There is new concern about the data security of over 782 million iCloud users given the recent hack threats to Apple. With so many company-owned Apple devices and employees using their Apple device for work related tasks, the concern about huge losses of business data and productivity is significant.

As the quantity of viruses, malware, and other new threats arise, Apple users need to be more vigilant about taking basic steps to protect their data and company-owned contacts, emails, and proprietary information on those devices.

> Update your Apple iCloud password. A green padlock icon should be in the address bar and the web address says “iforgot.apple.com.” Apple will require that you use a capital letter, at least one number and one special character. We suggest using a phrase, such as ‘Ineed2go2thebeachtoday!’ The password shouldn’t be used for other accounts, and is ideally changed every 30 days – although every 45-60 days is probably more realistic for most people.

> Use two-factor authentication. When activated, 2FA will enable you to access your account only from verified and trusted devices. When signing in to a new device for the first time, the Apple ID password and the 6-digit verification code that is displayed on your trusted device will be required.

To use Apple 2FA, you’ll also need a trusted cell phone number so you can receive verification codes. To add a trusted phone number, take the following steps:

  1. Go to your Apple ID account page
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID
  3. Go to the ‘Security’ section and click ‘Edit’
  4. Click “Add a Trusted Phone Number” and enter the phone number associated with the account

Now, activate it…

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud > select Apple ID
  2. Select ‘Password & Security’
  3. Select ‘Turn on Two-Factor Authentication’
  4. On your Mac:
  5. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details
  6. Click ‘Security’
  7. Select ‘Turn on Two-Factor Authentication’

Now that this is completed, you need to back up your data in case your iCloud account is compromised.

One of the easiest ways to backup data quickly is to connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer and perform this task through iTunes. Keep in mind that iTunes does not backup Apple Pay information or photos that are already in the iCloud account.

Parachute highly recommends using a cloud-based backup solution for all computers, including Macs. There are many low-cost options that are not obtrusive to the user-experience. This is actually part of our Managed IT service plan, as we feel strongly that every computer should have a cloud storage solution that is tested and verified regularly. If the computer is stolen, the hard drive fails, or the data is compromised in any way, an online backup service will give you and Parachute, as the IT support team, the ability to quickly restore any lost information, getting you back up and running quickly.

As an Apple user, we strongly suggest to be more deliberate in securing your data – even if it is somewhat inconvenient. If you have any questions about this, please contact us! We love talking about backup solutions and best security policies.