Apple Amplifies iOS, OS X Security With Two-Step Authorization For iMessage And FaceTime

Still smarting from an embarrassing iCloud breach last fall, Apple is beefing up protection for its users. This week, the company indicated that it will roll out two-step authentication for two Apple services that are frequent targets of hackers and other malicious users: FaceTime and iMessage.

If this seems like old news to you, you’re thinking of two-step authentication for iCloud, which Apple made available back in 2013. Now, if you log out of FaceTime or iMessage, you’ll need to enter a code to get back in. That code will be sent to a device of your choosing, or you can use a recovery key, which is backup code that is meant to be used when you lose your mobile device.

Two-step verification is coming to FaceTime and iMessage

Two-step authentication (and two-factor authentication, which typically involves different types of identifications, such as fingerprints) isn’t perfect, but it provides much more protection that you’ll get from your username and password. Many people use the same password for multiple websites, which means that if a hacker has your password for say, Facebook, he or she suddenly also has it for your email accounts and Apple ID. Two-step authentication stops that situation cold – although it’s not an excuse to be sloppy with your password management.

To set up two-factor authentication, visit the My Apple ID page. When you enter your Apple ID page, it’s tempting to update some of the info there, but hold off until you’ve set up two-step authentication. If you make too many changes prior to enabling the extra security layer, Apple will make you wait a while before letting you set up two-step authentication. It’s an annoying, but common-sense security measure to prevent someone from locking you out of your account.