In addition to the redesigned Home screen with widgets, App Library, and features like Car Key, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 brings important enhancements to iCloud Keychain. Apple has made improvements to give users access to more helpful information about their passwords. Read on for a hands-on look at what’s changed on iCloud Keychain with iOS 14.
If you’re not familiar with iCloud Keychain, it stores and syncs all your passwords from different websites and apps through iCloud. Users can access the iCloud Keychain with an iPhone or iPad by opening the Settings app and then tapping the Passwords menu.
With iOS 14, Apple offers a new “Security Recommendations” menu that shows only your passwords that could put your accounts at risk for some reason. This includes passwords that are easy to guess and even those that may have leaked on the web.
iCloud Keychain now clarifies what the problem is with the password for each specific account saved there, so users can learn more about creating stronger passwords. Some of these features were already present in iOS 13, but they weren’t as prominent as in iOS 14.
Here are some examples of security alerts provided by iCloud Keychain on iOS 14:
Many people use this password, which makes it easy to guess.
This password is easy to guess.
This password uses a sequence, “123”. Using commom patterns makes passwords easy to guess.
There’s a new alert in particular that’s also one of the most important for users. According to Apple, iCloud Keychain now verifies if your passwords are involved in a data breach. This is important not only to let you change your password immediately, but also to be aware of what other accounts may be affected if you use a repeated or similar password.
Here’s how the company describes the feature, which is also present on macOS Big Sur:
Safari securely monitors your saved passwords, automatically keeping an eye out for passwords that may have been involved in a data breach. To do this, Safari uses strong cryptographic techniques to regularly check derivations of your passwords against a list of breached passwords in a secure and private way that doesn’t reveal your password information — even to Apple. If Safari discovers a breach, it can help you upgrade to Sign in with Apple when available, or automatically generate a new secure password.
In addition to the iCloud Keychain improvements, Apple announced an open source project to help developers support strong passwords that are compatible with popular websites. The company is also adding Touch ID and Face ID support in Safari through the Web Authentication API.
iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS Big Sur are expected to be available to the public this fall.
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