Apple has introduced new security measures in its messaging and video calling apps, designed to keep people from getting into users’ accounts.
The company has added two-step verification to iMessage and FaceTime, making it more difficult for people to break into those accounts even if they have the right password.
When the process is turned on, Apple adds a phone number to accounts. If someone attempts to sign in to iMessage or FaceTime, they’ll be asked to enter a four-digit code that will be sent to that phone number, in addition to the usual username and password.
In case users lose the phone or it is stolen, they will be able to print out a 14-digit recovery key, which will do the same job.
Apple’s iPhones and iPads will prompt users to turn the feature on the first time that they sign in or edit contact information.
It will come into effect whenever users attempt to sign in to FaceTime or iMessage. Apple has already rolled out the process for other parts of its online services — including making changes to Apple IDs, buying things from iTunes or the App Store, or getting support from Apple.
The feature was added to iTunes and iCloud accounts in 2013.
“Two-step verification is a feature you can use to keep your Apple ID and personal information as secure as possible,” Apple notes in its page on the feature.
Apple’s security features have been under scrutiny since its iCloud storage service was implicated in “the fappening”. Users claimed to have been able to access celebrity’s iCloud accounts by guessing passwords, and so gaining access to photos that were later shared on the internet.