How to use Advanced Data Protection for iCloud in iOS 16.2

Things to know before you use Apple Advanced Data Protection for iCloud:

  • Your devices must be running iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, macOS 13.1, tvOS 16.2, and watchOS 9.2 (or later).
  • Enable Two-Factor authentication for your Apple ID.
  • Set up at least one recovery contact or a recovery key because if you lose a device or forget your password, you are the only one who can restore your data. Apple will not have your iCloud backup encryption keys.
  • You can’t enable Advanced Data Protection for managed Apple IDs and child accounts.

Apple is emphasising user security more with iOS 16, which offers a tonne of new features. Therefore, a new function dubbed Advanced Data Protection for iCloud is available as part of the most recent iOS 16.2 updates. It will offer end-to-end encryption and add more security layers to the iCloud service. Do you want to protect your iCloud data? Learn how to use iCloud’s Advanced Data Protection on your iPhone or iPad.

What is Advanced Data Protection?

Industry-leading data security has always been a feature of Apple for its customers. The number of sensitive data categories covered by Apple Advanced Data Protection has now increased from 14 to 23, including iCloud Backup, Notes, and Photos. They can therefore use end-to-end encryption to be sure that neither hackers nor Apple will be able to decode your data.

The iCloud Advanced Data Protection function is optional. Only your trusted devices will be able to access your iCloud data after you enable it. Processing for iCloud Keychain will also be included. Your old iCloud authentication will be removed if you choose end-to-end encryption for iCloud.

Also, your new iCloud data will be secured using a new service key that is only available for your trusted devices. Therefore, Apple will no longer access your encrypted cloud data even if a data breach in cloud services happens.

According to Apple, “Advanced Data Protection is Apple’s highest level of cloud data security, giving users the choice to protect the vast majority of their most sensitive iCloud data with end-to-end encryption so that it can only be decrypted on their trusted devices.”Head of Security Engineering and Architecture at Apple, Ivan Krsti

How to turn on Advanced Data Protection in iOS 16.2

Remember turning on Advanced Data Protection on one device will enable it for all your Apple ID-linked devices. Here I have mentioned the steps for iPhone and iPad.

  1. Open Settings and tap your name.
  2. Select iCloud.
  3. Scroll down and tap Advanced Data Protection.

    Tap Advanced Data Protection in Settings on iPhone
  4. After that, choose Turn On Advanced Data Protection.

Now, if you have not configured your Recovery Key, it will ask you to set up Account Recovery.

  • Once you have set up Account Recovery, return to the Advanced Data Protection page. If all your Apple ID-linked devices are not running the most recent operating system version, it will notify you of which ones need to be updated. You may also unlink that device from Settings. 
  • After accomplishing all the requirements, enable and use Apple Advanced Data Protection for iCloud. You’ll be guided through a couple of additional verification steps. So, enter your Recovery Key and lock passcode as required. 
  • In the end, you will get a confirmation on enabling Advanced Data Protection.

    Set Up Account Recovery to turn on Advance Data Protection for iCloud

For Mac, you need to go Apple menu → System Settings → click your name → iCloud → Advanced Data Protection → click Turn On.

To disable the feature, go to Settings → tap your name → iCloud → Advanced Data Protection → Turn off Advanced Data Protection. And follow the on-screen prompts. 

Changes after turning on iCloud Advanced Data Protection

Once you have Advanced Data Protection enabled, you might notice some changes. Your iCloud data will no longer be accessible online at iCloud.com. So, only your trusted gadgets can access your data. Use one of your trusted devices to grant temporary access to your online data if you want to enable it.

All shared data, including iCloud Shared Photo Library, iCloud Drive shared folders, and shared Notes, will receive end-to-end encryption if you have Family Sharing configured. However, everyone in the group should have the functionality turned on.

Additionally, the iWork collaboration does not support the Advanced Data Protection function. Therefore, the collaborative files you share in Photos or with “anyone with the link” will only have typical data protection precautions.

Apple’s other security measures for user data

Apple has introduced two more capabilities in addition to Advanced Data Protection for iCloud to protect users’ private data and communications. They are the Apple ID Security Keys and the iMessage Contact Key Verification. You may be sure you are texting just with the correct person with the help of the iMessage Contact Key Verification.

Furthermore, you may now sign into your Apple ID account with a physical security key. You may learn more about iCloud data security by visiting the Apple support page.

So, that’s all for today, folks!

By the end of December 2022, the Advanced Data Protection for iCloud function will be available everywhere. Therefore, protect your important iCloud data from data thieves and intrusions. Take security precautions as well to safeguard your Apple ID and iPhone.

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