After years of backlash from many foundations, Apple will now offer end-to-end encryption features for iCloud backups. Along with that, users will soon be able to use physical hardware to keys to add an extra layer of security to their iCloud account. iCloud already offers two-factor authentication features, and this is a much-needed reinforcement.
The biggest change is the introduction of Advanced Data Protection. It is a security feature that will protect 23 sensitive data categories. Moreover, users will be able to check if they are messaging an actual contact with their Apple device using the iMessage Contact Key Verification feature.
How To Use iCloud Encryption?
iCloud encryption is a thing now. It means that your data will be secure with E2EE, and no one except you can decrypt it. This will save your data from snooping eyes – be it law enforcement, the company, or malicious entities. You can decrypt it using your trusted device and your Apple ID.
The Advanced Data Protection option will appear inside iCloud settings. To enable it, tap on the “Turn on the Advanced Data Protection” option. But before doing that, always set up a recovery method. The app window explains that since Apple doesn’t hold the decryption keys, you must set up a recovery method in case you lose access to your primary account.
The only major iCloud data categories that are not covered are iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar. Apple explained that because these services need to interoperate with the global email, contacts, and calendar systems, they are left out of Advanced Data Protection. This new feature will be available to all the participants of the Apple Beta Software Program in the US. The rest of the users in the US will have access to this feature by the end of 2022. For other regions, the rollout will begin in early 2023.
iMessage Contact Key Verification is another useful feature aimed at users who need that extra layer of assurance. So, the app will inform you whether you are communicating with the real account user’s device or a new device. Apple claims that this will benefit users involved in highly-sensitive job profiles, such as journalists and human rights activists. Yesterday, Apple introduced multiple changes to the App Store Pricing rules.