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You can combine the security of both accounts with the convenience of autofill when you set up two-factor authentication in iCloud Keychain. Here’s how to do it.
The built-in iCloud Keychain on your Apple device stores all your account information for you and automatically fills it in on the login screen using just your face or fingerprint. However, the basic keychain only remembers your username and password – which can be made more secure.
A popular way to increase security is to use hardware that only you can access, so your account doesn’t rely solely on vulnerable virtual credentials. Because nefarious attackers steal your account information through hacks or phishing, a physical second line of defense accessible only to you secures your content even better.
Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is a shorter alphanumeric code that is sent to a physical hardware endpoint such as your phone. Since the attacker (probably) doesn’t have your personal phone or laptop with them, they won’t be able to insert the extra code, keeping your account’s sensitive data safe and private.
You can set up 2FA through iCloud Keychain to get that extra level of security and have that code sent directly to Keychain. You must first enable 2FA with the app where the account you want to protect is registered with.
Before you start, you’ll need a device registered with your iCloud account with Keychain enabled and access to the app’s 2FA settings.
You may want to open the app you want to set up 2FA with on another device to avoid having to exit the screen and re-authenticate for advanced account settings.
Set up two-factor authentication for iCloud Keychain
Since each app has a different interface, we will use the popular chat app Discord to demonstrate. However, most apps that offer 2FA have similar mechanisms to this implementation, albeit with different button names and layouts.
- Open Settings on your Apple device.
- Tap Passwords†
- Authenticate with your device password or with Face ID or Touch ID.
- Tap the set of credentials you want to set up 2FA with.
- Tap Set Verification Code†
- Tap Enter the setting key†
- launch disagreement†
- Access User Settings†
- In the My bill section, scroll down to Password & Verification and click View backup codes.
- A one-time verification key will be sent to the email address of the associated account. Log into your inbox, open the message from Discord and copy and paste the code into the Discord prompt box.
- Discord should now give you a list of backup codes. Choose one and return to iCloud Keychain.
- Enter the code in the text entry box exactly as shown in Discord, in iCloud Keychain.
- Tap Okay†
Now the 2FA verification code is displayed in iCloud Keychain. The backup code provided by Discord that you have used should be discarded as this is a one time use only.