Apple today joined a growing list of companies who offer two-factor authentication. The move offers users the option of better security by requiring additional information while logging in, namely a four-digit verification code sent via SMS or through Apple's Find My Phone app (available on any iOS device). You can read Apple's FAQ here.
Two-step verification relies on more than just a password to authenticate an account. Most implementations boil down to something you know (i.e. password) in combination with something you have (e.g. smartphone, dongle). The idea is even if hackers discover your password, they most likely don't have your phone -- or vice versa.
To enable two-step verification:
- Log in to appleid.apple.com.
- Click "Password and Security". Answer the security questions.
- Find "Two-Step Verification" and click the "Get started..." link.
- You'll be shown a few pages with information on two-step verification. Click "Continue" a couple of times and "Get Started" to begin.
- You'll be presented with a list of "trusted devices" under your account. Verify the devices you want and click "Continue" (Tip: You may need to setup "Find My iPhone" on your iOS device, unless you'll be doing SMS verifications).
- Next, you'll receive a recovery code. Apple suggests you write this down or print it out and store it somewhere safe. Without it, regaining access to your account in the future could be difficult at best and impossible at worst.
- Confirm your recovery code. Click "Enable Two-Factor Authentication."
With more data and services tied to your Apple ID than ever -- iTunes purchases, iCloud data and Facetime, just to name a few -- security has become increasingly important.
Wired journalist Matt Honan probably knows this better than anyone after his accounts were hijacked by a hacker who "dissolved" his digital life.
"Because I didn’t have Google’s two-factor authentication turned on, when Phobia entered my Gmail address, he could view the alternate e-mail I had set up for account recovery. Google partially obscures that information, starring out many characters, but there were enough characters available, m••••firstname.lastname@example.org. Jackpot." Honan said.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
The iPad mini is a smaller version of the iPad and it’s much more than just a shrunken-down iPad. The iPad Mini packs a dual-core A5 processor, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, a FaceTime HD camera, 5-megapixel rear iSight camera with 1080p recording and an optional LTE radio. The Mini sports a 7.9-inch display and 1,024 x 768 resolution. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours.
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