Apple Adds New Password Rules to Secure iCloud Accounts
iCloud users will soon need to abide by a new set of password requirements, put in place by Apple to fight against account breaches. In mid-May, Apple sent out a support email to iCloud customers, explaining the new requirements. The new requirements went into effect on June 15th.
The new policy concerns third party apps that need to access iCloud data to function. Such apps include Microsoft Outlook and other similar programs used for email, calendar management, and contacts. Apple will require app-specific passwords for such programs, instead of allowing users to use the same iCloud password repeatedly to link third-party apps to their iCloud accounts.
In the past, it’s been relatively easy for users to integrate apps with iCloud, when necessary. If an app needed a user’s iCloud data, that user could just enter their Apple ID and password and be on their way. Just as a user would input their Apple ID and password to log into iTunes or the App Store, so would they provide that information to link their iCloud accounts to apps that needed access to them.
To ensure that people follow the new policy, Apple has made it so that third-party apps currently accessing iCloud were automatically logged out of those accounts on June 15th. Users will need to generate app-specific passwords and then log back into iCloud for the apps to keep working correctly.
To generate new app-specific passwords, you will need to go to your Apple ID account page online, sign in, and navigate to the Security section. There, you will be able to generate app-specific passwords for any third-party applications that require iCloud data. You can click here to learn more about managing your app-specific passwords.
While the new rules will create something of a hassle for users who have lots of different apps linked up with iCloud, they should also close some holes in the defenses of iCloud accounts. If you fear one of your passwords has been stolen or compromised, all you need to do is go to your Apple ID account page and reset your Apple ID password. This action won’t just reset your primary password, but will also revoke all app-specific permissions. Users will then need to generate new app-specific passwords through the Apple ID page to continue using those apps.