Apple this week introduced an extra layer of security for Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime apps.

Similar protection, in the form of two-factor verification, was added to users’ iCloud and Apple ID accounts back in September shortly after a number of celebrities had their accounts hacked. At the time, Apple boss Tim Cook promised to improve security for his company’s products.

However, with iMessage and FaceTime, the situation is a little different. For these services, you’ll need to enter an app-specific password along with your usual login credentials next time you sign in to the apps. This will only be requested if you’ve already set up two-factor verification with your Apple ID account, something you should seriously consider doing if you haven’t already done so. You can generate an app-specific password by logging in to your Apple ID account at appleid.apple.com and hitting the ‘Password and Security’ button. 

Of course, the new security measures mean that another person attempting to sign in to iMessage or FaceTime from another device or machine will also be asked for this special password, though only you will have access to it.

Full instructions on setting up two-factor verification can be found here, and you can learn more about app-specific passwords here.

Related: How to pick a strong password

The extra layer of security should go a long way to keeping your accounts safe, so if you use Apple products and haven’t yet enabled two-factor verification, we highly recommend you take a few moments to set it up.

With so many people apparently continuing to use absurd passwords across multiple online accounts, and with hackers constantly sniffing around for opportunities to nab data, some sort of two-step security option is offered by most major online firms these days, among them Google, Microsoft, TwitterDropbox, and Facebook.