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Is It Safe To Store Passwords On iPhone Notes? (3 Tips)

By Larry Li

May 20, 2022


Most people have dozens of different accounts and passwords to remember. For convenience’s sake, you may even store important passwords on your iPhone’s Notes app.

But is it safe to store passwords on iPhone Notes? It’s relatively safe to store passwords on iPhone Notes only if you keep the note locked behind a password. However, there are better password storage options offering more security and organization than iPhone notes, especially when it comes to storing sensitive information. 

I understand how convenient it is to store your passwords on iPhone Notes. But if your account passwords fall into the wrong hands, it can lead to devastating consequences. 

So why take the risk of storing your passwords on iPhone Notes? Especially when a better solution, Trustworthy, is readily available, easy to use, and just as convenient as iPhone Notes. 

In today’s in-depth guide, I’ll discuss:

  • If you should store passwords on iPhone notes

  • Security features and encryption on iPhone notes

  • 3 tips on storing passwords on iPhone notes

  • The risks of storing passwords on iPhone notes

  • Alternative password management solutions

Let’s dive right in.

Should You Store Passwords on iPhone Notes?

In general, you shouldn’t store passwords on iPhone Notes. Even though iPhone Notes offers the ability to lock your notes with a password, the app isn’t specifically designed to store highly sensitive information. Therefore, you are putting your passwords at risk when storing them on iPhone notes.

Your passwords are the gateway to your identity, and you must protect them at all costs. Storing your passwords on iPhone Notes can be compared to cutting a cake with a fork. Although it can work, it’d be much more effective to use a knife.  

As I mentioned earlier, there are password storage platforms dedicated to storing and protecting sensitive information. Not only do these digital storage platforms offer more protection for your passwords, but they also provide peace of mind since you know your passwords are completely safe.

You shouldn’t even store passwords for less sensitive information like social media and Netflix accounts on iPhone Notes. Since you likely use the same passwords across all of your accounts, one account breach can lead to many more. 

I’ll discuss the best alternative password management solution further on in this guide.

Security Features & Encryption On iPhone Notes

The iPhone Notes app contains a secure notes feature, allowing users to protect the contents of individual notes. After securing a note, the note is end-to-end encrypted with a user-provided password that is required to view the note on the iCloud website and iOS, macOS, and iPadOS devices.

Note: I'm going to get a bit technical in this section, so if you don't want to learn about the encryption technology behind iPhone Notes, then scroll to the next section where I give you actionable tips on storing passwords using iPhone Notes.

When you secure a note on the Notes app, a 16-byte key is acquired from your password using PBKDF2 and SHA256, which are irreversible and unique cryptographic hashes. This means it’s nearly impossible for a hacker to crack your password. 

Additionally, your note and all of the note’s attachments are encrypted using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with Galois/Counter Mode. This is a form of high-speed authenticated encryption providing even more data integrity for your notes.

Then, new records are created in CloudKit and Core Data to store your encrypted note. Core Data stores and secures your data while CloudKit provides interfaces for moving data between your Notes app and your iCloud. 

The original unencrypted data is deleted once the new records are created. To view a secured note, you must enter your Notes password or authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID. 

After successful authentication, iPhone Notes opens a secure session. The secure session allows you to view and secure other notes without additional authentication.

Furthermore, the secure session closes automatically when:

  • Your iPhone locks

  • You tap the Lock Now button in Notes

  • The Notes app is switched to the background for over 3 minutes

The iPhone Notes secure notes feature offers a moderate level of protection as long as you lock your notes properly. If you sync your notes to iCloud, the notes are encrypted while in transit and when they’re stored in iCloud. 

3 Tips on Storing Passwords on iPhone Notes

If you insist on storing passwords in iPhone Notes despite my best recommendation not to, I want to make sure you take advantage of all of its security features. I truly understand how convenient iPhone Notes is for storing passwords. 

So, here are 3 crucial tips for storing passwords on iPhone notes.

1. Set Up Your iPhone Notes Password

It’s imperative to secure notes containing sensitive information with a password, Face ID, or Touch ID. If the note containing this information isn’t secured with password protection, anyone who has access to your iPhone or synced iCloud account can access your information. 

First, go to the Settings app on your iPhone and scroll down until you see Notes. Tap on Notes, then tap Password.

Next, enter a secure password and give yourself a hint. You should give yourself a useful hint in case you forget your Notes password. If you do forget your Notes password, you can reset your password, but you won’t be able to access your old notes. 

After you create your password and password hint, you can enable Face ID or Touch ID if your device supports it. By enabling Face ID or Touch ID, you don’t need to enter your password every time you want to access a locked note. Instead, you can use Face ID or Touch ID.

2. Lock Your Notes Containing Passwords

Once you set up your iPhone Notes password, you must go to your Notes app and lock the note containing your passwords.

Open the Notes app and click on the note containing your account logins and passwords. Then, tap the 3-dots button in the top-right corner of your screen. 

A menu will appear with options to:

  • Scan

  • Pin

  • Lock

  • Delete

Click Lock to put password protection on your note. After you lock the note, you can see the lock symbol at the top of your screen. You can tap the lock symbol to hide the note’s contents.

If you want to view a locked note in the future, you’ll need to authenticate your identity using Face ID, Touch ID, or your Notes password.

3. Use Two-Factor Authentication on iCloud

You should also enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your Apple ID. Once two-factor authentication is enabled, it’s extremely difficult for a third party to access your iCloud account even if they know your password. Since you may sync your iPhone Notes app with iCloud, protecting your iCloud account is crucial.  

Two-factor authentication is a login method requiring two pieces of information to access your account. This includes your account password and a separate verification code sent to a trusted device.

To set up two-factor authentication, go to your iPhone’s Settings, tap Your Name, and then tap Password & Security

Next, tap Turn On Two-Factor Authentication. Apple will ask you to provide a phone number where you want to receive the verification code when you log in. You have the option of receiving the codes by text message or automated phone call.

After you enable two-factor authentication, your iCloud account is highly protected because you’ll need to enter the verification code sent to your phone when you log in from new devices.

Related Article: Is It Safe To Store Passwords On Google Drive? (4 Tips)

The Risks of Storing Passwords on iPhone Notes

The main risk of storing your passwords on iPhone notes is unwanted parties accessing your information. Depending on what passwords you store on your iPhone Notes, the consequences of a password breach can be catastrophic. 

Another significant risk of storing passwords on iPhone notes is losing your passwords. If you accidentally delete an important password from your note and re-write the save, it may be impossible to access previous versions of the note.

Furthermore, it’s possible to accidentally delete the entire note and lose all of your passwords if the note isn’t backed up on iCloud.

Using iPhone Notes to store your password is also highly unorganized and hard to manage properly. Because of this, you may have difficulties locating and entering the correct account username and password.

Alternative Password Management Solutions

At this point, you should understand that storing passwords on iPhone Notes isn’t the safest or most effective option. Fortunately, there are alternative password management solutions that offer heightened levels of security and organization.

The best way to store your passwords is by using Trustworthy. 

Use Trustworthy to Store Your Passwords

Trustworthy is a digital storage platform dedicated to protecting, managing, and organizing your personal information. Offering bank-level 256-bit AES encryption and other state-of-the-art security features, Trustworthy is designed to protect your passwords from breaches and cybercriminals. 

In addition to best-in-class security, Trustworthy features a section on the product dashboard dedicated exclusively for passwords. In this section, you can create different tiles for each of your passwords. You can then add a title for each password, making it easier to find in the future. 

Compared to iPhone Notes, Trustworthy offers:

  • Enhanced security protocols

  • Better password management and organization

  • Convenient and secure password sharing with trusted individuals

  • Peace of mind 

Trustworthy is also just as easy and convenient to use as iPhone Notes. With the Trustworthy iOS app, you can quickly access all of your passwords 24/7 from any location. 

Trustworthy (click to start your free trial) is a comprehensive password management tool that provides an innovative solution to store all of your passwords. Beyond password management alone, you can also use Trustworthy to store sensitive information like personal IDs, financial documents, and medical records.

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