Currently, Apple IDs are one of the most attractive pieces of information that hackers phish for.
While Yahoo accounts hold the record for successfully hacked accounts in 2021, Apple users are generally safer thanks to high levels of encryption and two-factor authentications.
Nevertheless, a compromised Apple ID gives away valuable secrets; Moreover, the intruders can abuse your account in different ways.
How to know if your Apple ID has been compromised – Guide
The easiest way to tell if your Apple ID has been compromised is to check your emails to see whether you’ve received a message.
This will likely be that your password has been changed, or your account details have been altered.
If you get this email but haven’t changed either of those things, then your account may have been hacked and someone else may know your login information.
First things first – what are the risks of having your Apple ID compromised? Before listing the signs of a hacked Apple ID, let’s review the risks of unauthorized access to your Apple ID.
Here is how a hacker can harm you by abusing your Apple account.
The intruder can access your personal data
Once somebody has hacked your Apple account, they can read and modify the information as they please.
They have access to all the items below:
- Your Notes
- Calendar appointments
- If you have activated iCloud Photos, they can view your photos and videos
- If you have stored a backup of your phone on iCloud, they can restore the information on another device.
Hackers can lock you out
The hackers can lock your device, change your Apple ID password, and steal your ID for a long time before you can recover the account.
If you are locked out of your ID, report an FTC and IC3 claim as soon as possible because the unauthorized users might involve you in their illegal activities.
They can track your activities
If you have activated the Find My Application, hackers can access your live location and track you. This is because your iPhone is linked to your GPS location.
Hackers can purchase using your ID
Although hackers can’t abuse Apple Pay and drain your credit cards, they can still use Apple Store. For example, hackers can buy apps from App Store, songs from iTunes, and e-books.
Hackers can lock your phone or steal vital documents and blackmail you with it, which is why mobile security is so important.
Suspicious activity that indicates your Apple ID is stolen
Apple is one of the most secure companies. Therefore, whenever there is suspicious activity on your account or any of your Apple devices, you will get emails and notifications from Apple.
Many times, an email from Apple could be harmless. However, check your account security to ensure they haven’t hacked your Apple ID if you encounter the following issues.
- Login messages: if someone uses your Apple ID to sign in using a device you haven’t used recently, you will receive an email from Apple. If you don’t recognize the device, recover your account immediately.
- Password change confirmations that you receive by email are another risk factor, especially if you don’t remember changing your password.
- Account information updates that you don’t remember are also a bad sign.
- You detect activities such as email, messages, and deletions that you didn’t do.
- Your device is locked or put on lost mode.
- You see fees and purchase notifications you didn’t make.
- Your passwords don’t work.
- If you find your iPhone is not working at all, this could be an indication your phone has been compromised.
How to recover a compromised Apple ID
If you detect one of the issues mentioned above, take the following measures immediately to recover your Apple ID and avoid potential threats.
- Sign in to your Apple ID account using a private browser. If you can’t sign in because the password was changed or the account is locked, try resetting and unlocking your account.
- Change your Apple ID pass. Use a strong password to protect your ID.
- Check all the security and personal information in your Apple account. Correct the information if you detect incorrect information or things you don’t recognize. For example, your name, Primary Apple ID email address, All alternative emails, and phone numbers might have changed.
- Also, check the devices associated with your Apple ID and reset your security questions.
- Contact your email provider to make sure you are the only person who has access to your email. If your email is not secure, you have to change its password or use another email address.
- Set up two-factor authentication. Using a 2FA for your Apple ID will ensure that no one can access your account, even if they know your password.
How to change your Apple ID password using your iPhone
- On your home screen, go to Settings
- Tap your name (your ID settings)
- Go to password & security
- Click on change password
- If you have connected your phone to iCloud, it will ask for your password.
- Follow the onscreen steps to change your password.
After changing your password, you have to update your passwords on other devices. You may also want to add 2FA to your account as an extra layer of protection to prevent future attacks.
Resetting your Apple ID
If you have tried accessing your account on your phone and you couldn’t change or reset your password, try the following method using a secure browser.
- Go to iforgot.apple.com
- Enter your Apple ID, then choose “I need to reset my password.”
- Choose to answer security questions, receive a verification email, or enter your recovery key.
- Follow the onscreen steps to reset your password.
After these steps, you should sign in using your new password. Additionally, you have to change our passwords on your devices to keep them in sync with iCloud and other features.
Your Apple ID can grant access to all your Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
Thus, if your Apple ID is compromised, the unauthorized user can view or modify your personal data and abuse your account.
Although you can recover your account most of the time, the hacker can change the settings and lock your device to block your access entirely.
Therefore, watch out for suspicious Apple ID sign-in prompts. Block third-party cookies from unfamiliar websites. Do not click on pop-up ads that sound suspicious.
Also, check your email every time you log in to Apple. If you log in to your account but receive no email, there is a chance that you have become a victim of phishing.
Furthermore, 2FA makes your devices impenetrable by remote hackers. Try to set 2FA on every device using your fingerprints or temporary passwords.
You can also set up rescue email addresses that you can use if your account is ever compromised again in the future.