Two-step Apple ID authentication launches in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Spain

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Following a flurry of reports which criticized various security holes allowing hackers to break into people’s Apple ID accounts, Apple in March of 2013 finally stepped up account security by rolling out two-step verification for Apple IDs in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.

Two months later, the feature launched in nearly a dozen additional countries: Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland and Russia.

And now, as part of the third wave of expansion, the firm is enabling stronger account security for Apple ID users located in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Spain…

Jornda Kahn of 9to5Mac was able to confirm that two-step Apple ID verification is now available to customers in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Spain.

At press time, Apple’s FAQ listed the following countries supporting the feature: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.

Customers in these countries can use SMS through local carriers to receive text messages that provide the temporary verification codes to verify their identity, according to another Apple support document.

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Two-step verification replaces account security questions with verification codes that get pushed to your authorized iOS devices. These codes are required not only to log in to the Apple ID web interface, but before changing your account password, personal information and other sensitive data.

To learn how to make your Apple ID account more secure by enabling two-step verification, check out our handy how-to.

After enabling the feature, logging in to your account will require providing something you know (your Apple ID username and password) and something you own (verification codes sent to your SMS-capable number or pushed as alerts to your iOS devices).

Keep in mind that Apple can’t reset your password once two-step verification is enabled on your account. You will also receive the Apple ID Recovery Key should you happen to forget your account password.

I strongly suggest turning on two-step verification.

Is your Apple ID account secure?

Has two-step verification become available in your country?