CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Two factor authentication takes a second item, not just your ID & password to authenticate that it's really you logging into a certain website.
In some cases, this might mean sending a text to a mobile phone that you key in. In others it might be an additional code word or a physical key that you plug into your computer. Nothing is 100% foolproof but it helps avoid some of the cybercriminals.
Apple has recently added this feature.
WBTV's Cyber Expert, Theresa Payton, has a caution for those who don't turn it on and some tips for those of us that want to but we are not sure where to begin:
WHAT IS THE NEW SECURITY FEATURE?
1. Your Apple ID is your ticket to the Apple cloud, apps, songs, TV shows and more.
2. If someone gets a hold of your Apple ID, not only can they steal your information, your data, your apps, and run up a huge bill on your account, they can also remotely wipe any devices you have tied to that ID clean - and you would lose your digital life.
3. The new security feature adds another layer of security to your Apple ID sign on to protect your Apple accounts from cybercriminals
IS IT AVAILABLE TO ALL APPLE ACCOUNTS?
Not yet. Anyone in the USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or the UK, has this new feature available to them. It will be rolled out across the globe eventually.
HOW IT WORKS - APPLE CALLS IT "2 STEP VERIFICATION"
1. Make sure your account has a trusted cell phone device registered
2. Once you choose the new security feature, it will send a one time passcode that you will type in after you type in your Apple ID and password
Hint: It's probably a good idea not to send the text of the code to another Apple device. Choose a smart phone that is not Apple.
Otherwise, if someone steals your iPhone and guesses your Apple ID and password, now they can get the SMS sent previously to your phone.
They will also give you a 14 character "emergency recovery key". Print it out or write it down (do not store on your Apple devices or in email) and keep it in a safe place.