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Secure your UserDefaults & NSUserDefaults with encryption.

Supported platforms:

iOS 10+ (tested)

macOS 10.10 (tested)

tv0S 10+ (untested)

watchOS 3+ (untested)


Developers use the UserDefaults mechanism to store default values for their apps. Generally, when you have sensitive information - storing in the UserDefaults is inherently insecure.

One option is to use the Keychain ; using the keychain for app settings can be a bit hacky (say vs. a password or some simple data you want to store).

secure_defaults offers a way to get the benefits of both approaches - storing your app settings (including sensitive ones) in your suite in the UserDefaults, and encrypting the data while doing so!

How it works

Using Asymmetric Encryption , secure_defaults creates an asymmetric key using one of the supported key types to encrypt your data, however, it uses a function in the Security.framework that produces a symmetric key and encrypts with that (for performance reasons, especially when working with blobs of data).


RSA Encryption

ECDSA Encryption

ECDSA Encryption with the Secure Enclave (if available)

Leveraging Swift 4 's Codable protocol - create your object graph (all conforming to Codable), have your root object conform to a PreferenceDomainType and secure_defaults handles the rest.

There is even a nuke() function to wipe out all the keys data (if you need to).


Swift Package Manager:

add to your Package.swift:

dependencies: [
   .Package(url: "https://github.com/dcilia/secure-defaults", majorVersion: 1, minor: 0)


Add to your Cartfile

github "dcilia/secure-defaults"


in your Podfile:

pod 'secure-defaults', :git=> 'https://github.com/dcilia/secure-defaults'


Using secure_defaults is comprised of the following steps:

Step 1: Create your object conforming to PreferenceDomainType, and call register()

Step 2: Create a provider object, RSAEncryption / ECEncryption (for ECDSA secure enclave, set usesSecureEnclave to true)

Step 3: Call the encrypt / decrypt functions

Step 4: Save your data using the save() function.

Here is an example:

import secure_defaults

class Prefs : Codable {
    var name : String = "Luke"
    var last = "Skywalker"
    var lastOpen = Date()
    var isUser = true

extension Prefs : PreferenceDomainType {
    static var key: String {
        return "settings"
    static var name: String {
        return "Test Key Can Delete"
    static var tag: String {
        return "preferences.com.tags"

let p = Prefs()

///RSA Provider Encryption Example:
let provider = RSAEncryption<Prefs>()
do {
    let val = try provider.encrypt(input: p)
    p.save(encryptedPayload: val)
catch {

var payload = Prefs.encryptedPayload()

do {
    let result = try provider.decrypt(input: payload)
catch {

That's it, you have just encrypted your app settings into a suite on the UserDefaults!


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