For the many small business owners that are using iCloud, the newest hacker threat to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a serious issue.
The Turkish Crime Family, a syndicate of hackers, is demanding a ransom from Apple, according to reports.
The ransom would supposedly buy the safety of thousands of iCloud and Apple email accounts to which hackers have already gin access.
Apple is saying the claims are false and their systems show no signs of breach.
What’s hanging in the balance is the data of up to 559 million Apple email and iCloud accounts. It’s these accounts that the hackers are threatening to wipe clean by April 7. Currently more than 800 million people and businesses are using iCloud to store and backup their valuable data.
For those who don’t wish to take the chance that hackers are telling the truth, the following action steps will minimize your exposure.
iCloud Security Tips
Change Your Password
The first and immediate action you should take is changing your password.
Password managers do a great job of generating and storing hard-to-crack passwords.
Break the Chain
Apple’s stance on the current issue is that the breach resulted from third party services being compromised. Account holders that used the same password for sites like LinkedIn were the ones affected.
Break the chain between your various accounts by assigning them different, securely generated, passwords.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), adds an extra layer of verification before log-in. While this additional step may be considered inconvenient, it could be the difference between a hacker accessing and failing to access your account.
Implement Better Password Policies
Small business owners should not underestimate the need for password policy. Protecting the data of your business and clients should be added to your standard list of priorities.
One of the promises that Apple asserted with iCloud is that customers would never have to worry about their passwords again. The only safe assumption at this point is that your password remains the only obstacle between hackers and your data.