How to generate two-factor authentication codes directly from iOS?

How to generate two-factor authentication codes directly from iOS? How to set up iOS to generate two-factor authentication codes without using third-party apps. Computer security has become increasingly important in the daily life of all users and two-factor authentication is, to date, one of the main forms of protection against intrusions and external attacks.

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What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication is a security procedure used to secure as much as possible access to the accounts of the various network services and involves the use of a password and an additional security code which is generally sent via SMS or via a code generator such as an authenticator app. In this way, an attacker will not be able to enter the account even if he knows the password, as these confirmation codes are temporary and expire after a few seconds. Furthermore, physical access to the device would be required to access these codes.

Many users do not know that, starting from iOS 15, the Apple operating systems allow the creation of two-factor authentication codes directly on-device. This feature is available on iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey – of course including later and current versions such as iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura.

The greatest convenience is that these codes are synchronized on iCloud between the various user devices and are filled in automatically, obviously after verification by means of a lock code, Touch ID and Face ID.

How to enable generation of codes for two-factor authentication with iCloud?

The first thing to do to enable the generation of codes for two-factor authentication with iCloud is to activate the feature on a compatible platform. For example, you can set up the functionality in question on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and many other online services that have a secure login function.

Once the function is set up, you will be provided with a key in the form of characters or a QR code, which you can then import into the authentication app of your choice.

So far we are in line with what has been explained to activate Google Authenticator. The only difference is that you will need to complete the process with the Settings app in iOS, iPadOS or via Safari in macOS and not with the authenticator app from Google, Microsoft or other companies.

The steps to follow are these:

  1. Copy the security key received from the web service to be configured
  2. Open the iOS Settings app
  3. Enter the password section
  4. Choose the account related to the service (e.g. Facebook)
  5. Tap on “Set up verification code”
  6. Paste the previously copied key

At this point, simply provide the service to be configured with the first confirmation code generated by iOS, by copying and pasting it, to activate the feature.

If you find yourself in front of a QR code, just tap on the Scan QR function and proceed with the activation.

How to use iOS to generate two-factor authentication codes?

Using the function is extremely simple, as per tradition on iOS: once the password for login via the iCloud keychain has been automatically filled in, just tap on the suggestion available on the keyboard to also automatically enter the authentication code, generated on the spot.

In the event that the app or service does not support direct access, by going to the Settings, under Password, it will be possible to copy and paste the temporary code to be used, obviously within the time limit of validity which generally lasts a few seconds.

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