SwiftKey Security Issue

ghsNick

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 25, 2010
2,742
579
I'm confused by the message saying it'll have access to everything I've entered. I accepted it so I can try it, but I only typed a few notes to test it out.

Does it now have previous credit cards and information that I typed in using my regular Apple keyboard before it?

Or will it only get that information if I type that information in using their keyboard? I plan on uninstalling.
 

hasanahmad

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2009
1,154
877
I'm confused by the message saying it'll have access to everything I've entered. I accepted it so I can try it, but I only typed a few notes to test it out.

Does it now have previous credit cards and information that I typed in using my regular Apple keyboard before it?

Or will it only get that information if I type that information in using their keyboard? I plan on uninstalling.
it will take over your finances, your texts and publish all your private photos on TMZ.


jk. it needs it to access the keyboard on a systemwide basis as opposed to broad basis
 

mreddys10

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2008
249
1
I'm confused by the message saying it'll have access to everything I've entered. I accepted it so I can try it, but I only typed a few notes to test it out.

Does it now have previous credit cards and information that I typed in using my regular Apple keyboard before it?

Or will it only get that information if I type that information in using their keyboard? I plan on uninstalling.
Most of the third party keyboards try to 'learn' how you type so that they can give you better predictions. In order to do this, they sometimes send the words you type to an external server to improve the dictionary, or sync your dictionary across all your devices. This is the security risk that they are talking about. And this is the reason that Apple will only allow its own built-in keyboard for secure fields like password fields, and credit card info fields.

Third-party keyboards won't have access to what you type on other keyboards.
 
Last edited:

eddiec312

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2008
360
7
Miami, FL
For what it's worth, Swiftkey is a British company. So... pretty much the Queen will read everything you type and not the NSA :p
 

ghsNick

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 25, 2010
2,742
579
Thanks for the feedback. So if I don't type any passwords or credit card info into the SwiftKey keyboard I should be fine?
 

Puonti

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2011
1,001
487
My bet is that users will be fine even if they did type credit/etc. stuff in SwiftKey.
And they can always use the new credit card scanning feature in Safari instead if typing such information with a third-party keyboard is a concern (or if typing it with any keyboard feels too much like 2012).
 

ghsNick

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 25, 2010
2,742
579
Most of the third party keyboards try to 'learn' how you type so that they can give you better predictions. In order to do this, they sometimes send the words you type to an external server to improve the dictionary, or sync your dictionary across all your devices. This is the security risk that they are talking about. And this is the reason that Apple will only allow its own built-in keyboard for secure fields like password fields, and credit card info fields.

Third-party keyboards won't have access to what you type on other keyboards.
Ok so if I typed in a credit card number using Apple's keyboard than downloaded SwiftKey, it wouldn't have that info. Right?

It throws me when it says "including things you have previously typed with this keyboard". Does that mean Apple's keyboard or SwiftKey's?
 

EJ8

Suspended
Oct 13, 2010
645
324
Why doesn't Swype require this "Allow Full Access"? It works fine without it.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,624
1,904
Ok so if I typed in a credit card number using Apple's keyboard than downloaded SwiftKey, it wouldn't have that info. Right?



It throws me when it says "including things you have previously typed with this keyboard". Does that mean Apple's keyboard or SwiftKey's?

Previously typed as in the user dictionary.

Apple solved the security problem that previously didn't exist with recognized replacement keyboards.

You are much more likely to have a problem with the websites you are typing the password into rather than the keyboard itself.
 

sbailey4

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2011
3,775
1,958
USA
Most of the third party keyboards try to 'learn' how you type so that they can give you better predictions. In order to do this, they sometimes send the words you type to an external server to improve the dictionary, or sync your dictionary across all your devices. This is the security risk that they are talking about. And this is the reason that Apple will only allow its own built-in keyboard for secure fields like password fields, and credit card info fields.

Third-party keyboards won't have access to what you type on other keyboards.
This seems to be the case. I opened bankofamerica app and selected swiftkey keyboard, typed in userid but when it went to password field the keyboard switched back to apple standard. I will say though that the new quicktype (Apple keyboard) is pretty nice and is miles better at correcting typos, so fast typing seems to come out pretty good much like swiftkey.
 

JBaker122586

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2007
1,372
60
Thanks for the feedback. So if I don't type any passwords or credit card info into the SwiftKey keyboard I should be fine?
The iPhone won't let you type credit card numbers or passwords into SwiftKey. Any time you click on a secure field on a website or app, it will bring up the standard iPhone keyboard rather than any third party one you have on.
 

ghsNick

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 25, 2010
2,742
579
Previously typed as in the user dictionary.

Apple solved the security problem that previously didn't exist with recognized replacement keyboards.

You are much more likely to have a problem with the websites you are typing the password into rather than the keyboard itself.
Ok so just to clarify, I never typed in my password or credit card into SwiftKey, so I'm good?

Sorry for sounding paranoid, I've just had bad luck with credit card theft so I want to make sure.
 

Stuke00

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2011
1,674
74
Collinsville,IL
Ok so just to clarify, I never typed in my password or credit card into SwiftKey, so I'm good?

Sorry for sounding paranoid, I've just had bad luck with credit card theft so I want to make sure.
If you are that worried, disable full access in SwiftKey. Tho most of its functionality won't work if you do that.
 

ghsNick

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 25, 2010
2,742
579
If you are that worried, disable full access in SwiftKey. Tho most of its functionality won't work if you do that.
I removed the App for now. Just want to make sure using it for a little (with no passwords or credit cards) didn't mess anything up.

I noticed the text would roll up so there was full visibility. Probably a bug, but sometimes the keyboard hid what I was typing until I scrolled up.
 

jigzaw

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2012
427
189
I'm finding that Swiftkey works so much better than Swype (though this is probably due to full access), and Swype seemed to kind of lag up my keyboard switching, so I deleted it. I'm still tossing back and forth between Swiftkey and the native ios keyboard. Might give fleksy a try someday.
 

Stuntman06

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2011
961
5
Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
Ok so if I typed in a credit card number using Apple's keyboard than downloaded SwiftKey, it wouldn't have that info. Right?

It throws me when it says "including things you have previously typed with this keyboard". Does that mean Apple's keyboard or SwiftKey's?
SwiftKey does learn what you type and that includes numbers. When I was moving and I was typing my house number a lot, SwiftKey would predict my house number after entering the first digit. Any input field that SwiftKey can see, it can remember in order to better predict and correct what you type. If you can enter your credit card number in any input field that is visible, then SwiftKey will learn it and suggest it later if it finds you are constantly typing that number. This is how SwiftKey works and why it is considered one of the best keyboards when it comes to text prediction and auto correction.

SwiftKey does not offer suggestions whenever I type into a password field where the characters you type are hidden. On my Android phone, SwiftKey never makes suggestions or corrections.

If you use multiple devices, SwiftKey has a cloud feature. What it learns from one device it can apply to other devices. This feature works across platforms as well. I use SwiftKey on my Android phone. When I installed it on my iPad Mini, I activated the feature so it can take advantage of what it learned from my typing on my Android phone. As my typing style and words I use don't change across devices, SwiftKey can make accurate predictions and corrections immediately without having to relearn my typing style on my iPad Mini.

Now whether or not someone who works for SwiftKey can actually go in and look at what you type, that is more to due with the security policy within the company. I think this is possibly what you may be concerned about. That I don't know. I do not recall seeing SwiftKey ever many any announcement about their security policies.

It all comes down to a matter of trust. SwiftKey is a well trusted app on Android. It is one of the most popular third party keyboards on that platform. I do not recall hearing anything that suggests any issue with their security practices.
 
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