Apple joins two-step verification trend; still lacks it [Update]

The growing trend for online services to offer some kind of two-step verification option for better security got bolstered today. Apple quietly joined the list of companies and services that now have a way for its customers to add this authentication features for its Apple ID and iCloud accounts.

The Apple ID site offers up more information on this additional security method. As with other two-step verification setups, the user register one or more devices, such as an iPhone or iPad. Then when a person signs onto their Apple ID or iCloud account, a four digit code is sent to the registered devices, either by SMS or the Find my iPhone iOS app. The four digit code is then typed in to complete the sign in process.

Other companies have had two-step verification options for some time, including Google with Gmail and other Google accounts, Facebook, Dropbox and others. Twitter has recently been rumored to be considering a similar option.

Microsoft also offers two-step verification for some services such as Xbox Live and SkyDrive but as of yet it has not put such a system into place for its email service. During its open beta period in August 2012, an unnamed Microsoft spokesperson was quoted as saying that it was working "to find a strong solution that everyone can use, vs. just the 1% of users that figure out how to navigate a bunch of additional setup options."

We have emailed Microsoft today to find out if will add some kind of two-step verification option at some point.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson gave us this comment: "We don’t have two-factor auth and have nothing new to share at this time. We do, however, have single use codes, require strong passwords, and good server-side detection."

Source: | Image via Apple

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