Enable 2-Step verification on popular web services

The Sweet Setup:

Between losing an iPhone, never-ending security issues, and the NSA, having an account accessed by an outsider is more likely than ever. While having a good password is critical, enabling 2-Step Verification is a great way to ensure data you’ve stashed in an online service like Gmail or Dropbox is limited to your eyes only.

Yes, 2-Step verification can be a PITA but trust me, “getting hacked” is a bigger one.

  • Robs

    Sadly Apples 2-Step verification is only available in a few countries. I’m not sure what’s holding them back to get it to the other countries as well.

  • Doomed

    Yeah. 2-step rules. Except when it doesn’t. I turned on 2-step for my Apple ID in May 2013, as it seemed the smart thing to do. Set up my trusted devices as being “R’s iPod Touch” and “R’s iPad”. I got sent the ‘Don’t lose this code’ email from Apple, and all was well. 2014 comes around. I drop the Ipod getting out of the car, breaking the screen. £200 later I have a replacement from my local Apple store, I restore from iCloud and “R’s iPod Touch” lives anew. iPad Air comes to market, so my trusty 3rd gen iPad wings its way to a delighted new owner via eBay (gotta love those resale values too) and I restore iCloud backup to my new shiny hotness and “R’s iPad” lives again.

    Except it doesn’t. In a very important way, which I don’t discover until I try to make a new purchase via the App store. “Verify your identity. The device you select below will be sent a temporary code that you can use to verify your identity”. The trusted devices being “R’s iPod Touch” and “R’s iPad”. I tap one of them (doesn’t matter which) and await my temporary code. None arrives. I try the other. None arrives. I try multiple times, no dice. Realisation dawns. Even though the new devices have the same names as the old ones, and are obviously signed in to my Apple ID, 2-step is likely tied into the devices’ hardware ID. The old Touch is trashed, probably been refurbed and sold on by now, the old iPad is gone too.

    I get in touch with Apple support. “Ooookay, I’ve not seen that before. Wow, that’s a doozy. Still, have you retained that important email we sent you with the recovery code? No? You can’t find it, however hard you look? No, you’re not a dumbass sir, don’t be so hard on yourself. But you definitely have a problem. There’s really nothing we can do to help without that code, other than advise you to set up a new Apple account. All those apps and magazine subscriptions? Um…”