Help! My Apple ID account may have been hacked!
People use their Apple ID to manage everything from music to photos and even private business transactions. With everything under one blanket account, users can easily upload, share, and access all of their data with ease. Which is why getting your Apple ID account hacked is a really big deal.
Everyone from the royal family to pop culture figures have been targeted, which is why you need to be aware of this threat so you can take measures to prevent it. Before we tell you how to stop the hackers, though, let’s run through what you should do if you suspect your Apple ID account has been infiltrated.
1.Change your password
Go to the Apple ID login page, and change your password in the Security settings of your account. Strong passwords are long (minimum of 8 characters) combine uppercase and lowercase letters, and will often have numbers as well. You don’t want to use something obvious like your dog’s name or your favorite movie. Those are too easy to guess.
2. Inspect which devices are connected to your account
Apple ID lets you permit several devices to access your account. All devices will be listed under the Device section of your account. Scan the listed devices to see if there’s any there that you did not grant permission to use. If there is, click Remove, and this will automatically sign that device out of your account. You will have to authenticate in order to re-enter your account. It is a good idea to remove any device that you aren’t using anymore as well to prevent issues from arising.
3. Check your personal details
Keep scrolling down on that same settings page to find the Account section. Review all the information in this section carefully to see if any new phone numbers or email addresses have been added to the account. If they have, remove them immediately by clicking the Edit button on the far right side of the screen.
4. Verify the shipping address
Last but not least, go to the Payment & Shipping section at the bottom of the Settings page. Here you’ll be able to see if anyone added or changes the shipping address associated with the account. This is an easy way for hackers to buy things on your tab and have them delivered to them instead. Once again, remove any unfamiliar or inactive information by clicking on Edit.
5. Check your other accounts
One mistake a lot of people make is using the same password for multiple accounts. If you share passwords, then you need to check that your other email, social media, and online accounts haven’t been accessed as well. Regardless of whether or not you see suspicious activity, the hacker now has access to those accounts, so you should change your password immediately. This is true whether it’s serious financial websites like your online banking account or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In general, you never share passwords between accounts. It’s just a bad idea.
6. If you’re locked out of your Apple ID account.
This is a much more serious situation than a simple hack. If you’ve been locked out of your account (i.e. you can’t access it or log in), immediately check the email account associated with your Apple ID. If you can still access your email account, change the password on the spot. This way, the hackers cannot take control of your email as well. Visit this page to reset your password.
From there, follow the steps discussed at the beginning of this article.
If you’ve been locked out of your email account as well, you need to try to recover the account right away. Here are some helpful guides for the various email providers:
7. Contact support if all else fails
If none of the above works, then get in touch with customer support immediately. You can find direct phone numbers by entering your location here, or you can submit a request for a rep to call you here.
Expert Security Measures
Now that you’ve got your account in order, here are some tips from Apple on how to keep your Apple ID accounts safer:
- Turn on two-factor verification. This will ensure that unless the hacker has your actual phone, access will not be granted. Two-step verification is easy to turn on.
- For mobile devices: Go to your Settings → iCloud → Password & Security → Account Details → Turn on Two-Step Verification.
- For OSX/Mac OS: Click on the Apple logo (that’s on the top left corner of the screen) → System Preferences → iCloud→ Account Details → Security → Turn on Two-Step Verification.
- Use a strong password. Adding extra characters makes the password more difficult to guess.
- Add a second rescue email address. This way, if the hackers obtain access to one, you can still recover your account via the other one.
- If you are worried about private pics getting leaked, turn off the Photo Stream option. This way pictures will not automatically be saved to the cloud.
Finally, there is an auto-wipe feature that will automatically wipe your entire phone if the password is entered incorrectly ten times.
Web security is so important today, yet people fail to take even the most basic steps towards protecting themselves. Don’t be the next hacker victim; use these simple tools to keep yourself safe:
- Maintain and run antivirus software regularly. This is the most basic step, but so many people fail to update their antivirus software…and it’s so easy to do! Even Apple products have been hacked, so don’t hide behind the false premise that it can’t happen to you.
- Install LogDog, the ultimate in email and online privacy protection. This tool will go through all of your accounts, detect where sensitive information is being stored, help you get rid of it, and even warn you when something new comes up. LogDog is available for both iOS and Android.