Apple ID: How to activate two-step verification and other tips.
Despite the monumental scandal that was set up last year with the leaks of intimate photos of celebrities, there are still many people who do not have activated the two-step verification on your Apple account. And today I realized by chance that I don’t have it activated either! If you are also part of this group of slackers, lazy people and simply uninformed that we have gone from activating this security method, take a few minutes of your precious time to complete these simple steps to protect your data of hackers and friends of the alien.
What is two-step verification and what is it for?
Two-Step Verification is a method that verifies your identity in two ways: a key you must remember (in this case the password of your Apple ID) and a physical device that only you can have (for example your iPhone or your iPad). If someone knows your password but does not have your mobile, they will not be able to access it. If someone steals your mobile but does not know the password, they will not be able to access it either. It is something similar to an ATM, where you need to identify yourself with an object that only you have (the card) and a password (the PIN). Jennifer Lawrence would have liked it if Apple had launched this powerful option before her photos were stolen.
How does it work
Every time you want to access your Apple ID or change something in your account you will have to enter a verification code that will be sent to one of your trusted devices (usually your own mobile). The same will happen if you want to access an associated service such as iCloud from a new device that you have never accessed before. Having the mobile at hand is something simple and fast.
Is it worth turning on two-step verification?
In my opinion yes, without a doubt. First of all, it is much more secure, since it makes it (almost) impossible for someone to access your data without your consent. Secondly, it is more practical when it comes to recovering your account if you forget the password. It is very difficult for you to lose your mobile phone and that of several close relatives. And even if you lose them, it is possible to recover the line by talking to your operator. On the other hand, I’m sick of seeing people forget the answers to the security questions they asked you several years ago when they opened their Apple ID.
If you have been convinced, this is what you have to do to activate the verification in two steps of your Apple ID:
Sign in to my Apple ID
- Click here to enter the Apple website and click on “Manage your Apple ID”. To access you will have to enter your email and Apple ID password.
- Enter the “Passwords and security” section and correctly answer two of the three security questions that you asked when opening your Apple ID (fingers crossed that you remember…).
- Look for the “Two-Step Verification” section to begin the activation process. You will see several screens informing you of the advantages and restrictions of activating two-step verification.
Add trusted phones
- Click on “Add phone number” and select your mobile phone number (it must be a line capable of receiving SMS messages).
- Now you must enter the 4-digit code that will arrive in an SMS to your mobile.
- Now the ideal thing is that you take the opportunity to add other phone numbers to your trusted devices. You can put the number of your partner, your brother, your mother… In short, numbers of trusted people that you can turn to if you need to regain control of your account for whatever. I am a bit exaggerated (I am Andalusian) I have put my mobile number and three others.
Add trusted iOS devices
- In addition to adding phones from people nearby, you can also add all the iOS devices you have to your Apple ID (the Find My iPhone option must be activated to do so). Your iPad is a perfect choice, for example. To add it, you just have to scroll down on the same screen and click on “Verify” on the team you want to add. As before, a verification code will be sent to that device, although now it will be done through a pop-up window instead of SMS.
- Enter the code and that team will be verified. I have chosen almost all my teams for this. If you don’t have one on hand right now, you can add it later in the same way.
Print and save your recovery key
VERY IMPORTANT! Now you get a 14 character recovery code. This code is very important and you should keep it safe. Ideally, you should print one or more copies and keep them somewhere in your home or work. Even if you put it with a magnet on the fridge door, that will be safer than keeping it on your computer or on your mobile, accessible to the digital world (remember that this whole procedure is to protect you from hackers). I insist, do not lose this code. When you’re done turning on two-step verification just you will be able to access your account using two of these three things:
- Your Apple ID password
- A trusted device (mobiles and iOS devices you added earlier)
- your recovery key
If you add enough equipment you will always have a reliable device at hand. So the recovery key is your salvation in case you ever forget your Apple ID key. If you only have one of the three, not even Apple itself will be able to return control of your account to you. And all the computers with that Apple ID will become beautiful, super-expensive paperweights. So please write this code down on paper (or print it out if you’re really lazy) and keep it next to your life insurance or wherever you keep important papers.
Enter the recovery key
- Now you need to enter the recovery key. This makes it clear to us that you have written it down correctly.
Accept and finish
- You have already finished all the steps. Now all you have to do is accept the terrible consequences of activating two-step verification (that is, you must always have two of the three previous things on hand so that your iPhone or iPad does not become a brick) and that’s it.
How to disable two-step verification
If at any time you want to go back to the traditional system, it is very simple. You just have to enter the same Apple website and access your Apple ID. Now go to “Passwords and security” and click on “Disable two-step verification”. You will have to choose security questions again and give a recovery email. By the way, this would be a good time to write down the answers to these questions on paper.
This is all! I hope it helped you understand the benefits and features of 2-Step Verification. Although it seems long, you can do all these steps in two to three minutes. So there are no excuses for not protecting your data as it should. Although your photos are not as viral as those of Jennifer Lawrence in bed, after all they are your photos (and those of your family, children, partner…). And it will be good that no one sees them, right?
And since we are taking the opportunity to take care of the safety of our equipment, you may be interested in these articles:
- Find My iPad: How to Remotely Find, Wipe, and Lock a Lost or Stolen iPad
- How to Remotely Unlock an iCloud Locked iPad or iPhone
- How to Create and Remember Hundreds of Strong Passwords Effortlessly