Can someone PLEASE help me wrap my head around Apple's two-factor authentication?

MexiDawg

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013
8
1
So I'm very familiar with Google Authenticator. When linking an account with Google Authenticator, you receive a recovery key which you can use at any time to disable/access your account in the event you lose access to G.Auth. which generates access pins.

Apple's authenticator on the other hand, has no recovery key. After much fidling, I was able to establish authenticator on both my iPhone and Macbook and I have it to where both devices are prompted when someone tries to login on my Apple ID. Great right? Almost.

Hypothethically, what happens if both my iphone and macbook would get stolen? I have all my e-mails tied to the account, but I only have one trusted number on my account -- my iphone's number -- because its the only phone number I own. I feel if I lose my iPhone and macbook at the same time, I also am forever locked out of my AppleID.

Is this truly the case? Surely I'm missing something....Thank you!
 

Furzul

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2013
585
259
Derbyshire, England
So I'm very familiar with Google Authenticator. When linking an account with Google Authenticator, you receive a recovery key which you can use at any time to disable/access your account in the event you lose access to G.Auth. which generates access pins.

Apple's authenticator on the other hand, has no recovery key. After much fidling, I was able to establish authenticator on both my iPhone and Macbook and I have it to where both devices are prompted when someone tries to login on my Apple ID. Great right? Almost.

Hypothethically, what happens if both my iphone and macbook would get stolen? I have all my e-mails tied to the account, but I only have one trusted number on my account -- my iphone's number -- because its the only phone number I own. I feel if I lose my iPhone and macbook at the same time, I also am forever locked out of my AppleID.

Is this truly the case? Surely I'm missing something....Thank you!
I believe that you can also nominate a landline as a trusted device, I think.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheAppleFairy

jetsam

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2015
546
281
I believe that you can also nominate a landline as a trusted device, I think.
Yes - any phone number, either landline or mobile, can be a trusted phone number. You can even use a Google Voice number as a trusted phone number.

Basically, any phone number that can receive a confirming text or voice call can be used.
 

caligurl

macrumors 68040
Jun 8, 2009
3,161
993
socal
can you have more than 2?

so if my family shares one iCloud for iTunes purchases (but the other two have their own iCloud for messages, etc). will all three phones be listed to get a code if needed?
 

TheAppleFairy

macrumors 68030
Mar 28, 2013
2,528
2,007
The Clinton Archipelago unfortunately
can you have more than 2?

so if my family shares one iCloud for iTunes purchases (but the other two have their own iCloud for messages, etc). will all three phones be listed to get a code if needed?

Yes, it will automatically send a notification to trusted apple devices, and if you hit the button saying you didn't get a code you will be able to select which trusted phone number to get a call or text to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: caligurl

caligurl

macrumors 68040
Jun 8, 2009
3,161
993
socal
So will each of the other phones also have to set up two factor for their icloud email then, too? Or just for the iTunes one?
 

TheAppleFairy

macrumors 68030
Mar 28, 2013
2,528
2,007
The Clinton Archipelago unfortunately
So will each of the other phones also have to set up two factor for their icloud email then, too? Or just for the iTunes one?
just the iTunes one. That being said I think it’s better for each user to have their own iTunes account and set up family sharing. You can still have “trusted” phone numbers that belong to other iTunes accounts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: caligurl