Apple has released iOS 16.3, which includes a huge security feature that is set to change the way our entire lives are stored online.
iCloud is home to some of our most trusted memories, secrets, and more, and the thought of a hacker getting our hands on our cloud storage data puts fear in most users with an Apple ID.
To help protect this, iOS 16.3 and related iPadOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2 updates brought support for Security Keys to further strengthen Apple ID protection.
iOS 16.3 security keys
“Apple ID Security Keys allow users to enhance the security of their accounts by requiring a physical security key to sign in,” says an excerpt from Apple’s release notes.
Apple has long offered two-factor authentication (2FA) on its accounts, but this type of protection is still easy for scammers to get around phishing emails and other types of hacks.
Users looking to take an extra step to protect their account can choose to use a file Physical security keywhich only they can access, in order to prevent unwanted access from prying eyes.
While this may be welcome news to many, it comes with caution for less tech-savvy customers. that’s why You are You’re now the owner of your encryption key, so if you were to lose it, it’s permanently locked — Apple won’t back it up.
The latest round of updates also saw an expansion of Advanced Data Protection. It’s now able to end-to-end encrypt 23 iCloud categories, including photos, which Apple says is “[protect] Your information even in the event of a data breach in the cloud “For worldwide users after initial US rollout only”.
Other updates include bug fixes, an improvement to Emergency SOS that should see fewer accidental phone calls, and support for the second generation HomePod.