Protecting Your AppleID with Two-Step Authentication.

the best thing you can do for your information today!

 

before I share the link on how to set up two step authentication, let's engage in a little experiment, shall we?  grab your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and use the spotlight feature to perform a search.  if you didn't know about spotlight, let's cover that very quickly:

  • on your mac, it's the little magnifying glass looking guy in the top right hand corner of your screen. give that a click, or if you're a keyboard shortcut guy like me, press the "command" key and the space bar at the same time. welcome to spotlight!

  • on your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), from the home screen, you can simply "pull down" the icons towards the bottom (if you're seeing the notification center, start your pull down from on the screen itself, not above it). Or, you can push the screen to the right and you'll land at spotlight.

  • as a general rule, there are tons of way to accomplish the same thing on all of your devices. at The LA Computer Guy, we'll help you find the way that you'll enjoy using the most :-).

  • think of Spotlight as the librarian of your devices. Spotlight is in charge of know where everything is at all times, so when you go to look for it, you can find it nice and easy.

we've arrived at the point!  with spotlight ready to assist you, please type in the last four digits of your credit card number!

wait for it ... wait for it ...

now: 

  • please raise your hand if your search came up with at least one result.

  • please keep your hand raised if your search not only showed you the last four, but also the entire credit card number.

  • and lastly, keep your hand raised if we not only got the last 4, the full number, but also the expiration date and security code.

think about it!  how many times have you texted a credit card number to someone, replied to an email with a security deposit, written yourself a note with your card info on it so you don't have to pull out your wallet every time you see something fun on amazon.  and it's likely this is just the tip of the iceberg.  

your apple id, like most services that carry your information, is protected by a password.  and a password, ladies and gentleman, just isn't good enough.  no matter how careful you are, your password can fall into the wrong hands.  and once it does, with that one single password, a nefarious person has access to that credit card we found.  but also your contacts.  which likely contains your home address.  which is easily matched to the credit card.  and there goes $5,000 in omaha steaks.  and speaking of contacts, who out there has a famous friend?  this is LA after all ... how excited would they be about nefarious person blasting their phone number all over the interwebs?  oh, and that genius script idea that has never been thought of before that you wrote down in your notes ... look forward to watching it in theaters this fall.  you get the idea.

how does two step authentication make this any better?

excellent question!  well, now that we've discovered the trove of information that's on your device, you've finally understood what tim cook has been talking about all this time.

it's simple.  anytime a new device tries to gain access to your iCloud account, there is an added step to the authentication process.  before two step authentication, it went something like this:

  • BOB: "Hello, iCloud, it's me, Bob."

  • ICLOUD: "Oh hey Bob. Do me a favor and prove to me that it's you by typing in the correct AppleID and Password."

  • BOB: "Sure! Here ya go!"

  • ICLOUD: "Great! Thanks! Here's all those dirty pictures you took last weekend! Enjoy!"

once two step authentication is enabled, an added layer of security protects your information:

  • BOB: "Hello, iCloud, it's me, Bob."

  • ICLOUD: "Oh hey Bob. Do me a favor and prove to me that it's you by typing in the correct AppleID and Password."

  • BOB: "Sure! Here ya go!"

  • ICLOUD: "Great! That looks good to me! But for your protection, I see two-step authentication is enabled. I'm going to send a one time use, 6 digit code to the pre-approved device. Please type in that code so I can be sure it's really you."

  • BOB: "Ok! Let me reach into my pocket and grab that code for you! Thanks for taking the extra step to protect me and my data!"

  • GUY PRETENDING TO BE BOB: "Shit."

hopefully this sheds some light on your apple id, the information tied to it, and how important it can be to secure your stuff!  if you have any questions, please let us know!

see Appleā€™s official take on Two-Factor below:

Two Factor Authentication for AppleID