Apple users have been upset as of late because of a weird issue that's preventing them from using their Mac and iOS devices. Affected users have taken to social media to draw attention to the problem where people are being locked out of their devices.
The way out? Users have to call a number and pay a ransom in bitcoins to get their access back. The user's iCloud account is the one asking people to pay up so they can have access to their devices restored, and this has led to a widespread speculation that Apple has been hacked.
However, there is no evidence or report stating that Apple has been attacked. Rather, the attacks are being made by hackers who have managed to get a hold of user credentials from a third party. These credentials are then used to log into iCloud accounts and place devices in lock mode.
This lock cannot be undone by formatting the device or reinstalling iOS. Users are at a loss trying to find ways to lift the lock without paying the ransom.
Ransomware attacks aren't uncommon, and even though there is no surefire way to be safe, there are steps you can take to protect your Apple device to some extent.
Change your iCloud Account Password
If your account hasn't yet been attacked, there is still time to secure your account and protect your data. The least you can do is change the password of your iCloud account immediately. Even if attackers get a hold of your credentials and try to lock your device, the password will be invalid, foiling the attempt.
There's another iCloud feature that's being targeted by hackers. Click here to learn what it does and how to turn it off.
Keep Passwords Separate for Each Account
This is recommended not only for your iCloud account but also for every other online account. Every password is best kept unique, rather than using the same password everywhere. When you use the same password for every account, hackers find it easy to attack you.
If one of your accounts is attacked, chances are the other accounts will not be safe for too long. On the other hand, having unique passwords for each account will keep the other accounts safe even if one of them is compromised.