Apple just announced a trio of new security features designed to protect against threats to privacy and data theft.
This comprehensive suite of security tools starts with Security Keys for Apple ID. This allows people to require an actual physical security key to sign in to their accounts. The new Security Keys use third-party hardware security keys, and Apple notes that this particular tool is designed for public-facing users who face “concerted threats” to online accounts, like journalists and celebrities.
When activated, the hardware key acts as one aspect of two-factor authentication, making it nearly impossible for remote hackers to access your account.
Apple also just revealed an iMessage Contact Key Verification system, so you can be sure you're chatting with a real person and not an AI bot constantly asking you for your social security number, you know, "for fun."
Finally, there's Advanced Data Protection for iCloud users. This toolset uses end-to-end encryption to add another layer of security to anything you have stored in your iCloud folders, such as photos, notes, audio memos, and more. Apple already offers a limited version of this tech that protects 14 aspects of your iCloud account, but that number will jump up to 22.
Increased iCloud data protection launches today for members of the Apple Beta Software Program, with a full US release planned for later this year. Both Apple ID security keys and iMessage Contact Key Verification will arrive worldwide sometime in 2023.