How to enable two-factor authentication on iOS and OSX devices

The online world can be like the wild west when it comes to crime – it’s everywhere. However, there is a quick and easy way to ensure the devices you use most, your iPhones and iPads are protected and it’s through two-factor authentication. With two-factor authentication, your account can only be accessed on devices you trust since it needs two pieces of identification.

Think about two-factor authentication like your driver’s license and your passport. The most secure entities like the federal government won’t allow anyone into the country without both. It’s harder to fake or counterfeit two pieces of secure information than one.

Two-factor authentication on iOS or OSX devices  will ask for your password and the six-digit verification code that’s automatically displayed on your trusted devices. By entering the code, you’re verifying that you trust the new device. For example, if you have an iPhone and are signing into your account for the first time on a newly purchased Mac, you’ll be prompted to enter your password and the verification code that’s automatically displayed on your iPhone. Once you are signed into that device, you will never need to provide two-factor authentication again which keeps the process simple. Just last week, two-factor authentication notified me that someone was trying to sign into my account from Fresno and I successfully stopped them from using my information.

Two-factor authentication is currently available to iCloud users with at least one device that’s using iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan or later. Learn more.

You can follow these steps on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to turn on two-factor authentication.

Turn on two-factor authentication in Settings

If you’re using iOS 10.3 or later:

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > Password & Security.
  2. Tap Turn on Two-Factor Authentication.
  3. Tap Continue.

If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier:

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud.
  2. Tap your Apple ID > Password & Security.
  3. Tap Turn on Two-Factor Authentication.
  4. Tap Continue.

You might be asked to answer your Apple ID security questions.

Enter and verify your trusted phone number

Enter the phone number where you want to receive verification codes when you sign in. You can choose to receive the codes by text or phone call.

When you tap Next, Apple sends a verification code to the phone number you provided.

Enter the verification code to verify your phone number and turn on two-factor authentication.

Follow these steps on your Mac with OS X El Capitan or later:

  1. Go to Apple () menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details.
  2. Click Security.
  3. Click Turn on Two-Factor Authentication.

Some Apple IDs created in iOS 10.3 or macOS 10.12.4 and later are protected with two-factor authentication by default. In this case, you see that two-factor authentication is already turned on.

If you already use two-step verification, turn it off, then turn on two-factor authentication.

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