How to Use iMessage Contact Key Verification on iPhone

Earlier this week, Apple released iOS 17.1 to the public, and now the first beta version of iOS 17.2 is available to developers. In addition to the long-awaited diary app, the iOS 17.2 beta adds support for iMessage Contact Key Verification, a security feature that was first previewed in December 2022. The Contact Key Verification is a security feature that is extremely useful for people who often need to access private and confidential data exchange, and you want to be assured that the data is only shared with the intended person. Since it is a new feature, you might have a lot of questions in your mind. But you don’t have to worry because we have summarized all the details in this article. We will tell you what iMessage Contact Key Verification is and how to use it. So let’s get started.

The iMessage Contact Key Verification is designed for users such as human rights activists, journalists, celebrities and government officials who face “extraordinary digital threats”. There is a contact code verification so iMessage users can verify that they are only talking to the person they intend to talk to and that no intermediaries are taking their iMessage conversations. Apple claims that this feature can prevent even highly sophisticated attackers from impersonating someone else in a conversation. There are three levels of verifying contacts on iMessage.

  • If both people have Ignition Key verifications enabled, they will be notified of any validation errors or issues directly in their conversations and Apple ID settings.
  • For tighter security, iMessage Contact Key Verification users can also use this code personally FaceTimeor through another secure call.
  • Users can also choose to create or edit a contact and then save a public key to enable iMessage contact key authentication for that person.
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Before you continue, check the following:

  • Currently, Ignition Key Authentication is only available in iOS 17.2 Beta, watchOS 10.2 Beta, and macOS 14.2 Beta. So make sure your Apple device is running a compatible version.
  • If you have multiple devices connected to your Apple IDyou must update all devices to iOS 17.2, macOS 14.2 or watchOS 10.2 Beta.
Requirements to use iMessage ignition key verification

Now that we have our basics covered, let’s see how to use iMessage Contact Key Verification on an iPhone.

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap [Your Name] from the beginning.
  • Now scroll down and tap Contact Key Verification.
  • Turn on the switch for this Authentication in iMessage.
  • On the next screen, tap Get on.
Contact key verification in Apple ID settings on iPhone
  • If you’ve added multiple devices to your iCloud account, you can update or sign out of iMessage on each device.
  • Alternatively, you can tap Remove devices in Settings to remove them from your account.
  • Once you meet the requirements, Ignition Key Authentication will be enabled on your iPhone.
  • On the same page you will see the “Show public verification codeoption. You can tap it to see the verification code that you can share with others to help them verify that they are sending a message with you. It is an 8-digit code that is unique to your account. There is also an option to copy this code. You don’t have to worry about your privacy and security as the verification code does not contain your personal information.
Enable verification in message on iPhone

Now that you’ve enabled iMessage Contact Key Verification, let’s see how you can use it to verify your contacts.

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Please note: Ignition key verification only works for iMessage and not for regular text messages. So make sure you and the other person have iMessage enabled.

  • Open an existing conversation or start a new conversation with the contact you want to verify.
  • If your contact has not enabled ignition key authentication, you will see a warning in the conversation that your contact has disabled ignition key authentication.
Ignition key verification disabled
  • To verify the contact, tap the contact’s name from the top of the screen, scroll down and tap Verify contact. Ask your contact person to do the same.
  • Now a contact verification code will appear on both iPhones. Ask your contact person to share that code with you.
iMessage contact verification code
  • If the shared code matches the code shown on your screen, tap Mark as verified. If the codes do not match, tap No match.
  • After verification, you will see a check mark next to the contact name at the top. This indicates that you are communicating with the right person.
Contact verified on iMessage

That was all about how to use iMessage Contact Key Verification on an iPhone. Although a very small percentage of users may need this iOS 17 feature, it’s good to have a way to verify that you’re talking to the right person. Undeniably, highly goal-oriented individuals will certainly appreciate this latest addition. The nice thing is that this security feature doesn’t hinder the normal functionality of iMessage or your iPhone.

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What is your opinion about this feature? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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