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How Apple Is Pushing Users to Beef Up Security

Iphone 7 Is Presented in MadridIphone 7 Is Presented in Madrid
A customer takes a selfie with a new iPhone 7 at Puerta del Sol Apple Store on Sept. 16, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno Getty Images

Apple is pushing users to think seriously about identity security with a new beta version of its mobile operating system.

The tech giant is suggesting customers using a test version of its mobile operating system iOS enable two-factor authentication—a security feature that requires both a password and a token verifying the authorized person is accessing information—to log into Apple ID accounts, users have told Apple-tracking site 9to5Mac. According to the report, Apple’s test version—iOS 10.3 beta—directs users to the Settings app, where they can learn more about two-factor authentication and why it’s a good idea to enable it. Users can turn on the security feature in Settings.

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Two-factor authentication has become one of the more popular methods for bolstering digital defenses. Its concept is for users to verify their identities with something they know (passwords) and something they have (smartphones). So, when a user attempts to log in to an account, he or she will be prompted for a password. The user will also be asked to input the passcode the system sent separately via text message. In order for a user (or hacker) to gain entry, then, he or she will need to both know the password and have access to the account holder’s smartphone.

In its notification to iOS 10.3 beta users, Apple (AAPL) discusses that process and its benefits, explaining that if the feature is turned on in iOS, they’ll will be asked to verify identities with a six-digit code the first time Apple ID credentials are input into a device. Apple offers more ways to access the code than just a text message. The company says the code will be displayed on all the other devices attached to an Apple ID account in addition to being sent as a text message.

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Users will only be asked to input a code again if they “sign out completely, erase [their] device, or need to change [their] password for security reasons.”

Apple’s iOS 10.3 is currently in beta, so it’s being tested by third-party Apple iOS developers and users who have joined the company’s beta program. It’s unknown whether the feature will make its way to the final version. Apple has yet to announce when iOS 10.3 will be made available to the public.