iPhone Guide: iCloud Keychain, a practical password manager

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Apple officially added the “Keychain” function to the iOS 7 system, which has become what it is today after continuous additions to several versions.

iCloud Keychain is a password management system created by Apple for iPhone/iPad/Mac. With this function, the user’s account name, password and credit card number can be safely stored in iCloud and can be synchronized on all devices. When using the Safari browser, you can also use the iCloud keychain to fill in the required information through biometric identification.

If you often use the iCloud “Keychain” function, you will know its convenience-automatically save passwords, generate strong passwords and other functions. While ensuring security, there is no need for users to remember passwords in various apps. Got the trouble of resetting the password.

Strong password generation

At the 2018 WWDC conference, Apple officially launched a strong password function-the system will automatically generate a string of passwords containing some specific symbols to try to avoid the occurrence of account theft and password leakage caused by too simple passwords. A string of passwords is usually 20 characters long.

If the user chooses to use a strong password, it will be automatically stored in the iCloud keychain and automatically filled in all devices that have logged in to the corresponding iCloud.

iPhone Guide: iCloud Keychain, a practical password manager

Of course, users can also choose to use their own designated password. Click on the “optional password” below to bring up the system keyboard and fill in the user’s own password.

If you are not satisfied with the password, you can bring up the keyboard again to generate a new “strong password”. Every time the keyboard is called up, the strong password will change once.

iPhone Guide: iCloud Keychain, a practical password manager

Fill in the password automatically

When the user fills in the account password on a website for the first time and logs in, the iCloud keychain will prompt the user to save the password.

Each time you log in to the website, the iCloud keychain will have two prompts-one is the same as the strong password generation interface, occupying the system prompt at the bottom of the screen; the other is directly above the keyboard. The user experience is also very good. It is very convenient to fill in the account password with one click.

iPhone Guide: iCloud Keychain, a practical password manager

Third-party password manager

In iOS 12, Apple opened a password filling API for third-party password managers such as 1Password.

The advantage is that 1Password can also fill in the account and password with one click, just like the iCloud keychain that comes with the system, without opening the App to copy and paste. For friends who use third-party password managers, the improvement in convenience is huge.

iPhone Guide: iCloud Keychain, a practical password manager

In addition to Apple, Microsoft’s Edge browser and Google Chrome browser also have software-level auto-fill functions. In the iCloud keychain, iOS also supports Chrome as a source of password filling. For users who often use the Chrome browser, there is no need to export and import passwords.

System-level security

Every time you use the password in the iCloud keychain, you need to go through a biometric method-touch ID or face ID, to ensure that you transfer the password.

When entering “Settings”-“Password”, you also need to go through the biometric method to enter; when the settings are resident in the background, the multi-task switching interface shows that the password is locked.

Although the need to perform biometric identification every time affects the convenience to a certain extent, it is also a “helpless move” to ensure privacy.

iPhone Guide: iCloud Keychain, a practical password manager

In addition, the iCloud keychain will automatically detect whether the password has been leaked and give security recommendations.

When a password leak or repeated use is detected, the system will inform the user “this password has been used in a data breach” or “you also used this password on other websites”.

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Custom password library

For Apple users, apart from buying Apple products, Apple’s official website is still a huge treasure trove. Recently we have already mentioned it in detail in an article.

Now, I recommend a practical tool “Password Generator” from Apple’s official website.

iPhone Guide: iCloud Keychain, a practical password manager

The password generation method of this generator is exactly the same as that of the device, but it provides users with a way to customize random passwords-you can set the number of passwords, uppercase and lowercase letters, whether with numbers and symbols, etc.

The password generated in the device is 20 digits by default, and the password generated in the “password generator” has no limit on the number of digits.

iPhone Guide: iCloud Keychain, a practical password manager

After completing the settings, you can download these passwords generated according to the specified rules in the lower right corner-you can download 100, 1000 or even 10000, and you can have a huge password library of your own, without worrying about the passwords being too simple. Risk of leakage.

To sum up, the disadvantage of iCloud Keychain lies in its limitations-this API needs to be implemented using the system’s own keyboard or the system’s own browser Safari. When using other keyboards or browsers, in addition to the aforementioned Chrome browser, The iCloud keychain is often not automatically recognized.

Moreover, Apple does not currently force all apps to access this API, which results in many stored passwords that need to be imported into the iCloud keychain by themselves, which reduces the convenience of one-click to fill in the password.

If you are an Apple Family Bucket user, it is highly recommended to use the iCloud keychain function. In addition to the automatically generated or filled-in password, you can also enter the required account password by yourself, so you can save a lot of time wasted by forgetting the password;

If you also use the “password auto-fill” function of other password managers or other software, or a person with an excellent memory, iCloud Keychain becomes unnecessary.

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