Enable advanced data protection for your iCloud backups

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With iOS 16.2, Apple is adding advanced security features to more of your data. Among other things, it adds highly secure end-to-end encryption for iCloud backups called Advanced Data Protection. This means that essentially only you can access the data stored in your iCloud device backup – Apple doesn’t have the key to access it. This is a strong layer of security and while it takes some work to set up and requires you to take more responsibility for recovering your data, it’s worth it if you want to make sure you’re the only one who has access to your backup data.

Here’s how to set up end-to-end encryption for your iCloud backups on your iPhone. You must be running iOS 16.2, which is currently only available in beta. Apple says it will be available to the public in the US in late 2022 and coming to the rest of the world in early 2023.

There are two main things you need to do to enable advanced data protection: update all your Apple devices to their latest version of the operating system (or remove them from your account) and set up account recovery. At the time of writing, that means iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, watchOS 9.1, and macOS 13.1. Any HomePods or Apple TVs using your iCloud account will also need to be updated to at least version 16.2.

So first go through all your devices and do a little housekeeping. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to set up account recovery.

The first step is to set up Account recovery as Apple will no longer be able to recover your data.

You can also set a recovery contact and/or a recovery key.

With Account Recovery enabled, you can begin setting up Advanced Data Protection.

With that done, you’re on your way to a future with much more secure iCloud backups.

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