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Overview of Apple Keychain: What is it, and why must you learn to use it?

Apple Keychain

Apple or iCloud Keychain is the in-built password manager for Mac, iPad and iPhone. It makes it hassle-free to create complex, safe passwords, which you can access while using Safari. You can even securely store important information across multiple devices, such as your passwords, account names and credit card numbers. What’s more, you can sync the information across your Mac, iPad and iPhone. You can also read all about how you can find and edit passwords on your Mac using iCloud Keychain at https://setapp.com/

What is the Apple Keychain?

iCloud Keychain provides a secure location to save your personal and sensitive information. Most importantly, it remembers all the information so you can auto-fill content across apps and the web.

The information stored is protected via end-to-end encryption, which is the highest level of security. Your information is protected with a key stored on your Mac or other Apple device, along with your device passcode. No one, including Apple, can access your data without the right combination. 

How to enable iCloud Keychain on Mac?

Enable iCloud Keychain on your Mac by clicking the Apple icon > choosing System Preferences > selecting Apple ID > toggle On Keychain under iCloud. 

You can also enable iCloud Keychain on your iPad and iPhone, but you need to follow device-specific instructions.  

Uses of iCloud Keychain 

Password generation 

The primary use of iCloud Keychain is to store usernames and passwords for applications and websites. The information is typically stored in the same location, regardless of which device you are using. 

For instance, if you create a username and password for a new banking app on your Mac, the information gets saved to iCloud Keychain. Once saved, the combination is used on the banking app’s website on Safari. Also, you can sync the information across all your Apple devices to save you the trouble of saving the username and password twice. 

When creating a new password through an app or Safari, you will be prompted to create a strong password. If you select the option, Apple will provide you with an auto-generated password that will include eight or more characters, at least a number and a mix of lower and uppercase letters. Or, you can create your password and let iCloud Keychain remember it. 

Management of saved passwords 

All the usernames and passwords saved to iCloud Keychain can be accessed when you need to, and you can even delete or update the information when you want. When you do, the changes will sync across all your devices. 

Open the Safari app on your Mac to find iCloud Keychain information > click Safari and choose Preferences > click the Password tab and log in using your system password. After that, use Search to find the website you would like to review > highlight the website you want to check > choose Details to view the website’s username and password > make changes wherever applicable > choose Delete to remove the website information or Add to add new information. 

Management of credit card or banking details 

When you add bank or credit card details on an app or website, iCloud Keychain will suggest saving the details for future use. When you do, you will receive a prompt to use the information when attempting to buy something or make a payment somewhere. 

Apple Keychain automatically adds the card number and expiration date. But, you need to add the three or four-digit security code whenever you wish to use it. 

You can also adjust banking card information on iCloud Keychain. You need to open the Safari app on your Mac > select Safari > choose Preferences > click the Autofill Tab > login using your system password > select Edit next to Credit Cards > choose Add to add a new credit or debit card > highlight the card you want to delete and click Delete. 

Even though iCloud Keychain safely stores your passwords and bank details and you can access them easily, you might not want to use all the features it provides, such as autosaving and auto-filling your credit card and personal information. You can disable it by going to Safari > clicking AutoFill > toggle the Credit Cards off. 

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