Imagine you’re shopping online using your MacBook when you get called away from your desk. Later in the day, you’re waiting for an appointment and have a moment to wrap up the task. You pull out your iPhone and pick up where you left off, with the website password and even your credit card number synced securely for your convenience. It’s possible with the new iCloud Keychain.
Amidst the many exciting bits of news that came out of the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference last week was an announcement about the new iCloud Keychain, a password manager for Safari. While it didn’t generate a lot of immediate buzz, this latest development has the potential to significantly impact consumer habits online.
For those of us who utilize iCloud across different Apple devices, the addition of the iCloud Keychain is welcome news. It is yet another way to keep synced and organized, regardless of whether we’re using our MacBooks or our iPads.
iCloud Keychain has a number of remarkable features. It will store and sync website login data, credit card numbers and even preferred Wi-Fi networks and their passwords, across all systems. It can even auto-fill information in online forms.
In an era where we all have more login credentials than we can easily manage, we are scared off the practice of using one password for everything (or even worse, writing our passwords down somewhere.) Yet studies show two thirds of North Americans still use the same password for multiple websites and services, leaving them vulnerable to phishing attacks. In this regard, iCloud Keychain will make our technology-driven lives a little easier. It will even generate and suggest new passwords for users, then store and use them from that point on, if preferred.
iCloud Keychain is Apple’s answer to services like LastPass or 1Password, which integrate with browsers across devices, enabling subscribers to access all their accounts once they’ve entered a master password. The main advantage over competitors’ products, of course, is that iCloud Keychain is free.
Not only is it free, it’s safe, too. To keep your most sensitive data secure, it utilizes 256-bit AES encryption, only syncs on trusted devices, and doesn’t store credit card security codes.