apple It has released software updates for iPhone, iPad and Mac that will help keep your data even more private on the company’s servers.
For the first time, you can encrypt Apple Photos, Notes and iCloud backups stored in the cloud, including iMessage conversations. This is thanks to an optional end-to-end encryption setting called Advanced Data Protection.
Apple’s encryption encodes your data so you need a key to decrypt it, and now the key for backups is available only on your device, not in Apple’s data centers.
If you’re signed in, most of what you upload to iCloud will be available only to you. In the event that Apple’s iCloud is hacked, most of your data will be protected. Apple released a statement December 7.
Apple can’t even access the data when it’s stored on the company’s servers. Law enforcement agencies with a warrant will not be able to enter it either, which has led to a dispute between them. Apple and the FBI.
Since Apple no longer has keys to recover your data, you’ll need to set up an alternate recovery method, such as a Recovery Contact or Recovery Key, if you lose access to your account. In other words, after installing Advanced Data Protection, you will be responsible for recovering your data if you lose your device. No more trips to the Genius Bar to restore a cloud backup in case of emergency.
Here’s how to set up end-to-end encryption for iPhone iCloud backups.
How to set up end-to-end encryption for iPhone
Before you begin, make sure your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac and HomePod are updated to the latest software. On an iPhone that needs to be updated to iOS 16.2 first, you can do so by opening Settings and tapping General > Software updates. Your phone will download the update and require a restart before it finishes.
- Now that everything is updated, go to Settings > iCloud > Advanced Data Protection.
- Tap “Account Recovery” or “Advanced Data Protection” to continue.
- A notification will pop up stating that you are responsible for data recovery.
- Click on ‘Set up Account Recovery’.
- It will prompt you to add a recovery contact (or create a recovery key, but you’ll learn more about that later.) Apple prompts you to choose someone you trust to help you regain access to your account. Remember: Apple won’t be able to sign you back in.
- You will then be prompted to send a message to that recovery contact letting them know they have been selected. The person you ask will have to approve the request.
- Another option is to set up a recovery key if you don’t want to trust someone else with all your iCloud data. This is a 28-character code that you must keep in a safe place so that you can restore your backups.
- You will then be asked to confirm by re-entering your recovery key. After doing this, your recovery key will be activated.
- After you turn on Advanced Data Protection, you need to enter your iPhone passcode to activate it.
This is it! Just remember: If you haven’t stored your Recovery Key in a safe place or installed a Recovery Contact, your data is as good as gone.
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