Cyber security is an ever increasing challenge that we face on a daily basis with growing concern. Not a week goes by that when we don’t hear about a new hack, or virus, or commercial security breach that exposes are most important personal data. Data that criminals use to steal from us for there own selfish gains. We might never ever truly be completely safe and secure. However, there are steps that we can take to, at the very least, make our own data harder to obtain.
One of the steps we can take is two implement two-step verification of our Apple ID. We use our Apple ID to sign into iCloud and the App Store and the Mac App store, so by taking this extra step we can provide added security to the majority of the Apple services we use most often. Two-step verification is achieved by entering our password to verify our account on one of our additional Apple devices. Now, even if someone has your password, they would still need to go through the extra step up verifying your identity on one of your other known devices.
To set-up two-step verification, you first need to visit your Apple ID Homepage, and sign in with your username and password to manage your Apple ID. Next, select “Manage your security settings” and click on Get started. Select Password and Security from the side-bar menu on the left. Enter your security questions and go to the Two-Step verification section and select Get Started and follow the onscreen instructions.
Now you need to finish the two-step verification by registering one of your other “trusted devices” that will later be used to receive a verification code. This code, which is different each time, will then be used on a secondary device to verify your identity. Now each time you need to manage any service that uses your Apple ID, like making iTunes purchases or signing into iCloud you will need to to enter both your Apple ID password and the secondary code that Apple sends to your “trusted device.”
Some things for you to seriously consider before enabling two-step verification…
- Every time you use your Apple ID you will need two out the following three options–your password, a trusted secondary device and/or your 14-character Recovery Key.
- If you ever forget your password, Apple will not be able to reset it–you will need your recovery key AND a trusted device to reset it.
- If you create App-specific passwords you will be required to use iCloud with any 3rd party mail, contacts or calendar apps.
- After enabled, the only way to make changes to your account will be to sign in with two-step verification.
- You are the only one capable of resetting your password
Interestingly enough, when I went through the process to set-up my account for two-step verification, I was first emailed by Apple to alert me that I had indeed attempted to set-up the verification process in the first place, with additional instructions on what to do if I hadn’t been the one to initiate the process. Then, I was informed that I have to wait three days before the process will be enabled.
I understand the thinking process here, but I was still taken a little bit off-guard that I couldn’t complete the process I had just started. On a positive note–if you ever lose or forget your 14-character recovery key you can always create a new one on your Apple ID Homepage. Simply sign in with your Username and Password, go to manage your Apple ID & password again, and select Replace Lost key. Once you have a new key, your old one will no longer be viable. Are you planning on setting up your account for two-step verification, or is this just too much trouble for what’s’s worth for you? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.