What is Keychain?

iCloud Keychain is basically a keychain that holds passwords and credit card details instead of keys. This allows you to  sync them between your  devices, so you don’t need to remember everything. But bear in mind this is Apple’s first version of the software, so if you’re nervous about trying it for the first time on Keychain, you might want to look at a more established option such as 1Password.

If, like me, you’re not overly happy with the idea of all your credit card information being stored and synced across all your devices, you have the option to only store passwords.

This is Apple’s basic password management system. It will allow your account names, passwords and credit card info (if you choose to use it for this) stored in iCloud. It doesn’t work for everything, so you are likely to run into problems occasionally when a site doesn’t support Keychain. In this instance you can force the site to save to Keychain anyway by visiting Settings>Safari>Passwords & Autofill and select ‘Always Allow’. We’d probably recommend not using it for internet banking just yet. 

How to Set up and Use iCloud Keychain

When you set up your device for iOS 7, or when you make any updates to iOS 7, you will be prompted to enable iCloud Keychain. If you skipped this step (like I did), you can come back to it later by visiting Settings>iCloud>iCloud Keychain and switch it on.

You will be asked to sign into iCloud with your Apple ID. You will be asked to create a passcode. This is important, as you don’t want everyone who has used your phone (and knows your unlock code) to know your credit card details, so make sure it’s something only you know.

Then you need to visit Settings>Safari>Passwords & Autofill and switch on Names and Passwords (and Credit Cards if you so choose) which will make shopping online much easier.

To improve your online security, if you are someone who likes to use the same password for a variety of sites, you might like the “suggest password” option in Keychain, which can generate passwords for you.

How Do I Delete Passwords?

To delete passwords saved in Keychain, visit Settings>Safari>Passwords & Autofill>Saved Passwords where you’ll see a list of the sites you have saved passwords for. Select Edit and then choose the sites you want to delete passwords for, enter the passcode you created, then verify it, click the website and you will be able to see the passwords for each of the sites, where you can change or delete.

How Do I Add a Credit Card?

Go to Settings > Safari > Passwords & AutoFill > Saved Credit Cards. Here you will see an option to ‘Add Credit Card’. Add info here, and edit by selecting ‘Edit’ to make any changes to any of your cards.

Is iCloud Keychain Safe? 

Basically, if you do choose for Keychain to hold all of your passwords and credit card details, due to the lack of a separate master password, once you have unlocked your device, someone could potentially steal it and have access to all of your information. The password generator doesn’t generate particularly strong passwords, but it is protected by 256-bit AES encryption.

 

 

 

January 16, 2014

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