Currently, we have devoted a large part of our lives to dozens of digital platforms. Protected with username and password, they contain a significant amount of information about us. Information that often gives access to credit cards, physical addresses and other sensitive data.
In the case of Apple users, the Apple ID is the account that keeps everything related to the devices, services and payment cards that we use with the company. That is why it has become a target of hacker attacks. Let’s see what are the most common ways by which hackers try to access our Apple ID and how to protect our ID from these attacks.
Common methods that hackers use to access an Apple ID
It is important to clarify that to access an Apple ID two things are necessary: the email you use to access and the password. There are two great ways to obtain this data, they are the following:
- Through the hacking of other companies and online services: hacks to large and small companies are beginning to be increasingly frequent. And with them, hackers are getting emails and passwords from millions of users. Emails and passwords that many reuses in other sites, such as your Apple ID.
- Using social engineering techniques: a sophisticated way of saying that they are the ones who deceive you, often posing as an Apple employee or through a communication that is supposed to be the company.
To protect yourself from the first, it is essential that you use different passwords for each online service you sign up for. Retrieving passwords in different places is a sure recipe for disaster. As soon as one of those sites is hacked, the rest of those who use that combination of email and password are compromised.
Creating and memorizing passwords is a tedious task, but one that ensures us to be protected. Many sites now require a certain number of characters, uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols to accept a registration. So it is more convenient to use password generators such as the iCloud keychain integrated into Safari or password managers like 1Password.
How to know if your email has been compromised in a hack? For this, we recommend the web Have I been pwned? that checks any email entered in your form with theft of credentials that have been made public. This way you will know if your email is on the list and where you have to change the passwords, but be careful, not all the hacks have been made public.
Social engineering and Apple ID: how to protect yourself
As for social engineering, hackers have more or less elaborate methods to take control of your Apple ID. The most frequent methods are:
- Email that claims to be from Apple and sends a link to check any data as a pretext. By clicking on the link, you are redirected to a website under your control where you are asked to enter your email and password. As soon as you do, you are giving the hackers the keys to your Apple ID.
- SMS with identical excuses and intentions. A link to a website of yours to enter your data and thus steal your Apple ID.
- If you have lost or your device has been stolen and blocked it with Find my iPhone, the same thieves can call you by posing as an Apple employee. They will ask for your Apple ID password under the pretext of being able to return it, but with this, you will be allowing them to unlock it and then sell it.
- Through an automatic phone call in which they claim to have detected some unusual activity in your account and request that you return the call. A very recent method in which they also tell you not to use your computer or Google before contacting them, probably so you do not realize they are hackers.
- Requesting access to your Apple ID from a new device when you have two-factor authentication enabled. Just know that any attempt to login is not authorized by us will be an attempt to hack, especially if it comes from a remote location as happened a few days ago.
- Intercepting your communications through an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Public networks are unprotected against people who know how to see the traffic that moves in them. Do not connect to them unless it is necessary and, in that case, try to do it through a VPN. It is not a remedy but it does help to mask your information.
Here it is important to note that Apple is not going to contact you by any means (email, SMS or phone) unless you have contacted them before for any reason (repair, purchase, questions). Still, never give your credentials by phone or SMS and do not access your Apple ID from a link provided by a third party.
It is also highly recommended to activate two-factor authentication to improve the security of your Apple ID. Keep in mind that if a hacker gains access to your Apple ID, he/she has access to emails, messages, photos, calendar, contacts, backup copies and devices. A common way to get money out of victims is by blocking access to the Apple ID and the devices themselves and then requesting a ransom to unlock them.
A technique that is known as ransomware and that is proliferating in recent months. A recent example of this is one that requests access to your Dropbox to later use your documents as hostages.
This is how hackers generally try to contact the owner of iOS devices and try to steal their credentials as the victims will be in a hurry to find their lost devices. Always, make sure to not give any credentials to anyone without knowing them. I hope this article will help you to protect your Apple ID and password from the hackers who try to hack your ID. If you have any queries regarding the above points, let us know them in the comment box below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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