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Dropbox iOS app now supports Apple's Touch ID

Users of the iPhone 5S and the latest iPhones and iPads can now secure and access their Dropbox documents via Apple's fingerprint sensor.

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Dropbox

Dropbox users with sensitive documents stored on their iPhone or iPad can now protect them with a simple fingerprint.

The online file storage site updated its iOS app on Monday to support Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor. That means owners of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8 can readily protect any Dropbox documents that they wish to keep from prying eyes. And those of you who buy the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 will be able to do the same.

Here's how the process works:

  • First, you need to set up Touch ID on your device if you haven't already done so.
  • Then update your edition of Dropbox for iOS to version 3.5. Open the Dropbox app and tap on the Settings icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap the setting for Passcode Lock. In the Passcode screen, tap the link to Turn Passcode On. The app prompts you to enter a 4-digit passcode. You can use the same passcode you created for your iPhone or come up a different code entirely. Type and then retype the passcode.
  • In the Passcode screen, tap the option to turn on Touch ID. Now exit and then relaunch Dropbox. The app now asks you to either enter your passcode or use your fingerprint to unlock the Touch ID.

So why add Touch ID security to Dropbox if your iPhone is already protected by the feature? Well, the measure throws in an extra layer of app-specific protection to your files. Many other iOS apps also support Touch ID in lieu of a password. And the timing is important as Dropbox may have added the feature in light of its own recent security issue.

A week ago, a group of hackers claimed to have stolen the log-in information for almost 7 million Dropbox users, threatening to release the password details unless they were paid a ransom. Dropbox, however, claimed that it was not hacked and that the passwords were actually stolen from third-party services and used to try to gain access to accounts on its online file storage site.

Either way, those of you concerned about the safety of the online files accessible through your iPhone now have that extra layer of protection.

The latest update to the app also adds support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and includes a fix for previewing RTF files in iOS 8.