Image: Climbbank.com / Apple security

How to secure your Apple ID and prevent it from hackers

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Following the recent events of hacked Apple IDs being misused in China to steal money from users’ account, it is high time that every iPhone user makes sure that his phone’s security service is up to date.

Apple IDs are much more than just your access to Apple services. Other than just a mere email address and password, it also contains much more valuable data like your credit card details or transaction information. That information is mostly used for purchases made on services like iTunes and App Store.

While being one of the most secure services out there, it is definitely not invincible especially when hackers are working day and night to find a way to get their hands on the valuable details and steal cash. In fact, according to some speculations, Apple IDs are being sold on the dark web for as low as $15!

While there may not be a way to completely eliminate account hacking, there are two measures which you can take to prevent any such event from happening at least from your end.

Avoid Phishing

For those who haven’t heard this rather peculiar word before. Phishing is an actual term that refers to an attempt made by hackers to steal personal information from people. It involves them sending an email pretending to be from a service you have subscribed to and in this case from Apple.

The email is carefully composed such that the font, logos and even color schemes match the emails sent from the actual service. These emails usually prompt the unsuspecting victim to click on a link that takes you to a webpage which, like the email, is made to look like the one of an actual service and login to your account.

Once the details are entered, its already too late. The hackers have access to your account and unless you don’t realize and act fast enough, you might as well say goodbye to your account.

The safest way to avoid phishing is to never open links directly from the email. Open a new tab in your browser, enter the web address that you know is real and enter in the details from there. If you think this is too much of a hassle or can’t navigate to the particular page the email has mentioned from the official website or just have a taste for taking risks, then you may enter the link mentioned in the email. But do be careful while doing so.

The first thing you should check is a web address. The fake web address might be similar to the original one but the domain name -the thing that comes before .com or .org- will never be the same. This is because the original domain is owned by the company itself and therefore cannot be used by anyone else.

Image: Climbbank.com / Apple security
Image: Climbbank.com

There you have it. Follow these and you’ll be safe from phishing and hackers won’t be able to get any personal information off from you. But what if its already too late? You have already fallen victim to phishing and the hackers have your info. This where the next measure comes into play.

Apple also guides users on how to Ldentify Legitimate Emails.

Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two Factor Authentication is a step every service involving sensitive information transaction is employing and endorsing. What it is, basically, is a code or a PIN, that is used along with the user’s ID and password whenever a change is made to your account such as email or password change or while making any monetary transaction.

The code is generated and sent to your device and only you can access it while the hacker can’t do anything about it. It is, again, a hassle but better safe than sorry.

Apple even mentions it on their support page. In order to enable 2FA, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings app on any of your iOS device and tap on your name. If you’re running iOS 12 or earlier, then afterSettings, go to iCloud and then tap your Apple ID
  2. Tap Password& Security and if asked, enter your password.

  3. Tap Turn On Two-Factor Authentication.

Once the 2FA is enabled and set up rightly, rest assured as your iphone will have close to no chance of getting hacked or misused.

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