Two Factor Authentication Subverted by Enabling Text Message Forwarding in Yosemite
Convenience is all the rage. Who wouldn’t want to be able to text on your computer without having to whip out the old iPhone every time? It is great! Yet, one of the things it also allows is that if someone gets a hold of your computer (you just had to take a bathroom break and left your laptop on the Starbucks table) they can get into your financial, medical, or any other website that requires two factor authentication if that authentication is based on a text sent to your smart phone.
For example, let us say that you wish to get into your banking website. You type in your credentials and it then send you a code via text. Well, if you have Yosemite and have text message forwarding in place, that code comes up on your laptop. The miscreant then types that code in and viola, access.
But I don’t want to loose my phone answering and texting capability from Yosemite!!!
You don’t have to. It’s quite easy to temporarily turn off text message forwarding; and it’s all done from your iPhone!!!
For iPhone 5, 5s & 6:
Go to Settings => Messages => Text Message Forwarding => MacBook Pro (or whatever mac to which you are forwarding.
Simply slide the slider to the off position.
Now you can be secure in knowing that no texts will be forwarded to your mac from your phone.
Now to turn this feature back on it is as simply as Go to Settings => Messages => Text Message Forwarding => MacBook Pro (or whatever mac to which you are forwarding.
Simply slide the slider to the ON position.
You will then see the screen:
Now on your mac, open up Messaging and you will see the code that the computer created for this connection:
Then simply type in the code into your iPhone and text forwarding is again active.
So when should you do this?
Turn off Text Forwarding when you take your laptop anywhere other than your home. Cars can be broken into; laptops stolen; etc. Be smart. Be careful.