We have recently explained what two-factor authentication is and then how to activate and use it on our devices, and the topic still leaves room for more. Today we will see some idiosyncrasies of how two-factor authentication works on our devices and how we can configure some details of great importance for optimal operation.
How we protect our Apple ID if the code is displayed on the device
One of the most frequently asked questions during training regarding two factor authentication is what is the point of it?
At first glance it might appear that receiving the code required to sign in to your Apple ID is not a great security improvement. But there is a very important matter to keep in mind: devices are always locked .
Seen in this way to access our Apple ID you need the password and, in addition, access and be able to unlock one of our trusted devices. We call a trusted device the one in which we have already logged in with our Apple ID at some point and which, therefore, is capable of showing us the security codes necessary to log in again.
If a third party has access to a person’s device and it is also unlocked, access to two-factor authentication verification codes is surely the least of your concerns . In the device you will find all the information of the Apple ID and also the options to handle it, how to change the password for example, so the situation is serious in itself.
And if I don’t have the device at hand￼
Another important question is what happens when I don’t have my device at hand. Two-factor authentication is designed to provide us with access to our Apple ID from one of several Apple devices. In this sense, if we are trying to log into a new iPad, we receive the code on our iPhone or on our Mac or on our Apple Watch . But what happens when we only have one device? And even more, what happens if we don’t have any device at that moment?
Even having a single device, activating two-factor authentication provides the same security to our Apple ID account as if we had many points at which to receive the code. Keep in mind that Apple offers us to send us a code by SMS in the event that we do not have our device within reach and, therefore, we can use the system even if we only have an iPhone.
It is very important that we correctly update the trusted phone numbers that can receive our code if we need it. In addition, especially if we travel abroad, and especially if we do it only with our iPhone , it is very interesting that we add the telephone number of our family or friends to the list of trusted numbers. The reason is simple: If the iPhone disappears, obtaining a duplicate SIM card, necessary to receive the codes and be able to log in to iCloud or a new device, can be either very difficult or directly impossible depending on the operator.
We can manage trusted phone numbers from our iPhone or iPad in Settings> Our name> Password and security> Edit> Add phone number. From our Mac we will do it in System Preferences> Apple ID> Password and security> Edit> “+”.
The importance of SIM and eSIM
Regarding the trusted phone numbers that we have just talked about, another detail to keep in mind about the security of the codes sent via SMS is that the physical card of an iPhone can be extracted from the phone. On the other hand, if we use an eSIM we can be sure that only the phone where it is installed will be able to receive the codes that are sent via SMS. In this sense, if we have the option of using an eSIM with our operator, we can consider the change. A change that will also benefit us in other services that rely on SMS to send codes.
How to activate and use two-factor authentication on our Apple ID
All in all, the two-factor authentication in our Apple ID is a huge little function that has several interesting details in its operation. At first glance it may seem simple, and Apple has invested a lot of dedication in making it so, but if we walk in its operation we will see that it has details that are important to know.