Apple and its iCloud facility are no strangers to being hacked. A group of hackers calling themselves the Turkish Crime Family claim to have access to at least 300 million Apple accounts. They will wipe out hundreds of millions of iCloud accounts on 7 April should Apple refuse to pay up.
“If there was a breach or not, you’ll have to wait and see otherwise it is empty threats and just allegations,” says one of the hackers, which may be the best assessment of the situation yet. Just to be safe, here’s how to protect yourself in case something sinister really is brewing.
Change your password
First, change your password. Especially if it’s one that you also use on other accounts. The password is at least 12-15 characters, and the longer the better, even if it has fewer random characters in it.
Beyond changing your password, there’s another robust step you can take to protect your iCloud account from what hacks may come. By setting up Apple’s two-factor authentication you add an extra security protection to your account that will keep intruders out even if they do have your current password.
Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security for your Apple ID designed to ensure that you’re the only person who can access your account, even if someone knows your password.
You can turn the feature on in the iCloud Settings/System Preferences tabs of iOS and macOS devices, or you can log into your AppleID account, scroll down to Security, and turn the service on under the Two-Factor Authentication section. From there, set up trusted—your iPhone and MacBook—that can receive the numeric codes that will act as the second authentication factor along with your password whenever you (or anyone) tries to log into your iCloud account from a new device. Without also having physical access to your trusted device, a hacker won’t be able to complete the login.