Apple is finally ramping up security around Apple ID / iCloud accounts with the introduction of two-step verification. The new safeguard requires users to verify their identity on a trusted device before making changes to their personal information. Much like the way Google and other companies handle the two-step login process, Apple will send out a verification code to one of your devices that must be entered before your sensitive data can be accessed or changed. Users will also receive a recovery key that serves as a last-ditch verification method if they forget their main password or lose a trusted mobile device.
In offering the new measure, Apple is addressing critiques that the company hasn't gone far enough to protect its users. Senior Wired writer Mat Honan's Apple account was compromised in a high-profile hacking incident last year, which led both Amazon and Apple to reevaluate their authentication practices.
At the outset, two-step verification is available to users in the United States, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. Note that if you've changed any account info recently, you may need to wait up to three days before getting started; it's yet another measure to prevent Apple IDs from being hijacked.