launch pad.
  2. View/read the warning page and select "I agree" to access the My EPP log in page.
  3. Log in to My EPP with either your user ID and password or via eAuthentication.
  4. Select the Preferences menu option and a drop-down menu will appear. Select the Change Two-Step Authentication menu option.
  5. Select Reset Security and follow the prompts to change your old authentication settings. You will be prompted to enter the verification code sent to your “verified” work email address (this is the work email address that was verified when you logged in and set up two-step authentication), your personal email address, or the telephone number associated with your two-step authentication.
  6. You will be prompted to choose a new two-step authentication option. The prompts will then follow the same process as the first-time setup.

What if I do not have the use of SMS text message?

As an alternative method to receiving a verification code via SMS text messaging, you may also utilize an authentication application.

Note: Please be aware of the following in regards to using any authentication application:

I can get an SMS text message, but I am still having problems.

Is there an alternate way to authenticate via e-Auth?

Yes, NCC can set employees to eAuthentication only if the employee works for USDA, DoJ, or DHS; upon direction of an authorized Agency point of contact.

I established two-factor authentication and don't remember what information I used. Can you reset it for me?

Yes. NCC can reset the entire two-factor setup of a given employee with direction from an authorized Agency point of contact only.

Why is NFC not allowing the use of email for the second factor authentication?

The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has mandated that the two-factor authentication process is in accordance with NIST standards as a means of strengthening NFC's security posture. OCIO set forth guidelines for implementation and the use of email was restricted.

If an employee is unable to navigate the two-factor authentication process, how can they obtain their information from My EPP?

The employee must contact their HR Office.

How do I contact NCC for assistance?

You may contact NCC for assistance at 1-855-NFC4GOV (1-855-632-4468), from the hours of 6:30 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time, Monday through Friday (except for Federal holidays). Please be advised that you may experience extended hold times.

Last Updated / Reviewed: October 09, 2020