How to Protect Your Apple iCloud Account
If you’re an Apple user, you undoubtedly have an Apple iCloud account and that account holds the key to a lot of your personal information. You may have read in the news recently that there is a group holding over 200 million Apple iCloud accounts at ransom for $700,000. While Apple insists that user accounts have not been compromised, the group responsible, the Turkish Crime Family, threatens to reset all the breached accounts on April 7th.
Now, it’s highly unlikely that Apple has truly been hacked but if you’re concerned about your account, there are a few things you can do to protect your account:
Back Up Your Account
I know what you’re thinking: wasn’t iCloud meant to be used as a method to back up your devices? While this is true, since the TFC claims to have breached iCloud, it’s not your best bet for backing up at this point. As an extra measure of insurance, I recommend backing up your mobile devices to Mac or PC using iTunes. In other words, back up your iPhone or iPad the old fashioned way.
Change Your Password
Obviously your iCloud password is currently a weak link so it’s important to address that as soon as possible. To do this, change your password using a new secure password. In case you’re wondering, a secure password is made up of at least 16 characters and uses lower case, upper case, and special characters. If you feel intimidated by a password with these characteristics, try a password manager like LastPass or Dashlane. While you’re at it, you might as well update all your passwords to make them as secure as possible.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is becoming more and more popular and there’s a good reason for this: it makes your accounts that much more secure. Basically, two-factor authentication is a method of confirming a user’s identity by requiring them to present two separate pieces of evidence of their identity. When it comes to iCloud, two factor identification usually requires that a user confirm their identity on a trusted device when trying to login to their account using a new device. This means that if a hacker was trying to access your account using a new device, you’d be asked to verify their identity on the trusted device you designated. Naturally, this would alert you of the security breach and allow you to stop it.
To set up two-factor authentication on your Apple devices, follow these instructions.
While there are no guarantees when it comes to security, these steps should help protect you from an attack.