Apple pushing two-factor authentication for iOS 10.3 users

Beta users of Apple iOS 10.3 are reporting that they’re receiving push notifications from Apple to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for their Apple IDs, which is used on Apple devices (like iPads, iPhones and Macs) to synchronize and share iCloud user data.

Apple’s 2FA provides an extra layer of security for iCloud data as well as for devices registered to an Apple ID, and it seems with iOS 10.3 that Apple is taking stronger measures to encourage its users to enable this feature.

Two-factor authentication isn’t new on iDevices, as it has been available for well over a year since iOS9 and OS X El Capitan – notably, the feature became available first for iCloud after a spate of celebrity iCloud hacking incidents, and then more broadly to secure Apple devices soon after.

Until iOS 10.3 leaves beta, you may not get the notification from Apple to enable 2FA, but the good news is that as long as your device fits the system requirements, you don’t need to wait for Apple’s friendly reminders.

Here’s how you can enable 2FA on your iPhone right now (if you are running iOS 9 or later):

  • Tap the “Settings” app
  • Scroll down and tap “iCloud” (assuming you are logged in with your Apple iCloud ID already)
  • Tap your Apple ID, which will appear at the top of the screen
  • On the next screen, tap “Password & Security”
  • In the middle of the screen, you will see “Two-Factor Authentication,” likely already set to “Off.” Tap “Turn on Two-Factor Authentication” and follow the prompts to set up 2FA for your device. You may be asked to verify your identity by answering security questions and confirming the credit card details you have on file tied to your Apple ID.

Note: If you do not have a passcode set up on your mobile device, you will be prompted to create one before you can enable 2FA.