Optimizing Apples Two Factor Authentication Security

Two Factor Authentication Blur

Should you optimize Apple’s Two Factor Authentication? I recently received a new MacBook Pro for Christmas (I was due… I got a good ten years out of my previous MacBook with zero complaints).  One of the features that were enabled by default in the latest OS release (Sierra) was Apple’s Two-Factor Authentication.

Two-Factor Authentication

I didn’t realize this was on until several days later when I had to reboot my Apple TV due to some power issues in the area.  Once the Apple TV rebooted, I attempted to log into my account with my Apple ID.  I received a notification on my cell phone indicating that “Someone was using my Apple ID on a device in the Philadelphia area.”  The message then asked permission to continue (Allow or Don’t Allow).

I realized that this was me, and not someone else trying to hack my account, so I chose “Allow.”  I was then prompted by my Apple TV to enter my password along with an authorization code.  I immediately received a follow-up notification on my phone with a six-digit code.

Instead of entering my Apple ID and password, I entered my Apple ID and entered my password along with this six-digit code.  Bingo!  I was now logged into my Apple TV.

So, in short, the beauty of this feature is that incorporates your Apple ID login credentials with a random six-digit number sent to a trusted device.  So, even if your Apple ID is compromised by someone because you had a weak password, the hacker would still need access to your trusted device (phone) to login to your account.

Related Articles:

Do We Need To Be Reminded About Passwords Security

Privacy Versus Convenience In The Age of Alexa Siri And Cortana

While some might find the two factor authentication feature annoying by having to have your phone handy whenever you log-in with your Apple ID – others will find this feature as I do:  as an extra layer of security.  On the see-saw of Security v Convenience, you tend to pick your spots.  We here at PalmCentrix always encourage you to lean more to the security side!

You can follow the steps below to turn on two factor authentication.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 9 or later:

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud > tap your Apple ID.
  2. Tap Password & Security.
  3. Tap Turn on Two-Factor Authentication.

On your Mac with OS X El Capitan or later:

  1. Go to Apple () menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details.
  2. Click Security.
  3. Click Turn on Two-Factor Authentication.

Copyright 2017

About the author:

John Castrege is the Security Systems Administrator for Campus Safety at Haverford & Bryn Mawr Colleges and holds a Bachelor of Science from York College of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Software Engineering from Penn State University.

*Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, Apple Watch, iPod, iPhone, Multi-Touch, Siri, Retina, MagSafe, Apple Pay, Passbook and Apple TV are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners