A lot has been questioned about the security of Apple's iCloud service over the last 48 hours, following the accusation that a number of celebrities have had naked photos of themselves leaked onto the internet, but after an investigation from Apple, the Californian company has confirmed that the breach was likely down to poor password management rather than a security hole. Still, how can you make sure your account is more secure than it is right now?
One such way is to enable two-step verification for your Apple ID. That means, even if someone works out your password, they would need another "trusted" device to get into your account.
Put simply, two-step verification is an additional security feature for your Apple ID that's designed to prevent anyone from accessing or using your account, even if they know your password.
How to step up two-step verification for Apple ID
Setting up two-step verification is incredibly easy and will take only a couple of minutes. Before you start to worry that it will lead to endless faff and hassle using your device afterward, don't. It doesn't. But there are a couple of things you need to be aware of.
The only way you will realise you have two-step verification enabled is when you sign in to manage your Apple ID account, when you make an iTunes, App Store, or iBookstore purchase from a new device, or if you are seeking support from the company.
Buying apps, movies, and music on a daily basis remains the same and if you own an iPhone 5S and can still be done with the press of your finger on your TouchID for example.
To set up two-step verification do the following:
1. Go to appleid.apple.com
2. Click on the blue "Manage your Apple ID" button.
3. Sign in and then select Password and Security
4. Under Two-Step Verification, select Get Started, and follow the onscreen instructions.
The onscreen instructions will guide you through the process, which is effectively about registering one or more trusted devices to your account. That trusted device doesn't need to be an Apple device, but it will need to be able to receive text messages.
Once set up any time you sign in to manage your Apple ID at My Apple ID or make an iTunes, App Store, or iBookstore purchase from a new device, you'll need to verify your identity by entering both your password and a 4-digit verification code which will appear on your other trusted device at the time.
That's perfect if someone is using another iDevice tries to access your account, as they will need your trusted device as well as your password to gain access.
Getting access via Find My Phone
If you don't want to use the SMS verification service you can opt to use a notification via the Find My iPhone feature, but this has to be turned on beforehand to work. SMS is probably easier unless you have zero network signal and only access to data.
If you've made any major changes to your account before you opted to turn on two-step verification, you may have to wait a couple of days for the feature to be turned on your account. Don't panic. This is normal and yet another security feature put in place by Apple to make sure you are who you say you are.
Kind of. The only real problem you can run into is if you lose access to your trusted device or forget your password at some point in the future.
Apple offers a solution in the guise of a Recovery Key, which it recommends you print out and keep somewhere safe - not on your phone as a note though.
You can then "Use your Recovery Key to regain access to your account if you ever lose access to your trusted devices or forget your password."
Remember though: "Apple Support can't reset your password for you. To reset your password, you must have your Recovery Key and access to at least one of your trusted devices."
Our recommendation would be to print it out and store it where you keep your passports and other important documents. Or, if you are really keen, get it tattooed on your body somewhere.
Can you change your mind?
Yes. You can turn it off if you change your mind.