Back in September last year, Apple introduced two-factor authentication for iCloud, and now it’s available for iMessage and FaceTime. Here’s how to enable it for these two services.
Apple recently expanded the ability to secure your iCloud account further by enabling two-factor authentication for iCloud backups, allowing users to secure their iPhone and iPad backups with more than just a regular password. If you still haven’t enabled two-factor authentication for iCloud, now is a great time to do so.
After the celebrity photo leaks last year that apparently were hacked into from the celebs’ iCloud accounts, more and more users are beginning to second-guess the security of their own iCloud accounts, and one way to make it even more secure over a normal password is to enable two-factor authentication.
We’ll explain what two-factor authentication is and how you can enable it on your iMessage and FaceTime accounts to make it even more secure.
What Is Two-Factor Authentication?
Before you enable such a feature, you need to know how it works first.
Two-factor authentication is a relatively new-ish way of securing your various web accounts using more than just a regular password. Instead, two-factor authentication requires a normal password, as well as a verification code that’s sent to a trusted device that you own, such as your smartphone. You need these two things in order to sign into an account that has two-factor authentication enabled.
This is a far more secure way to go, seeing as how any hacker who wanted to access your web account would need your smartphone as well, since they would need the verification code that would be sent to it. This would be a bit difficult for hackers to accomplish, as they would also have to steal your smartphone somehow.
Luckily, Apple has two-factor authentication available for your iCloud account, as well as iMessage and FaceTime and there’s no better time to set it up than right now.
Two-Factor Authentication for iMessage & FaceTime
Once you’re logged in, click on Password and Security on the left-hand sidebar. You’ll have to answer some security questions first before you can access this section. The questions are those that you set up yourself when you signed up for an Apple ID.
Once you correctly answer your security questions, you’ll finally be on a page where you can begin setting up two-factor authentication, which Apple calls “Two-Step Verification,” since there are a few different names for the feature.
Go ahead and click on Get Started and you’ll be given a brief introduction into what two-factor authentication is and how it works. During this introduction, you can still back out at any time if it’s something that you don’t think you’ll be interested in using, but if you still want to set it up, simply keep hitting Continue.
This is where you’ll hit a temporary road block. For added security, Apple won’t let you enable two-factor authentication until three days have passed. It may seem kind of weird, but it’s a method to prevent quick and dirty hacks from happening. So once you decide that you want to enable the feature, you’ll have to wait three days.
Once that time elapses, though, go back and follow the previous steps by logging into your Apple ID account and click Get Started under the Two-Step Verification block that’s in the Password and Security section.
The first step is to add a phone number that can receive SMS text messages. This number doesn’t have to be your iPhone’s number, as it can also be a trusted friend’s number or a number from another phone that you own and use. You’ll then receive a verification code via text message that you’ll enter in on the website. Once you enter it in, your phone number will be successfully added.
Furthermore, you can also have any of your iOS devices be used to confirm your identity. Just click on Verify next to the device and you’ll again receive a verification code that you’ll enter in on the website. It’s important to note that only iOS devices that have Find My iPhone enabled with your Apple ID are allowed to be used as trusted devices with two-factor authentication.
Once you’ve added a phone number and verified all of your iOS devices that you want verified, click Continue to move on to the next phase of the setup.
The next thing you’ll do is print out or write down the provided Recovery Key. Once you do either option, you’ll then be asked to type it in again to confirm to Apple that you have a copy of it. Click Confirm to go to the next step.
The last thing you’ll need to do before you enable two-factor authentication is to agree with the conditions, which are essentially what you’ll be dealing with when you enable the service. Put a checkmark next to I understand the conditions above and then click Enable two-step Verification.
The next screen confirms that you enabled the feature. Simply click Done to finish the process and exit the setup.