Two-Factor Authentication Makes Your Scandalous Selfies Safe on iCloud

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-09-17 Print this article Print
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But at least now if someone's risqué selfies are exposed to the tabloids, you can't blame Apple.

The new extension of two-factor authentication will make itself known when users add a new device to iCloud, such as a new iPhone 6, or even when they attempt to access data in iCloud from another previously unknown device.

When they do that, users who choose to be protected will be asked to enter a number that was sent to an SMS (short message service) device such as their cell phone. It will delay access by a few seconds, but your data will be much safer.

Just to make sure that you aren't locked out of your account, Apple prompts you to create a Recovery Key, which it will send to you during the setup process. If it happens that the device you use for two-step verification, such as your cell phone, is lost or stolen, then you can still get into your iCloud account using the Recovery Key.

When this is created, Apple strongly recommends that you print at least one copy of the key and put it some place safe. Ideally you should keep multiple copies in safe places. If you lose your Recovery Key, you can create a new one using your Apple ID.

Apple has provided a detailed explanation of how the new level of protection works and it shouldn't be difficult for anyone with an iCloud account to set it up. While you can terminate this greater level of protection at any time, it's hard to imagine why you'd want to. Unless, of course, some of these alleged iCloud leaks weren't leaks at all.

Unfortunately for Apple, which stands to get a black eye following any future iCloud leaks, you will have less justification to blame Apple. Password security has been put solidly into place. Any potentially insecure actions are now subject to two-factor authentication, so it should be very difficult to break into someone's private data without help.

But the bottom line is you have to be willing to take action to protect yourself. Despite the fact that setting up Apple's two-step verification is very easy, there will be those people who don't bother.

Sadly, Apple appears to be made up of reasonably polite people, which means that you won't hear the company saying, "Nyah nyah nyah, I told you so," after the next breach. And that's too bad because anybody who fails to set up two-step verification deserves what they get.


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