Apple says its “most advanced” account security is required to use some of the latest features of its operating systems, so it’s no longer optional if you plan on updating your devices.
Apple this week began notifying users who already use two-step verification that they will be migrated to two-factor authentication upon upgrading, MacRumors reports. Although the two systems are similar, two-factor authentication is even safer.
The updated system, launched in 2015, requires you to enter a six-digit code when signing into your iCloud account on a new device. That six-digit code is sent to another trusted device tied to your Apple ID and requires iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, watchOS 2, tvOS or later.
Two-step authentication simply sent a four-digit code to any trusted device that could receive an SMS. What’s great about two-factor authentication is that it allows you to view the location of a new device attempting to access your iCloud account.
“If you install the iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra public betas this summer and meet the basic requirements, your Apple ID will be automatically updated to use two-factor authentication,” Apple explains in its email to users.
“This is our most advanced, easy-to-use account security, and it’s required to use some of the latest features of iOS, macOS, and iCloud.
“Once updated, you’ll get the same extra layer of security you enjoy with two-step verification today, but with an even better user experience. Verification codes will be displayed on your trusted devices automatically whenever you sign in, and you will no longer need to keep a printed recovery key to make sure you can reset a forgotten password.”
It’s not totally clear whether two-factor authentication will be required for all users who update to iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra — or whether it’s only necessary for those who already use two-step authentication.