iPhone two factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your Apple ID. This means that whenever a user tries to login to a particular Apple ID on an unknown or untrusted device, they must not only enter the correct Apple ID password, but also a six digit security code which is delivered to one of the trusted devices through text message. So, in order to enhance the security of your Apple ID and iCloud, it is strongly recommended that you turn on two factor authentication for your Apple ID. This security options means even if someone knows the password to your Apple ID, they will not be able to login to it unless they have physical access to one of your trusted devices.
You may assume iPhone two factor authentication is not that necessary. However, you need to think again if you believe your Apple ID contains nothing of importance. Consider that an Apple ID usually contains data including users address book and contacts, notes, iCloud mail, credit card information, iCloud keychain, iCloud backups, iCloud photos, purchase history, and much more and keeping this vital information safe requires that you protect your Apple ID.
In order to be able to use this security feature, your device system must meet some requirements. For iPhone and iPad, this means iOS 9 or later. For Macs, this means OS X EL Capitan 10.11 or newer versions. Older iOS and Mac OS system software does not support two-factor authentication.
Setup iPhone two factor authentication
You can enable two-factor authentication for your Apple ID on your iOS or Mac OS device easily through the iCloud settings menu on your device. In this section, I will provide you with a step by step guide on how you can do that. Here is how can easily turn on iPhone two factor authentication:
- The first thing you need to do is to open “Settings” app on your iPhone and go to iCloud section. Then tap on your Apple ID from the top to enter Apple ID settings.
- Choose “Password & Security” from the menu. Now scroll down and tap on “Set Up Two-Factor Authentication”, then tap on “Continue” to begin the iPhone two factor authentication setup process.
- On this step, you need to enter the phone number that you want to add as trusted number. Once you are done, tap on “Next” to receive the verification code via text message or phone call. You will need the received code to verify the setup.
- This step is an optional option but if you want to make your Apple ID extra secure, it is recommended that you use it. Tap on “Add Trusted Phone Number” one more time and add at least one more additional phone number for backup. This can be anyone’s phone number and it does not mean that they have access to your Apple ID. This additional phone number is in fact an alternative for verification in case you lose access to the first option.
- Once you are done adding the trusted phone numbers, you can exit settings as usual. You have now successfully enabled iPhone two factor authentication.
Remember it is a great idea to add a number of additional phone numbers rather than just having your primary phone number for verification. For example, if you have lost your iPhone and you only have your primary phone number for authentication, you will have a very hard time getting into your account. If you completely lose access to the only phone number you have defined for your Apple ID, you will permanently lose access to your Apple ID as well.
When you try to login to your Apple ID on a new device other than your trusted device, a message will be displayed on your trusted device which shows someone is attempting to log in to the Apple ID account from a new device or new location. Before you see the verification code, you will receive an approval message asking if the login attempt should be allowed with a map of the general location where a device has requested access. Once you approve the login, you will receive a 6-digit randomly generated code that you can use to login to your Apple ID on a new device.
Turn off iPhone two factor authentication
It is true that you can benefit a lot from iPhone two factor authentication, however, you may decide that two factor authentication is just too much for you and you want to avoid the hassle. If you disable two factor authentication for your Apple ID, you will only rely on your Apple ID password for protection. This will eliminate the need to have a trusted device nearby if you want to login to your Apple ID on a new device. Here are all the steps you need to take in order to disable two step verification for your Apple ID:
- Open your web browser on your computer and go to appleid.apple.com.
- Login with the Apple ID for which you would want to disable two factor authentication. To gain access to your account, you may need to use two factor authentication.
- Go to the “Security” section of account settings and choose “Edit”.
- Look for and find the “Two-Factor Authentication” section where it says the feature is ON, and click the link to “Turn Off Two-Factor Authentication”.
- You will now need to create new security questions for your Apple ID as they are used instead of the two factor authentication.
- Once you are done, you can log out of the website. You have successfully disable iPhone two factor authentication.
Now that you have turned off two factor authentication for your Apple ID, you can now login to your Apple ID on any device by just entering the password.
Whether to use two factor authentication or not largely depends on your preference. However, never forget to choose a strong enough password for your account as a strong password is the most important security option of your Apple ID.