Your digital privacy and cyber security are at risk!
Since 2016, there has been an ongoing campaign to fraudulently obtain access (or “hack”) to your iCloud account.
Phishing refers to an email that attempts to fraudulently acquire personal information from you, such as your Apple ID, password and/or credit card information. On the surface, the email may appear to be from a legitimate company or individual, but it’s not.
This particular scam uses fraudulent emails or texts presenting realistic looking Apple websites that attempt to get you to enter your Apple ID and password being “signing in” to manage or confirm your account. It might say that you’ve been locked out or your iCloud account is expiring.
Here’s what a would-be hacker would send you
These scams aren’t new however – they are just getting more adept at appearing legitimate. Here’s one I was forwarded recently:
Now, the sender is a real person I happen to know so I knew she wouldn’t be sending me a DocuSign link. Honestly, this is insidious because it looks just like a docusign. I never clicked on the link because it was most likely embedded with malware. If I had, it could’ve infected my computer with a bug.
Here’s another Phishing or Hacking Email:
Apple would NOT send an email telling you your account was disabled. Instead, you simply would not be able to login. If your account was disabled, you would follow steps to verify your identity on the login page. Not through an email. See helpful links in the Research below.
- Spelling mistakes
- If it is CC’ed to many recipients
- If the sender email seems illegitimate, and doesn’t match who the sender purports to be
- There is no “combination lock” insignia that the Apple.com website will always have that indicates authenticity. This is called SSL and it lets you know your session is fully secure and encrypted when you are logged in
Attempts that both contact you through email and text messaging may help the hackers seem more legit, but don’t be fooled! Be especially careful if you’ve actually had a lost or stolen phone recently. You may receive a surprise text message or email telling your phone has been located. Don’t fall for it.
Apple password tips
Always use a strong password.
Never use your Apple ID password with other online accounts.
Change your password regularly and avoid reusing old passwords.
Choose security questions and answers that can’t be easily guessed. Your answers can even be nonsense as long as you can remember them. For example, Question: What is your favorite color? Answer: Mozart.
Make sure your iPhone and iPad has its pass-code enabled, preferably a six-digit pass-code and that you use two-step authentication. There’s even a setting that you can enable that wipes your phone’s data after ten incorrect pass-code attempts.
Be certain your security questions are hard and only can answer them. Don’t give out your Apple ID passwords- even to family members, Apple advises.
If you believe that your Apple ID has been compromised, please visit Apple ID to change your password immediately. Remember, you can always visit an Apple store in person or call if you are unsure.