Apple announced yesterday that it will roll out three powerful security tools over the next year.
These tools will help users secure their iCloud data, stay safer on iMessage, and protect their Apple ID with physical security keys.
The Wall Street Journal notes that the expansion of end-to-end encryption for most iCloud data “wouldn’t be accessible to law enforcement, even with a warrant.” That’s a good thing for individual privacy.
The improvements to digital security are designed to put users in charge of securing their data.
Apple Advanced Data Protection encrypts all your data
Advanced Data Protection for iCloud is the most significant update to privacy. When turned on, it will make iCloud encrypt most of your data.
In its current state, iCloud encrypts sensitive data such as iCloud Keychain and Health data. When the update comes and you opt-in, iCloud will encrypt Photos, iCloud backups, and more.
The only data that won’t be encrypted is from iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar. Those services need access for full functionality, so encrypting them isn’t possible.
Users must set up a secondary recovery method to recover their iCloud data.
Security key support
Apple says that over 95 percent of active iCloud users have enabled two-factor authentication (2FA). In early 2023, users can use physical security keys as a 2FA option.
That means that users that want (or need) additional security will be safe even if someone gains access to their existing 2FA method.
iMessage Contact Key Verification
iMessage messages are already end-to-end encrypted. So are FaceTime conversations. It would take a “highly sophisticated cyberattack” to break that, but it’s possible.
That’s why Apple is rolling out iMessage Contact Key Verification. The upcoming feature will verify who you are sending messages to.
Users can also compare what’s called a Contact Verification Code. This can happen in person, over FaceTime, or via secure call.
These security features are coming soon
Apple says that Advanced Data Protection for iCloud will be available in the U.S. by the end of the year. The rest of the world will start getting access in early 2023.
iMessage Contact Key Verification is coming globally in 2023. And Security Keys for Apple ID will be available everywhere in early 2023.
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