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Apple hints password reuse, not iCloud hack, at heart of locked iDevice ransom attacks

Ian Paul | May 29, 2014
Apple says an iCloud breach is not to blame for the recent spate of iOS devices held hostage by malicious actors via Apple's Find My iPhone service. Many users in Australia and several other countries have reported being locked out of their iDevices by a third party who demanded $100 to return control of the iPhones and iPads to their rightful owners.

It isn't as hard as it sounds. You can create unique passwords using either a password manager's random password generator or by coming up with a memorable system for managing passwords site-to-site. You'll definitely want to do it especially sensitive online accounts such as email, social networking, banking, shopping sites like Amazon, and Apple's Find my iPhone or Google's Android Device Manager. Enabling two-factor authentication on any service that supports it is another smart security precaution. 

Finally, make sure you know how to protect yourself against all kinds of PC-based scams out there such as phishing, fake emails, and phony update warnings.

It may be a pain to have different passwords for all your sensitive online accounts, but the alternative is exposing yourself to losing control of your devices or, as Wired writer Mat Honan discovered in 2012, losing your personal data completely.

 

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