With iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Apple no longer allows the use of two-step verification, its original and hastily built, somewhat creaky systemfor confirming a login. If you’re still using two-step, the moment you upgrade to iOS 11 or High Sierra, Apple will convert you to the newer two-factorauthentication (2FA) method it introduced in September 2015. You don’t have to do anything but pay attention to how it works.
The best way for most people to protect an account from letting anyone who can obtain its password from being able to log in is to use 2FA. A factor is something that identifies you. A password is one kind of factor (something you know) and a token that’s sent to a phone or via SMS is another (something you have).
Apple’s original two-step system relied on its Apple ID site for set up and management, and could only send codes to iOS devices and via SMS. Its update in September 2015 left two-step in place for those who continued to want to use it, but the 2FA revision was far better. Enrollment happens via iOS and macOS. Apple’s system isn’t as robust as some security experts would like, but it’s definitely better than a password-only option.
If you’re still using two-step verification (and if not, you didn’t need to read this far), when Apple converts your account to 2FA with iOS 11 or High Sierra, here’s what you need to know:
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