Yesterday, Apple attempted to make hacking into an iCloud account harder by implementing a two-step verification process. In the meantime, a major security flaw was overlooked in regards to Apple user accounts. This flaw allowed anyone with an Apple user's email and birth date to hack into an iCloud account. Users who did not sign-up for the two-step verification process were at risk.
To make matters worse, a manual teaching random hackers how to tap into someone's account was posted online. As you might imagine, some took advantage of this manual. As soon as this security flaw was discovered, Apple urged everyone with an Apple account to set-up the two-step security verification process.
If you haven't done so already, it's really important that you go through that two-step security process -- even though Apple has just announced that it will take most users three days to setup the security system.
The Three Day Wait
Apple announced yesterday that a three day waiting process is necessary for those who haven't updated Apple accounts thus far. Why? Apple claims that this waiting period is for your own protection (and for verification purposes). Unfortunately, this leaves many Apple accounts seriously vulnerable to attacks.
What can you do in the meantime? There is a way to ensure the safety of your Apple account. Here's how to make sure that your account is safe:
1. Go to your Apple "Account Settings" page.
2. Look for the "Password and Security" option at the bottom of the page.
3. Change your birthdate information.
This way, anyone attempting to break into your Apple account will not be able to use your real birthday to hack into your account. In the meantime, sign up for that two-step verification. In three days, your account should be secure. There's just one more problem: Apple users outside of the US, UK, Ireland, and New Zealand do not currently have access to the new two-step security system.
Apple Has Patched It Up
After learning about the hack mentioned above, Apple has patched up this vulnerability. But, this still doesn't fix the three-day waiting period issue, or the fact that some people in countries outside of the UK, US, Ireland, and New Zealand do not have access to the new security measures. If you live outside of these countries, it is really important that you change your birthday information as quickly as possible.
What happens if someone hacks into your Apple account? If you have a credit card or other information linked to your account, you might be seeing some suspicious charges. Or, you might not be able to access your account if password and email information has been changed. There are lots of things that a hacker with a lot of time on his hands can do.
The only recourse here is to change your birthday information -- just don't forget what you've changed it to. Hopefully, Apple will make the new security measures available to all Apple users shortly -- regardless of where you reside!