Apple today quietly introduced a new two-step verification feature for iCloud and Apple ID users in order to offer improved account security. Enabling two-step verification will require a user to identify his or her identity with both an Apple ID password and a four-digit verification code, which Apple will send to an owner's trusted device, before the user will be able to manage the Apple ID account or make a purchase from the App Store, iBookstore or iTunes Store from a new device. Apple also provides a 14-digit Recovery Key that can be used in the event that a user forgets his or her passwords or loses a trusted device.
Google has been offering similar two-step verification account security for its services for some time now, so it's good to see Apple finally offering some improved iCloud and Apple ID security as well. Enabling two-step verification on an Apple ID should make it much more difficult for a malicious individual to make unauthorized purchases or changes to an account, and with a Recovery Key, the user is the only person that can reset his or her own account password (even Apple support won't be able to). If you're interested in adding two-step verification to your own Apple ID or iCloud account, you can do so by moseying on over to the Apple ID website.