Yesterday, a Strategy Analytics report came out that showed iCloud as the top cloud media service in the US. People use it to store things like music and videos, but they also use it to store more personal stuff like contacts, photos and other data.
So you can see why users were relieved to hear that Apple beefed up its account security yesterday by adding a new two-step verification option. And for those having trouble getting it setup, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow 6-step tutorial…
First you might be wondering why you would want to setup two-step verification. And the answer is pretty simple: to make your Apple ID more secure. As it stands now, if someone got ahold of your account password, they could do a lot of damage.
But with the two-step process, anytime your account is accessed from a new computer or device, you’ll be required to verify your identity by either entering in a pin code sent to one of your devices, or via a 14-digit Key before any changes can be made.
So now that we’re clear on what the two-step verification process is, let’s get started:
Step 1: open up Apple’s My Apple ID landing page (appleid.apple.com) in any compatible web browser and login using your standard iTunes/Apple credentials.
Step 2: once you’re in, you’ll want to select the Password and Security tab on the lefthand side. If you have security questions setup, you’ll have to answer them, but you should then be transferred to your Security Settings page where you’ll click the Get Started link under the Two-step Verification section.
Step 3: after clicking through a few informative prompts, you’ll likely be required to change your password. To enable two-step, Apple requires that you have a complex password that includes one capital letter, one number and at least 8 characters. (Note: if you have to change your password, you’ll be required to wait 3 days before proceeding).
Step 4: the next page should list all of your devices that have access to your iCloud account. Tapping the ‘Verify’ option next to a device will push out a 4-digit pin to it via an SMS or Find My iPhone push notification, depending on which option you select. You’ll then enter the code on the website, and repeat this process for all devices you wish to verify.
Step 5: now you’ll be given a 14-digit Recovery Key, which you must be sure to save somewhere—Apple suggests you print or write it down. You’ll be asked to confirm it on the next page. Remember that if you ever lose this key, and can’t remember your password, it’s very possible that you could be locked out of your account forever.
Step 6: finally, you’ll be asked to confirm that you’ve read and understand the conditions—and risks— of the two-step process. Once you’ve checked the ‘I understand’ box, you can click on ‘Enable Two-Step Verification.’ You’ll then get a confirmation screen saying that it’s been enabled, and the setup process is complete!
Now, I know all of this sounds like a pain. But honestly, it’s not too bad. And with the recent uptick in hacking, and the newly discovered security hole that allows people to reset your Apple ID password, we probably need as much security as we can get.