Is iCloud encrypted?

Don’t let iCloud rain on your Privacy and Security

Thursday 14 October, 2021

Is iMessage secure? Can other people access my messages?

Let’s start at the beginning with iMessage privacy and security. iMessage does have end-to-end encryption which means that only you and the person you send a message to can gain access and view the content. This sounds like everything you would expect from a company that prides itself on providing high levels of privacy and security for its users. 

iCloud files are not encrypted

However, there is a problem that could turn round and rain on your parade and it’s called iCloud. 

Whereas the messages you would normally send are end-to-end encrypted, the files that are saved to the iCloud are not. Considering that most iPhone users do not deactivate the automatic backup to iCloud feature, it means there are vast amount messages, files and data that are sitting there unencrypted. Apple do state facts in their policy documents about what is and isn’t stored in iCloud. 

Their reasons behind this lack of encryption stem from the ability to restore the files should the user forget their password. For example, if the user does forget their password and the iCloud files are encrypted, they would not be able to gain access to them without the original password. Therefore, they can only restore the files when they are not encrypted. 

Despite the option of disabling messages on iCloud, the only real way to be certain that your files are not backed up to the iCloud in an unencrypted format is to disable to iCloud back up. Most iPhone users would not be comfortable with not backing up their files, in fact, most iPhone users don’t regularly clear their chat history. 

It is also worth noting that, even if you have disabled all backups of your messages on your iCloud, the chances are the person you messaged has not. Therefore, the messages you sent each other will be stored on the iCloud under their account. There’s nothing you can do to avoid this fact. 

Many businesses and individuals still feel that backing up their phone is an important part of their working lives. There may be messages or photos, for example, that could form an important legal case or contract. 

How to keep text messages private as well as your files and data

There is the option to switch your handset to the Blackphone PRIVY 2.0, which provides you with the most secure smartphone on the market, no backups to a third-party server but still has the option to maintain your files securely encrypted on the device. 

All communications using the Blackphone PRIVY 2.0 are end-to-end encrypted including voice and data. 

The Blackphone PRIVY 2.0 does not send files or data to any other third-party server for backup or storage. Every piece of data is held locally on the handset and is encrypted with no way of discovering the password. 

In addition, the data can be held separately from other sections of the phone, for example separating business and personal use, by making use of the sandbox feature within the set up. 

If you have your phone stolen or if you mistakenly lose the handset, you still retain control over your data and files. You can reverse wipe all content on the handset and the bootloader lock will prevent the OS prom being compromised, safe in the knowledge that your important files are secure on your own laptop. 

We have been helping many businesses maintain their mobile communications secure, along with their sensitive information and file transfers safe from third party servers that have the risk of being hacked or data held without encryption. Smartphone security and privacy doesn’t mean having to have limited functionality. Blackphone PRIVY 2.0 delivers both.

If you would like to discuss your specific mobile security requirements, please give one of our team a call. They will be happy to help. 

Read more about the Blackphone PRIVY 2.0 or call our Sales Team on +44 (0)871 666 9 666.

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