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Why two-factor authentication is crucial for your Apple ID, and how to use it

In the ever changing world of technology, security should be your utmost concern. You have passwords that help to secure a vast majority of your online accounts. But to get the most out of your security, Two-Factor Authentication (TFA) is a great way to truly protect your information.

Apple ID’s TFA, if used properly, is a simple and easy way to guarantee that only you will ever have access your Apple ID account.

If you’ve ever had a bad experience with TFA, then we urge you to keep reading and properly understand the process and the benefits of TFA. All you need is your Apple ID, an Apple device (the more the better) and a phone number. The Apple devices that are designed to use TFA are an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch with iOS 9 and later, or Mac with OS X El Capitan and later.

Tip within a tip: Wondering why TFA is critical for protecting your device? Click here for six common security issues every smartphone user needs to be aware of.

The trusted phone number can be from your iPhone or a landline; however, it is imperative that you have access to this phone number. So if you are going to change your phone number anytime soon, make sure your new number becomes your trusted phone number.

How it works

If you, or anyone for that matter, want access to your account you’ll need three things: Your Apple ID, your password and access to one of your devices. If you do not have access to all three, you cannot get access to the Apple ID.

This is perfect because you know what your Apple ID is, and you should be the only one who knows your password (the longer the better – click here for password mistakes you need to avoid). You are also the only one with the device in hand, thus it becomes impossible for anyone else to gain access to your account.

When you sign into a new device for the first time a prompt will appear on your trusted device followed by a temporary code. You don’t need to write this code down. Simply type the numbers from your trusted device onto the new device, and you’re in.

If you do not receive a code for whatever reason, don’t worry. Simply hit “didn’t get code” on the sign in screen and then you can text or call your trusted phone number to receive a code. If you’re on a web browser, one last prompt may appear asking if you want to trust the new device. By selecting “trust” you will then no longer need any codes when signing into that browser again.

It is important to take note that these “verification codes” that you are receiving are different from a passcode to get into your devices. This verification code is a one-time code that will not matter anymore after you’ve used it.

Remember, to properly use TFA you need to:

  • Remember your Apple ID password.
  • Use a device passcode on all your devices.
  • Keep your trusted phone number(s) up to date.
  • Keep your Apple devices physically secure.

With those things in mind, you should never have any issues gaining access to your account again. If you forget your password then TFA actually helps to reset it. On your Apple device, go to Settings >> [your name].

If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings >> iCloud >> tap your Apple ID. Then tap password and security, and tap change password. Or you can go to iforgot.apple.com and reset it there. Just make sure that when you are choosing how to reset your password, choose “reset from trusted device.”

As readers of Komando.com, we want you to feel safe and secure. If you have Apple products and an Apple ID, then this is the absolute best way to protect your information. For more information on TFA for Apple ID, click here to visit Apple’s support page. If you are on the fence about it or if you have it and want to know more, then we hope we helped you to understand what TFA is and how it benefits you.

More tips from Komando.com

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Apple trick: Use Siri without pressing the iPhone’s home button

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