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iCloud Keychain Security Code. All You’ve Got to Know

Updated on June 6, 2020
mohsinul profile image

I am a tech geek. I love to share my technology experience with others.

we all use devices and are sometimes unaware of the dangers out there that could infiltrate our information. apple offers two back to back laid security walls: icloud keychain and a security code. these are set in place to work with strict protocols to only allow entry authorization and give access to only its approved user and his devices.

Your iPhone carries your usernames, passwords, credit card information, embarrassing attempts what you think qualifies as decent selfies and so forth. It’s vital information which, if resting on the wrong hands, could spell doom for you. I’ll fill you in on why your iCloud Keychain and its Security Code are things to take seriously and be thankful for.

We will learn what these are, how to use them, how authentication & approval works to ensure access to devices and thus enjoy solid all out protection. This article is meant for a wider audience about the vulnerabilities and precautions one must be wary of on a daily basis.

Let’s Get More Real

Imagine you’re at your local KFC, in the toilet helping your four year old work the mighty potty. A spider makes it entry down the wall and you two are hysterical, both shrieking like, well, two four olds. Some quick jerky movements and your kid’s cute little shoe falls into the toilet, and as you try to pick it up before it goes all Titanic on you, your iPhone drops in, from your breast pocket, as well. Ask yourself, what stings the most right now.

The shoe, which you don’t even think is cute and frankly looks sort of recycled from ocean waste, or the iPhone carrying all your digital data. Also, which scream is the loudest, the spider scare or the iPhone drop? Think about it.

What Is It?

The iCloud Keychain is much like Heimdall from Thor, a gatekeeper of sorts. The iCloud Keychain works round the clock to save your usernames and passwords from your Safari web browser, saved pages, bookmarks, credit card data, Wi-Fi information and all other data stored by apple and you work with on your Apple products running the iOS7.0.3, its later versions, OS Maverick 10.9 and later versions – across all Apple platforms. It’s all synced. You saved a Katy Perry music video on your Macbook, it’ll show up on your iPhone browser.

It’s a lot of information, isn’t it? You could be a Prime Minister on your way to office with sensitive information on your devices: iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro, or a research associate, regardless, loss of data or unauthorized access to it could ruin your life.

What Holds It All Together?

Of course, there’s a key and system at place to keep it intact. Your code simply is the 4 or 6 digit code you have set up to gain access to your device, i.e., all essential information about YOU on your Apple product.

If you had a wonderful conversation with a carpenter you found online on Messenger and saved his information only on that app, you’ll find if you use your iPad to access your email, Derek carpenter cheap will appear on all apps, saved, including Contacts, synced across all ios devices. Pretty handy, right?

You can watch this video out there to show you how it holds everything together in your devices.

Let’s work with real life scenarios to understand this phenomenon without getting bogged down by technical jargon. We will learn how these two security measures work side by side, become valued as irreplaceable and cannot function entirely too well without the other.

Okay, now your buddy from college recently got married and is looking to invite the in-laws for Thanksgiving. Only problem is that his house isn’t exactly what you would call pleasant. Mould, termite and the odd talks about asbestos are plaguing the marriage, so he thought a pleasant dinner with the family could bring him and his missus together. She’s no dummy, a dinner isn’t enough. A renovation is needed.

Now you’re at the office, your new iMac laid in front of you and on the left there’s a picture of your kid, wearing that ugly shoe, is framed and aimed right at your eyes, reminding you of the bathroom incident. Your landline rings and you pick up to answer your friend asking if you know any good carpenter for a reasonable budget. Of course, Derek is your guy but you had his information saved on your home computer and you left your iPhone at home. How do you find Derek?

The Need

Now this iMac was an additional device. What you need to add it to the list of already approved devices under the protection of your Keychain is to use the iCloud Security Code. This is a new device in your office. One code sets you apart and is unique to you. Once through, this opens up all the information linked by the chain.

This is what your code is all about. You need to enter your previously determined code into the iMac and voila! Your new office computer is now in sync and you now have access to other Keychain related activities including the matter at hand, finding Derek!

How To Set Up The Keychain?

Once you are done updating your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch the latest iOS and you will notice that the setup assistant will ask you to set up iCloud Keychain. However, if you somehow jumped over this particular step and want to set up iCloud Keychain now, go through the steps written below:

For systems operating the iOS 10.3 and later versions:

  • Click Settings > [your name] > iCloud.
  • If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, click Settings > iCloud.
  • Click Keychain and slide to switch on iCloud Keychain.
  • Enter your Apple ID password.
  • Read the onscreen instructions and follow it.

On your Mac with OS X Mavericks 10.9 and later:

  • Select Apple () menu > System Preferences, then tap iCloud.
  • Chose Keychain. If you wish to, you are allowed to place a passcode to unlock your screen after sleep or after the screen saver commences.
  • Enter your Apple ID and password.
  • And go through the onscreen instructions and follow it.

For a different way to learn, this could make this slightly interesting.

How to reset your iCloud Keychain?

But if fail to access any device that has your iCloud Keychain, you have to go for a fully different process to reset icloud keychain. Let's have a look at that!

For i-phone, i-pad or i-touch:

  • At first tap settings.
  • Go to your profile(Your name)
  • Go to iCloud.
  • Turn the iCloud Keychain on.

But if you are an iOS 10.2 or earlier version user, you will have to go for below.

  • After tapping settings you will find iCloud.

Then your device will require your ID password. There will be two-step verification. If you are using this, you don't need to worry. Using two-step verification you can reset the security code. But if you don’t use verification system, tap for forgetting the code. Then what to do? I have explained below-

  • Tap for reset keychain and replace your keychain from the device.
  • Tap reset again to confirm.
  • Now there will be steps that you have to follow to create a new iCloud code.

For Mac

If you are using Mac with OS X Yosemite, you should follow the below steps.

  • Select Apple menu.
  • Then go to system preferences.
  • Tap iCloud and then Keychain.
  • Here you will be asked to give your Apple ID password.
  • Then tap for user code.
  • Select forget the code and enter the iCloud security code.
  • Click reset keychain so that it can replace your keychain from the device.
  • Tap Reset to confirm.
  • Now set up the new security code by following the onscreen process.

Don’t be Hasty

What we’ve come to understand thus far is that it’s a doubled layered system. The code on one hand which grants one stage of access and then you’ve got the Boss level entry guarded by the Keychain. While all these systems of verification are running your identity through their servers, your information stored on devices and web platforms are all interconnected and synced and updated each time you make a change. It’s the kind of reassuring thing you’d like to keep at the back of your mind before going to sleep, especially so if you operate out of multiple devices.

Am I Still Doing It Right?

But we do have nightmares, don’t we? Think of the ways this almost air tight system that could very well beat 007 and fail you.

Easy: sloppiness on your part. Apple can provide security for you as long as you are willing to take it all the way.

Have you made sure that you set up Keychain on all the devices you want to use? Yeah, do that. Once done, you’ll see it seamlessly update itself and be on sync with the other devices.

The beta thing would be to ignore the step to set up a Security Code and only set up the Keychain since it’s what’s holding the information.

However, loss of the chain would mean loss forever – unless you’ve got the code which ensures successful recovery of your digital existence which, in today’s world almost appropriately and sadly, is a huge portion of who we are.

The alpha and non-dumb thing would be to have the code and chain both in place. Don’t risk it, apply this dual level security coverage just to be on the safe side. For those Googling other password management tools and apps, keep in mind, that your basics are met, at least, and these two discussed so far are advanced enough for the most of us.

A lot of us have heard of leaks and hacks of our iCloud information and are hesitant to leave our data and authentication information on it. There are ways to ensure your iCloud Keychain information remains ONLY on your device and other approved ones and NOT on Apple servers.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Mohsinul Hasan


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