Your Apple ID is your passport to the world of Apple, unlocking a number of brilliantly convenient apps and services with just the one password. However, if your account is hacked, it then gives the hacker free rein over exactly the same information.
What is an Apple ID?
If you choose a strong password then the chance of being hacked is unlikely in the extreme; but if both the US and UK governments can be hacked then it can happen to anyone.
Here’s what to do if you are unlucky enough to have your Apple ID hacked.
Informative, in-depth and in the know: get the latest technology news, views and reviews with Saga Magazine.
How can I tell if my Apple ID has been hacked?
Hackers will crack your Apple ID in order to steal stuff, either in the form of money from your stored credit card details, or information.
The first you may know of it will be when you notice one of the following things
• Apple sends you an email telling you that you’ve accessed your account from a new device, have changed some personal details, or have recently changed your password. If you haven’t done any of these things then your Apple ID may well have been hacked.
• You notice some unusual purchases through your Apple account that you haven’t made or authorised.
• Messages start to appear that you haven’t sent.
• Your usual password doesn’t work, or
• Some of your account details have been changed.
The key here is not to panic; the situation might be serious but panicking has never made a bad situation better. However, you do need to act quickly as the hacker can steal money and information, or even delete all of your photos and documents just for fun.
Step 1: Reset your Apple ID password
If you think that you might have been hacked then the first step to recovery is to reset your password. Simply click here: Apple ID and then work your way through the process.
DO NOT use the same password for multiple accounts on different websites as this is the most common method hackers use to crack your password; by hacking one relatively insecure website, they can steal your password and then use it to gain access to other more secure websites like Apple’s.
If you can’t reset your password then you will need to contact Apple Support immediately by clicking here: Apple Support.
Once you’ve reset your password and secured your account again you can move on to checking your personal information and then reporting the matter to Apple.
Step 2: Check your account
Check all of your personal information to make sure that none of it has been changed, updating any that has been. You should also check your Apple ID security questions and change them if you think they might be easy to guess or compromised.
It is also worth checking your email accounts to make sure that they haven’t been hacked and that you still have control of them. If they have been then you should read this article: 6 things to do if your emails are hacked.
Step 3: Report it
After you have done this, you need to report the matter via Apple Support.
If you think that there have been any suspicious financial transactions and/or purchases then you must inform your bank or credit card company immediately too and follow their instructions.
You can check for purchases in iTunes on your desktop or laptop computer by clicking iTunes > iTunes Store > Purchased.
On a mobile device you simply click the iTunes Store icon > More >Purchased.
Step 4: Secure your account
You should also consider setting up Two-Step Verification and Two-Factor Authentication on your Apple account. You can find out how to do this here: What Is an Apple ID?.
Have you been hacked? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience over on our Facebook page to help warn other readers.
Visit our Motoring section for information on cars, caravans and motorbikes.