How to enable two-factor authentication on Apple devices to keep your data secure

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  • Apple’s two-factor authentication feature provides extra security for users’ personal account information.
  • Set-up of two-factor authentication differs depending on whether you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or a Mac computer.
  • You can turn off two-factor authentication at any time if you no longer wish to use it.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Ensuring your personal information remains private and secure when you’re online is a top priority for most people, and one of the easiest ways to protect sensitive data is by enabling two-factor authentication on your apps and devices. If you’re an Apple user, doing this is a simple process that will guarantee only you have access to your account.

It should be noted that setup of two-factor authentication differs depending on whether you’re using a mobile device such as an iPhone or iPad or if you’re on a Mac computer. However, once enabled, you’ll need to enter not just your password but also a six-digit code sent to your trusted device every time you want to log into your account.

How to enable two-factor authentication on Apple devices

On an iPhone or iPad:

1. First, ensure your device is updated to at least iOS 10.3 before beginning. Then, tap the Settings icon on your device’s home screen.

2. Tap your name at the top of the Settings menu, then tap “Password & Security.” You may need to enter your iCloud password.

3. Next, enter and verify a new trusted phone number. This should be either the number of your device if you’re using an iPhone or your phone number on whatever phone you do use.

Jennifer Still/Business InsiderEnter your phone number, choose ‘Text message’ or ‘Phone call,’ and hit ‘Send.’

4. Hit “Send,” which will prompt Apple to send a message to your phone number containing a six-digit code.

5. Enter the code in the box where prompted, which will turn on two-factor authentication.

Jennifer Still/Business InsiderTwo-factor authentication should now be turned on.

On a Mac:

1. Ensure your Mac is upgraded to the most recent operating system. Then click the Apple menu and open System Preferences.

2. Click “Apple ID” and then open “Password & Security” by double-clicking.

3. Click “Turn on two-factor authentication.” Your ID will then be protected.

It should be noted that if you created your Apple ID in iOS 10.3 or macOS 10.12.4 or later, two-step authentication is automatically turned on and you won’t need to follow the steps above. In addition, should you ever decide you no longer want to use the feature, it can be disabled at any time.

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