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Your iOS Passwords Might Be at Risk. Here's How to Secure Them

Change these password settings on your Apple device to stay protected online.

back of the iPhone 14 Pro on a yellow background
This iOS trick will help keep your passwords secure.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Password security is serious business. One compromised password -- especially if it's reused or easily guessed -- can spell trouble for multiple accounts. For example, if your Netflix account password winds up in a data leak, and you used the same password for your bank account, a lot more than your show binge history could be visible to bad actors online.

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If you want added password protection, you can check out an iOS feature that will alert you to compromised passwords, passwords that need strengthening or passwords that have appeared in a data leak. Apple's Security Recommendations feature for passwords operates independently of Passkeys and third-party password managers. 

If you haven't set yourself up with a password manager, you really should. Check out our top picks for password managers in 2022

Here's how to get started on iPhone and iPad: 

1. Open the Settings app on your Apple device

2. Scroll down and tap Passwords

3. You'll be prompted to unlock with Touch ID or your device password

4. Tap Security Recommendations 

5. Toggle on Detect Compromised Passwords

After you've enabled that setting, Apple will give you two lists: High Priority and Other Recommendations. High Priority will notify you if one of your passwords has appeared in a data leak, as well as the ability to change the password on the service's website or delete the password from your device. The Other Recommendations list suggests changing passwords that have been reused or are easily guessed. 

If your passwords are secure, you'll see a little green checkmark next to Security Recommendations. CNET reached out to Apple for further clarification and we'll update when we hear back. 

For more, check out data privacy tips experts want you to know and browser settings to change that will boost your privacy.