You should be using your iPhone’s new built-in two-factor authentication

Image of article titled You Should Use Your iPhone's New Built-in Two-Factor Authentication

Photo: Khamosh Pathak

When it comes to protecting your accounts, the general consensus is to always use two-factor authentication, which traditionally uses a unique six-digit code that is regenerated every 30 seconds. If you want to keep hackers away that is a big help … but the process is not transparent. You often need a third-party app and you end up losing access to all your passwords if you lose your phone or the app itself.

With iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, Apple wants to make it all easier by pairing two-factor authentication with iCloud Keychain. You can natively set up two factors on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and because it’s linked to your iCloud account, it’s secure, supports autofill, and you’ll never lose access to it. Not to mention that its use is free.

To be clear, this built-in authenticator is different from the two-factor authentication settings for your Apple ID. The latter sends a code to one of your trusted Apple devices when you try to sign in to your Apple ID. This new feature, however, is intended for third-party services that require an authenticator app.

How to configure two-factor authentication in iOS 15

To set up two-factor authentication for a website or app, you must first add it to iCloud Keychain. The steps to do this are almost the same for all websites and apps, although the wording may differ.

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Essentially, go to the passwords section of a site or app and choose their two-factor authentication option. Next, choose the option that lets you configure two-factor authentication on the same device. This will directly open the iCloud Passwords screen, where you will need to authenticate using a one-time password.

We will illustrate this using the Facebook application. Open the Facebook app, tap the Menu button and go to Settings and privacy > Settings > Password and security. Here, choose the “Use two-factor authentication”Option.

To choose “Authentication application“and press”To continue. “You will now see a QR code and a code for manual setup. Just press”Installation on the same device.

Image of article titled You Should Use Your iPhone's New Built-in Two-Factor Authentication

Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak

This will automatically open the Passwords section in Settings. Here, choose the Facebook account. You will see a verification code. Copy and paste it into the Facebook app.

Image of article titled You Should Use Your iPhone's New Built-in Two-Factor Authentication

Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak

And that’s all. Your two-factor authentication is configured. The next time you need to log into the account, you will see a suggestion to paste the two-factor authentication code just above the keyboard. No need to open a separate app including settings.

How to manually add two-factor authentication codes

Facebook is a great example of an app that has been updated to support iOS 15’s two-factor authentication feature, but that may not be the case for every app or website. You can still use this feature in the same way using a verification code. When you set up two-factor authentication on any website, copy this code to your clipboard.

Go to Settings > Passwords and choose the site. Then press the “Configure verification code”And enter the verification key. You will now see the two-factor authentication code. Enter this six-digit code on the website to activate the function.

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