The best way to protect your Apple account on iPhone, iPad and Mac

Security is really important when using an Apple ID. Currently, passwords have gone into the background since a hack can be carried out to access a specific account. That is why it is highly recommended to enable two-factor authentication. Here we tell you everything you need to know about it, as well as activate it on the different devices.

What you should know about two-factor authentication

In general, two-factor authentication is defined as a security layer that is integrated into the Apple ID. It is designed so that only the owner of an Apple account accesses their account and not someone else even though you know the password. In this way you will always be safe from the possible hacks that may happen. That is, it is a complement to the password that can be known. This makes it really important that you always have this option activated.

Trusted devices

Within the two-factor verification you can find the concept of trusted devices. These are an iPhone, iPad, or Mac that you’ve already used to sign in with your Apple ID. Once it has been verified with the corresponding code, it becomes a trusted device. It should always be borne in mind that when the login is done, before entering the corresponding code, it will be asked if you want to consider it a trusted device. You must be careful in this regard, since it should only be activated when you are using a device that you are only going to use and never on a public computer.

This is because the trusted device makes the system see that the equipment is yours and can be used to verify your identity. That is, you will be able to receive the verification codes when you log in to a different device or browser. This also happens with the Apple Watch but in this case it cannot be used to reset passwords.

Secure phone numbers

The two-factor verification system in addition to making use of notifications that emerge on trusted devices, telephone numbers are also used. Through these, text messages or automatic calls are sent to receive the verification codes and perform the login ensuring that you are the one who is doing it. That is why you must take into account the numbers that you have registered in this regard in the account settings.

In general, the user’s main telephone number is used to receive all these verification codes. But Apple also allows you to have a secondary phone number for both a landline and, for example, a family member or close friend. It is logical that these numbers must be from someone you trust since they may have the key to access your Apple accounts.

What is a verification code?

And as we have previously commented, what is used to identify the identity of a person is the verification code. This is a series of numbers, usually 6, that has a temporary validity. This will be sent whenever a login on a strange device or browser is detected to a trusted device or to the phone number you have entered.

Keep in mind that this verification code is different from the pin that is entered when an iPhone, iPad or Mac is to be unlocked. In addition, Apple also makes available to obtain these codes through the settings on a trusted device .

double factor verification

Set up two-factor authentication

Once you have all the information in mind about what double-factor verification is and how important it is to have it activated, we will tell you how you can configure it on the different devices you may have. Keep in mind that when you activate it on a device, it will be present on all the computers that have your logged in session linked. That is why if you do it on an iPhone, it will also be activated on the Mac.

Keep in mind that Apple has improved a lot in this aspect of security. If you created an Apple ID on a device with iOS 10.3, macOS 10.12.4 or higher, it already has two-factor authentication enabled by default. This makes it a great way to stay secure without having to do a thing or two in setup.

Activation on iPhone or iPad

Both the iPhone and the iPad are the devices with the highest market rate found in the ecosystem itself. This is why this is where the two-factor verification setup will most commonly be performed. Here we explain the steps you must follow to activate it if you have never used it before:

  1. Enter the settings of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Click on your name at the top.
  3. Access the ‘Password and security’ section.
  4. Press ‘Enable two-factor authentication’.
  5. Indicates the phone number where the verification codes can be received by SMS or phone call. Click on ‘Next’.
  6. Enter the verification code


It is important to bear in mind that when activating this extra security layer, it is possible that the system itself will ask you to answer the security questions that you filled out. It is important to do it correctly so that the setup can be completed properly.

Set it up on Mac

In the event that you don’t have an iPhone or iPad to use, you can use your Mac to activate it. As we have commented previously, when it is activated on one device of the ecosystem, it becomes activated on the rest of the devices. To configure the configuration, simply carry out the following steps:

  1. Head to the Apple menu in the upper left corner.
  2. Click on ‘System Preferences’.
  3. Click on the Apple ID and then click on ‘Password and security’ under your name in the left menu.
  4. In the configuration window that appears, you will see a section dedicated to two-factor authentication. Click on the side where it says ‘Activate…’.
  5. Enter the different data so that the verification code is received when required when logging in.


Application-specific passwords

Two-factor authentication does not uniquely affect logging into a browser to access the Apple website or log into a new device. It also directly affects when you want to log into a third-party application such as email, contacts or calendars that are not native to Apple. In this case, when you log in with your Apple ID and password, no code will be sent to your device, but you will have to generate a specific password for these applications. That is, the password you have established will not work for you and it will not let you log in. The password in these cases will change and you should always consult it on the Apple website. To do this, you must follow the following steps:

  1. Sign in to your Apple ID account page.
  2. Under the section ‘Specific passwords for apps’ you can click on ‘Create password’
  3. Follow the steps that appear on the screen to choose the password you want to use.


Keep in mind that this is a temporary password and in each of the logins that you are going to perform you will have to follow this same process. Although it may seem somewhat uncomfortable to do, we are facing a security system that tries to prevent you from giving your real password in those logins that are made without the control of Apple in third-party and non-native applications.

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