Did you set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID? Do not lose that recovery key (plus how to replace it)
The recovery key is a critical, actually, it is the critical piece of information you need if you find yourself with a locked Apple account due to a security problem. During the two-factor sign-up process Apple stresses how important the recovery key is by forcing you to print it, then re-enter the key as proof that you have a copy. Then, you are supposed to put that in a secure location away from other people, but not necessarily a place you might forget.
If your Apple ID gets locked down due to a security issue, your passwords are not valid tools for helping recover the account. Trusted devices are not an option either. The recovery key is the only way.
According to Apple, if your account is security locked, and you lose your recovery key with two-factor authentication enabled, your account is lost. Your only option is to start a fresh, as even Apple cannot help you.
Now you might be thinking, “My Apple ID is fine, and I have 2A, but I have no idea what I did with my recovery key!!” The good news is that for accounts in good standing, you can create a new recovery key to replace the old one quite easily. Just follow these steps:
- Go to appleid.apple.com
- Click on “Manage my Apple ID”
- Log-in with your ID and password
- Verify you are who you say you are with a trusted device
- Select “Security” on the left
- Select “Replace recovery key”
- Continue through the set-up procedure which will include printing and re-entering that key
Then it is up to you to safe-guard that information, be it by taking a picture and storing somewhere separately, or keeping the print-out in a small fire-safe. The point being that in instances of using increased security measures to protect your information, be prepared to take extra measures to protect the information you may very well need to stay connected.
references and image sources: The Next Web (1, 2)