Apple is making big changes to the way it keeps your iCloud account secure

Apple tim cookREUTERS/Robert GalbraithApple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the White House summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection in Palo Alto, California February 13, 2015.

Apple has explained changes that it’s making to account security in iOS 9, the new version of its operating system for iPhones and iP ads.

The company is moving away from its two-step verification feature to a full two-factor authentication system. With two-step verification, users can login to their accounts using a unique passcode sent to their phones as the “second level” of verication. The new system may require users to verify their identity by talking to an actual Apple employee.

The changes are designed to make accounts more secure, preventing hackers from gaining access to iCloud profiles.

The biggest change in Apple’s new system is the removal of recovery keys, Macworld reports. Recovery keys are 14-character passwords that could be used to regain access to accounts.

Right now, if you have two-step verification enabled to make your iCloud account more secure, you need your iPhone to log into iCloud. But if you lose access to your phone number, then Apple can’t send you login verification messages. The recovery key could be used to get back into your account.

Now, if you’re locked out of your account, you’ll need to contact Apple Support, and the company will try and verify your identity.

There are other changes that Apple is making to account security. When you try to sign into an iCloud service, whether on your MacBook, iPhone, or iPad, you will need to enter a six-figure password. It will be displayed on any devices you have that are logged into your profile.

Apple’s changes to its security systems are designed to make life harder for hackers who try to get into iCloud profiles. There’s a community online of hackers who work with exploits in Apple’s password retrieval system in order to steal photos from iCloud account, and that weakness resulted in the release of hundreds of private photos of celebrities in August 2014.

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