Apple beefs up iCloud security

News 22 Mar, 2013

Two-step verification for Apple ID users on iCloud, App Store and iTunes.

Apple has bolstered the security in its iCloud, App Store and iTunes service in a bid to prevent hacking. The services will now offer two-step verification in order to prevent unauthorised access.

Once activated, the additional security measure sends a four-digit number to a user's phone via a text message. This is in addition to entering the regular Apple ID password associated with the username.

The function is enabled when a user access an Apple service such as downloading content from the App Store, a forgotten password or getting Apple ID-related support.

Apple said in a statement that it took customer privacy "very seriously".

"Two-step verification is an even more robust process to ensure our users’ data remain protected.

"Turning on two-step verification reduces the possibility of someone accessing or making unauthorised changes to your account information at My Apple ID or making purchases using your account. After you sign in, you can manage your account or make purchases as usual.

"Without both your password and the verification code, access to your account will be denied,” the company said.

The new security measure is designed to eradicate the need for need of the security questions and sends a recovery key in case of forgotten passwords which Apple suggests users print out and keep somewhere safe.

In recent years, the usage of two-factor authentication has grown as cloud-based services seek to protect users by providing additional protections. Dropbox and Google have instituted such measures as a means for protecting data from getting into the wrong hands.

The option is currently available only to users in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.