Secure Your Primary Online Accounts – Part 1: Apple ID
By Patrick Baker ~
Recently, I’ve met numerous clients who had difficulty managing passwords and accessing the primary online accounts we rely on daily for using phones, tablets, and computers.
Your essential online accounts – Apple ID, Google, Facebook, bank, brokerage, healthcare portal, and others – need protection. Losing a phone or password can create serious difficulties in accessing online accounts without taking precautions.
My next three columns will focus on securing your primary online accounts, including Apple ID, Google, and Facebook. Some of these security measures are also available for online banking, brokerage, and healthcare portal accounts.
Learn why securing your primary online accounts is vital to assuring continued access to email, contacts, files, passwords, and other essential personal data.
Secure Your Apple ID
Your Apple ID is necessary for using and accessing Apple products and services. Photos, calendars, contacts, files, and passwords are associated with your Apple ID. It is required for using the App Store and in-app purchases and enables data sharing across multiple devices. An Apple ID is required for Apple Family Sharing, allowing you to share Apple resources like iCloud disk space.
I recommend taking the following steps to secure your Apple ID in case of a forgotten password or lost device and for additional account protection. To access the security settings for your Apple ID, go to appleid.apple.com and click Sign In to log in with your Apple ID and password, or use the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, or System Preferences on a MacBook or iMac.
You can change your password and sign out of your other Apple devices if you think your account has been compromised. Be sure to use a strong password that is 12-14 characters in length, has one capital letter, one number, and a symbol like a dollar sign or exclamation point.
Two-factor authentication (sometimes called multi-factor authentication) requires having two pieces of information to access a user account: 1. Something you know (a password), and 2. Something you have (a verification code).
Two-factor authentication ensures that only you can log in with your Apple ID and makes resetting a forgotten password much easier and more secure. To set up two-factor authentication, you need a mobile phone.
Trusted Phone Number
Add your mobile phone number as a trusted phone number to your Apple ID to enable two-factor authentication. You can use any mobile phone that receives text messages. After entering your phone number, Apple sends a verification code to your phone that you must enter to confirm your number.
After using two-factor authentication to successfully log in to any Apple device (iPhone, iPad, or Mac), those devices become Trusted Devices for your Apple ID. Trusted Devices can receive a verification code from Apple.
A notification email allows Apple to send you vital account security information or to reset your password if you don’t have two-factor authentication enabled. Your notification email address should be different than your Apple ID email address for security purposes.
Apple allows you to specify a Recovery Contact and obtain a Recovery Key to regain access to your Apple ID if you forget your Apple ID password and lose or are unable to access your phone or trusted devices. A Recovery Contact can receive a verification code from Apple, allowing you to reset your password. You can use a Recovery Key when you can’t receive a verification code.
We are at increased risk of losing access to our Apple ID or delaying account recovery without having one or more of these security measures in place. Protect access to your contacts, passwords, and more by securing your Apple ID.
Patrick Baker is an IT consultant and founder of Prime of Life Tech. Learn more about his services at primeoflifetech.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (720) 319-7145.