Apple recently introduced a new feature in iOS 17 that can help you keep your iPhone messages app clutter-free and secure. The feature allows users to automatically delete text messages that contain verification codes for two-factor authentication (2FA).
2FA is a security method that requires users to enter a code sent to their phone or email, in addition to their password, when logging into an online account. This adds an extra layer of protection against hackers who may try to steal passwords or access sensitive information.
However, 2FA text messages can pile up in the messages app and pose a privacy risk if someone else gets access to your phone. Moreover, some hackers can use message mirroring apps to see all the SMS texts and bypass 2FA security.
To address these issues, Apple introduced a feature that can automatically delete 2FA text messages after you use them to log in. This way, users can avoid having to manually delete them and reduce the chances of exposing their codes to others.
The feature is available for iPhone and iPad users who have updated to iOS 17 or later. It works with the autofill codes feature that makes 2FA easier on iOS by recognizing an OTP and allowing users to copy it with one tap from the message notification.
How to automatically delete 2FA messages on the iPhone or iPad
To activate the feature, just follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app and tap on Passwords.
- Tap on Password Options near the top of the screen.
- Under the section labeled Verification Codes, toggle the Clean Up Automatically setting on.
Once the feature is enabled, you will see a notification at the bottom of the screen when you receive a 2FA text message. The notification will inform you that the message will be deleted after you use the code and give you the option to undo the action if you want to keep the message.
The feature is similar to the one that Google has added to its Messages app for Android users, which allows them to automatically delete 2FA text messages after 24 hours.
Apple has been working to improve the messages app and make it more user-friendly and secure. The app also offers suggested actions, nudges, real-time text, Apple Meet integration, and end-to-end encryption for some conversations.
The new feature is a welcome addition for users who want to keep their messages app tidy and their accounts safe. However, its best to use app-based one-time codes instead of 2FA, such as the Google Authenticator, instead of SMS as a 2FA method, as they are more secure and do not rely on network connectivity.