Apple To Force Users To Two Factor Authentication & Away From Two Step Verification

Later this year when iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra hits the streets, you may notice one significant change the second you install those operating systems. You will likely be moved away from Two Step Verification and be forced to use the more secure Two Factor Authentication. This surfaced in the World Wide Developer conference this past week and is documented here.

Now you’re likely wondering what the difference is. I’ll quote the article that I linked to for the key differences:

There are a couple of differences between Apple’s two-step verification and its 2FA system. The main difference is that with the older service, users are given a recovery key that they need to keep in case they have to reset their password. That’s not required for 2FA.

“Because your password alone is no longer enough to access your account, two-factor authentication dramatically improves the security of your Apple ID and all the personal information you store with Apple,” the company’s explanation says.

“Once signed in, you won’t be asked for a verification code on that device again unless you sign out completely, erase the device, or need to change your password for security reasons. When you sign in on the web, you can choose to trust your browser, so you won’t be asked for a verification code the next time you sign in from that computer.”

So, how do you know which one you have? If you log into an Apple service, say iCloud for example, and you get a notification or text message with a code for you to enter, you have Two Step Verification. If however you get a pop up informing you that someone from a specific location is trying to access an Apple service with your Apple ID, then you have Two Factor Authentication. You want to be on the latter. But if you’re on the former, here’s how you can switch over now. First you need to turn off Two Step Verification:

  1. Go to applied.apple.com
  2. Type in your Apple ID and password and log in.
  3. Click Edit at the far-right of the Security section.
  4. Click on Turn off two-step verification.

Now turning on Two Factor Authentication is a bit more involved. Apple has a very good guide that will walk you through the process. Even though you’ll be automatically upgraded to Two Factor Authentication when you install iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, I’d upgrade now to ensure that you are as secure as possible with your existing operating systems on your whatever Apple devices that you have.

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