How to setup iCloud Keychain on OS X Mavericks

Keychain_Access_iconiCloud Keychain is a cloud service for OS X Mavericks and iOS 7.0.3 upwards. The iCloud Keychain stores your usernames, passwords and credit card information when using the Safari browser.

This will also allow you to sync across Safari with your third-party apps that support the iCloud Keychain. The Keychain also stores your Wi-Fi networks and can be used as a password generator. The information is securely stored using 256-bit AES encryption.

If you are like me and have several Apple device i.e. Mac, iPhone, iPad and/or iPod, you will most likely want to use iCloud Keychain as this means you don’t have to manually reenter your login credentials for each of your devices. You are protected from bad actors, in the event someone manages to guess your password. Refer to my previous post How to enable iCloud and iTunes two-step verification to learn more about how you can protect your Apple ID.

You can setup iCloud Keychain for the first time on your Mac or iOS device. It’s up to you. For the benefit of this post, we will be using a Mac.

NOTE: The following assumes you use a Mac password to login.

  • Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud
  • Select Keychain
  • You should set a password to unlock your screen after sleep or after the screen saver begins
  • Enter your Apple ID and password
  • Create and confirm an iCloud Security Code (default is four digit codes but you can click ‘Advanced’ for stronger password strings)
  • Next you will be asked to enter a mobile number for receiving SMS messages to confirm this code

TIP: You have the option to store your password on your device, rather than on iCloud – just click ‘Advanced’ > Don’t Create Security Code

You’ve now setup your first device – the Mac. Next up, you will need to setup your next iOS and or Mac device to approve use of iCloud Keychain. If you are using iCloud Security on iOS or using a Code in OS X, you will need to enter the security code you selected when you first set up the Mac (above). You may also need to enter a verification number (six digits) that was sent to your mobile device.

Lastly, you will now need to request approval on iOS and OS X. You will need to tap or click this button and a notification will now appear on all your other devices that have iCloud Keychain enabled with the same Apple ID. Go back to your Mac and open > iCloud > System Preferences and click > Details next to Keychain and enter your password and click > Allow. Now go to your iOS device and enter your Apple ID password and tap > Allow.

You have now completed the iCloud Keychain setup.

For extra security for your iOS, you might want to enable the ‘Erase Data’ feature. Go to > Settings > Passcode > enter your passcode > Enable Erase Data. By enabling this feature, you will erase all data on your iOS device after 10 failed passcode attempts.

Safe surfing folks!

Julian

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