Most people use their Apple ID account not only to house their iCloud contacts, photos, calendars, and other data, but to purchase content from iTunes and the App Store. That means that anyone who gets ahold of your account or manages to change your password could have access to your personal information and credit card information. If you want to increase the security of your Apple ID, you can use two-step verification to add a second layer of protection.
Note: In order to enable two-step verification, you must have a current password that meets Apple's minimum standards of 8 characters complete with at least 1 number and 1 capital letter. If you have to change your current password in order to meet this standard, you'll have a short waiting period before you can enable two-step verification.
Here's how to set it up:
- Open the Manage Your Apple ID page in another browser window - Link here
- Now click on Manage your Apple ID.
- Enter your login information in order to log in. If you've enabled login security questions, answer those in order to continue.
- Once you're logged in, choose the Password and Security option in the left hand navigation bar.
- The first option will now be for two-step verification. Click on the blue link labeled Get started...
- You'll now see an explanation of what two-step verification is and what it does. Click on Continue after you've read everything on the screen. You'll have a few more prompts explaining what two-security does and does not do as well as some warnings about if you forget your password. Read them all and continue on through.
- Once you get to the first step, you'll see a list of the devices that currently have access to your iCloud account. Tap on the Verify option next to the device that you'd like to verify.
- Check your device for a four digit verification code.
- Enter this number in your computer and you'll notice that device is now verified. Repeat this process for any and all devices in your account that you'd like to verify. You may also had a number for SMS recovery as well.
- Now you will be given a recovery key that you'll need to save in a safe place in case you ever forgot your password or don't have your verified device. We'd suggest printing it out and saving it somewhere secure. You will need it for the next step so please remember to save it before continuing.
- You'll now be asked to confirm the recovery key from the previous step to ensure that you've printed it or written it down.
- Finally, agree to the terms and conditions of two-step verification by reading and checking the box confirming that you agree.
- Lastly, click the Enable two-step verification button.
- You'll now receive a confirmation screen that two-step verification has been enabled.
- You can also confirm this by checking the Privacy and Security page and double checking that it shows two-step verification is enabled.
That's it. Two-step verification is now set up and your iCloud account will no longer ask for secret questions but require you to reset passwords from a trusted device in the future.
What if I have multiple Apple ID's?
If you have multiple Apple IDs, for example, if you have a separate iCloud login from your iTunes login, you can still set up two-step verification for both. You can do this by verifying an SMS only device on the second ID. Apple recommends having more than one verified device or SMS number so you may also use a close family or friend's SMS number in case you need to use it. And as always, you can always use your recovery key if all else fails.