Today, as originally reported by 9to5Mac, Apple has rolled out two-step verification for Apple IDs. Two-step verification makes it more difficult for someone to compromise your Apple ID by adding an additional layer of security. In this case, it’s an iOS device you own such as your iPhone (iPads and iPod touches also apply). As you make a purchase from iTunes on a new device or after you log into your account with your username and password, you’ll be asked to authenticate with a short code four-digit code. Currently, two-step verification is available for Apple customers living in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.
Using two-step verification is completely optional — you’re not required to use the extra security measure if you don’t want to. For those who opt-in, Apple gives fair warning that you’ll need your trusted device with you to access your account information. Apple does provide a printable Recovery Key in case you lose your iOS device or forget your password, but they won’t be able to help you if you lose it. I recommend storing the Recovery Key in 1Password for safe keeping. If you do lose the Recovery Key, you can generate and print a new key if you can log into your account.
If you won’t be enabling two-step verification, it might be a good idea to revisit your security questions. Instead of using likely answers, generate less guessable, complex words with 1Password instead for added security. Here’s a quick guide.
Setting up two-step verification starts by visiting appleid.apple.com. Upon logging in, click on the Password and Security tab. After entering a couple of answers to your security questions, you can find the option to turn two-step verification on at the top of the page. Simply click Get started… to begin setup.
Apple Increasing Security of Apple ID Accounts on iOS
The Next Web reports Apple has begun enhancing the security of Apple ID accounts on iOS devices and iTunes by asking users to pick three security questions.
In the past 24 hours, Apple appears to have started prompting iOS devices owners and those with Apple IDs within iTunes to make their accounts more secure, requiring them to pick three security questions and enter their answers when they download a new app.
The company is also asking users to enter a backup email address, in order to better protect their device but also their account (which is tied to Apple’s Retail website and all of its media services).
Apple’s motivation to educate users on security by urging them to enable security questions is laudable, especially considering the many cases of phishing and hacked App Store accounts reported in the past years. However, it is worth noting how, on the other hand, several users have been asking Apple to be more flexible with entering an account’s password on the iOS App Store, letting users download free apps and updates without asking for a password after periods of inactivity.
With the launch of iOS 5 and iCloud on Wednesday, Apple took another huge step towards the Post-PC era. They have increasingly made the PC less important and iCloud has meant that it is no longer the ‘hub’ to which your devices sync to – iCloud is now that hub and importantly, it is all tied to an Apple ID. As many are realizing as they update to iOS 5 and begin to use iCloud, this can be somewhat problematic when iCloud is used with the Apple ID that is shared by their whole family.
Prior to iOS 5, sharing an Apple ID wasn’t really a problem because its main purpose was for purchasing content on iTunes, using it for support purposes and purchasing items on the online Apple Store – all tasks that worked fine when sharing an ID. Now that Apple ID is tied to a bunch of services, a lot of which involve personal and private data that you don’t necessarily want to share with others – even family members. The other issue is that iCloud involves a lot of data synchronization and this doesn’t work well with multiple people as it results in data conflicts and devices syncing data (such as calendar events) that are meant for another person in the family.
Fortunately there are a number of ways to resolve these issues, whilst still benefiting from all of the new iOS 5 and iCloud features. Jump the break to see all of our tips in dealing with this issue.
According to MacRumors, Apple is currently working on the ability to merge multiple Apple IDs into a single ID. Currently those who have (for whatever reason) multiple Apple IDs are unable to merge them, even when contacting Apple support directly.
In an article posted yesterday however, it is revealed that a MacRumors reader had emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook and promptly received a phone call from an Apple executive relations employee regarding the issue. According to their account, the employee contacted the team responsible who said that they were aware of the issue and were concerned with iCloud exacerbating the problem. It was noted by the executive relations employee that they are working on it and in the meantime to pick a single account to use for all future purchases.
In an update to their article, MacRumors notes that a second reader has come forward, noting that they received a similar response over the issue. This prompt reaction by Tim Cook in responding to email from a customer is not his first and is consistent with his dedication to work.
With the launch of The Daily this morning, Apple also introduced the long-rumored subscriptions for apps, which allow you to automatically get an app’s new content as long as you pay a weekly or annual fee. At least that’s how it works with The Daily, and we have collected all the details about News Corp’s subscription implementation here.
I was curious to see how subscriptions worked on Apple’s end though, so I tried to manually activate a new 7-day subscription in The Daily to see what would happen in my iTunes account. At first I couldn’t activate a new subscription (besides the two-week free trial period offered by Verizon Wireless), so I waited a couple of hours and tried again. Inside The Daily, you can access subscription management through the Settings. Choose your subscription, confirm that you’re willing to give out your personal information like zip code, name and email to “the publisher” (in our case, The Daily Holdings), enter your Apple ID password and tap Done. In the current version of The Daily, there is no confirmation of a successful subscription. (more…)
We have got several tips today pointing us to the fact that many users are unable to log in MobileMe.com with their existing passwords. The problem, also noticed by 9to5mac and Italian blog SetteB, seems to affect users with short and non-alphanumeric passwords. Word is that Apple silently reset these passwords without telling these users that they would need to create a new one before logging in MobileMe. (more…)
A few minutes ago Apple sent out an email notification to inform users that they have updated Game Center terms & conditions to show full names associated with Apple IDs in friend requests.
We have changed the Game Center terms and conditions to provide you notice that if you send a friend invitation, the full name associated with your Apple ID will be shared with the recipient. If you accept a friend invitation, the full name associated with your Apple ID will be shared with the sender.
• iPhone 4, iPad, or 4th generation iPod touch owners can use Find My iPhone for free with their Apple ID (iOS 4.2 required)
• Support for 30 additional languages
• Important: this update is required for users of the previous version of Find My iPhone app (v1.0 and v1.0.1)
Surprisingly enough, Apple hasn’t updated the background graphics of the iTunes page to better indicate that users can now use Find My iPhone with an Apple ID for free.