Apple’s Find My Mac feature was created to help Mac owners wipe hard drive information from a Mac remotely. The idea behind this feature is that erasing a hard drive when a Mac has been stolen will protect private user details. Before erasing a hard drive, users are asked to create a password. However, if a hacker is the one creating this password, there’s no way for a user to retrieve wiped information.
Further, if a user’s iCloud is hacked, any files that were backed up are erased. In short, if your Mac is stolen and you use Find My Mac, this feature won’t get you anywhere. The lesson here is to always back up files locally, and never rely on just Cloud storage. The good news is that there are ways to actually back up your data simply.
Alternative (and better) Security Options
You can use Find My Mac to locate your Mac. But, you can’t use Find My Mac to retrieve lost data, as established above. It’s really easy to trust and rely on iCloud to backup your data, though this isn’t a fool-proof method. Instead, purchase an external hard drive and make sure all of your info is stored on that drive. This way, if someone hacks into your iCloud, you have all of your information anyway. While that Find My Mac password plan could have been better executed, hard drives are easy to come by.
There are lots of articles on this site about external hard drives, and a few reviews to check out too. I also want to point out that the Find My Mac feature is available only for Mac users (obviously), but PC users need to be sure to backup files locally too. After all, no Cloud is impervious to hackers. If you don’t want to buy an external drive, you can go the old-fashioned disc route. The problem with a disc is that these can become easily damaged, so make sure to store them properly. Either way, backing up your files on some kind of disc or drive will prevent foul play.
Securing Your iCloud Account
Even though recent iCloud attacks are known, Apple hasn’t addressed this issue. For now, I recommend avoiding storing any sensitive files on the Cloud. Family photos and poems are one thing. Top-secret files that could get you fired are something else. Keep in mind that the Cloud (any Cloud) is not secure. It also pays to keep in mind that Cloud storage is a relatively new concept. The kinks are still being worked out. If you are going to use the Cloud to store files, make sure that your password is a good and secure one.
Sadly, even the best passwords can’t fool determined hackers. These people go way out of their way to make lives miserable. In the end, the only real solution is to not rely on that Find My Mac feature and make sure that you have backed everything up locally. Otherwise, you may just find that the security steps you thought were protecting you are actually working against you.