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How to Secure Your iCloud Account

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As I’m sure you ​are aware, a number of celebrities’ iCloud accounts were recently hacked and their personal pictures and information were non-consensually distributed on the Internet. Unfortunately it seems we live in a world where hacking and violating privacy is far too common and prevalent. As parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our children be taught it’s never OK to hack someone elses’ account, share photos of others they don’t have consent to share, and teach them how to protect their own online privacy. You can accomplish these goals by talking to your children and by going through the two step verification process for your, your family, or your child’s iCloud accounts. The following steps will walk you through setting up two step verification.

1. Visit https://www.icloud.com/# and sign in using your Apple ID

(1) icloud.com screenshot

2. You should see the name associated with your Apple ID in the upper right-hand corner of the window.

(2) icloud homescreen

3. Click on the name to reveal a drop-down menu and then select “Account Settings.”

(3) apple ID dropdown

4. After clicking “Account Settings” you’ll see the “Account” window, and from here, click on your Apple ID & email address as shown in the image.

(4) account settings window

5. That click will re-direct you to the Apple website where you will have the option of managing your Apple ID preferences. Click on “Manage your Apple ID.”

(5) manage apple ID

6. Once viewing your “My Apple ID” page, Click on the tab “Password and Security” on the left side of the screen. This will bring open the “Manage your security settings” page. You’ll see the section “Two-Step Verification” at the top of the page. Click “Get Started” to begin setting up two-step verification.

(6) manage your security settings

7. The first page will explain the beginning of the set-up process and what will be required.

(7) two step setup screen

8. At this point, you will find out that there is a 3-day waiting period before Apple will allow the set-up of two-step verification. This is a security measure to prevent a malicious attack on your account or any hacker’s attempt to override your account access.An email will be sent to the address used in your Apple ID after three days have passed.

(8) 3-day wait

9. You’ve waited 3 days and it is time to finish setting up two-step verification. You can resume the process by following the instructions in the email you received from Apple or by repeating the first steps of this walk-through. Once back in the browser window “My Apple ID,” click “Get Started” to continue setting up two-step verification.

(9) 2-step after 3-day waiting period

10. This screen may look familiar, but unlike last time, you won’t be told to wait 3 days. Be sure to have a mobile device associated with your Apple ID available in order to complete the process.

(10) explanation_instructions

11. Apple provides another reminder of what features go along with two-step verification, and how you will be allowed to log into your account once it is set up.

(11) simple & more secure

12. Be sure to thoroughly read the reminders on this page, since they highlight what information you will need for any future log-ins, and how to prevent yourself from accidentally getting locked out of your account. Be sure to record your password and your recovery key in a safe place, and keep in mind that you will need a trusted mobile device on-hand each time you log in. Click “Get Started” when you are ready to begin.

(12) to remember

13. If you are using “Find My iPhone” you can select a device to verify from the lower section of the page, or simply input a mobile phone number in the upper section for the identity verification code to be sent. Click the blue “Continue” at the bottom right corner of the page when you have “Verified” a device. Verified devices will have the green “Verified” next to them.

(13) set up trusted devices

14. Save your “Recovery Key” in a safe place! You can print it directly from the browser page or write it down. I do not recommend storing your recovery key on a computer or any device associated with your Apple ID.

(14) recovery key

15. To guarantee that you’ve recorded your recovery key, Apple will ask you to input it before continuing.

(15) confirm recovery key

16. It never hurts to familiarize yourself with the conditions of two-step verification. In order to manage your Apple ID in the future, you will always need at least two of the following: your password, a trusted device, and/or your recovery key. Check the box and click “Enable Two-Step Verification” when you’re ready to implement two-step verification for your account.

(16) terms & conditions agreement

In the event that you decide you no longer like using two-step verification, it can be disabled by following steps 1-6, with one small difference. When you reach step 6, there will be a new option at the bottom of the page that says “Turn off two-step verification.” Simply click that option to disable the two-step verification for your account.

(17) turning 2-step verif. OFF

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