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Apple’s iCloud Keychain Password Management Is All Many People Need | Computer Hardware

Apple’s iCloud Keychain Password Management Is All Many People Need | Computer Hardware

Apple's iCloud Keychain password management is something many people need.

We recommend using a persistent password manager such as 1 Password, Butt Wardenor Dashaline. But many people resist committing to another app or paying for another service. Isn't Apple's built-in iCloud Keychain password management good enough?

The answer is now yes, thanks to two recent changes:

  • In iOS 17.3, Apple added Stolen device protection, which leverages biometric authentication — Face ID or Touch ID — to protect users from thieves who would secretly learn someone's passcode, steal their iPhone, and then steal their digital lives. will take over. One of the worst aspects of this attack was that the iPhone passcode was enough to access the user's saved passwords, so the thief could get into everything.
  • Until mid-2023, Apple's built-in password management only worked in Safari, causing problems for users relying on other browsers. Then Apple updated it. iCloud passwords Extension for Google Chrome is running in macOS 14 Sonoma based on Google Chrome to work not only in Windows but also in Mac browsers. Now there is one iCloud passwords Add-on for Firefox.

If you're not already using a password manager, try iCloud Keychain.

Password Basics

Apple integrated iCloud Keychain into macOS, iOS, and iPadOS at a low level, so you interact with your passwords mostly in Safari. But first, make sure to activate iCloud Keychain so that your passwords are synced between your devices. On a Mac, you do this in System Settings > your name > iCloud > Passwords and Keychains. On an iPhone or iPad, it's in Settings > your name > iCloud > Passwords and Keychains.

If you're using a browser other than Safari, install the iCloud Passwords extension or add-on and activate it by clicking it in the toolbar and entering the verification code when prompted.

When it comes to website accounts, there are two main tasks: creating a login and logging into the site:

  • Create a new login: When you need to create an account on a new website, after you enter whatever you want for an email or username, Safari generates a strong password for you. Unfortunately, the iCloud Passwords extension or add-on on Mac can't generate passwords—you can either create a strong password manually or temporarily switch to Safari to let it generate one. When you submit your credentials, you'll be asked to save them.
  • Autofill current login: The next time you want to log in to a site for which you've saved credentials, Safari or your other browser on a Mac will display a popup with a login that matches the domain of the site you're on. Is. On an iPhone or iPad, you may get an alert at the bottom of the screen or you may have to make a selection in the QuickType bar above the keyboard.

For basic use, that's it! However, iCloud Keychain can make mistakes. The site shown above asks for both an email address and a username and wants the email address to log in, but iCloud Keychain remembers the username instead. Happily, Apple makes it easy to fix such rare errors. On a Mac, open System Settings > Passwords, or on an iPhone or iPad, open Settings > Passwords. This is where you find and edit your saved logins.

Open the desired login by double-clicking it on a Mac or tapping it on an iPhone or iPad, then click or tap Edit and make any desired changes.

iCloud Keychain provides additional features and options:

  • The Passwords window or the search field at the top of the screen helps you find logins if scanning the entire list is frustrating.
  • You can use in command. + Menu for creating new passwords and shared groups. On a Mac, commands in the ••• menu let you import and export passwords. iPhone and iPad use this menu to delete passwords in bulk and display generated passwords.
  • Shared groups let you share a subset of passwords with family or colleagues. Selecting a new shared group triggers an assistant that lets you name the group, add people from Contacts, and choose which passwords to share. You can transfer passwords between groups at any time.
  • The Security Recommendations screen shows logins exposed in known breaches and identifies logins with weak passwords. Check them and update as needed.
  • In the password options, you can turn off autofill, but why would you? The second option automatically deletes verification codes received in messages when it enters them with autofill.
  • On websites that support two-factor authentication, you can set login to autofill the verification code. During on-site setup, you'll receive a QR code that you can scan with an iPhone or iPad if you're using a Mac; If you're using an iPhone or iPad, touch and hold the QR code and select Add verification code to passwords. After configuring the login, you must enter a six-digit verification code on the site to link with the login.

Overall, iCloud Keychain provides the password management features most people need, and it's a huge security improvement over keeping a document of your passwords on your desktop.

(Featured Image by iStock.com/loooby)

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