All Apple services are accessed via Apple ID – a kind of passport to the Apple hello world!. It is the authentication method for iCloud, the App Store, and related Apple Music and Apple TV+ subscriptions; it can also be used for logging into third-party
services using the Sign in with Apple feature. So it needs to be protected properly.
Create a strong password and be sure to enable two-factor authentication. Think up a security question that outsiders will not be able to answer – this is handy when contacting technical support.
Your Apple ID is for you alone! You should never enter it on other people’s devices, and, more importantly, never allow other people to enter theirs on yours. If you do, you are effectively declaring that your device belongs to them, and they will
be able to control it via iCloud.
Do you suspect that someone has found out and used your Apple ID? It’s easy to check: In the Apple ID or iCloud settings, you can view a list of all devices from which your account was entered.
These devices can be managed from here, including detaching them from your account (for example, if you want to sell your iPhone or at some point you did in fact enter your username/password on another person's device). Here you can also remove bank
cards attached to devices – useful in case of loss or theft.
Even more useful in this event are the Find My features, so it makes sense to enable them on all devices. This will make it possible to see them on a map in iCloud or the Find My app, and block them so that a thief or overly curious lost property
office worker cannot use them. What’s more, you can leave an onscreen message with your contact information so that conscientious people can return the lost item to you.
However, you should turn on Find My features only if two-factor authentication is enabled for your Apple ID. If someone were to gain access to your account, they too would be able to remotely block all devices on which these features are active.
As regards privacy, one of Apple’s core – pardon the pun – principles is that customers’ personal lives are sacrosanct. The company collects only anonymized data for analytics – and even this can be blocked (in your device or iCloud settings). Therefore,
Apple rightfully states that it does not spy on users, and does not allow apps downloaded from the App Store to do so either, unless permission is granted by the user. So it is important to keep a close eye on app permissions, and to make sure
that all are genuinely required.
For example, Siri might use data on your movements to suggest nearby cafés, hotels, or movie theaters. However, many other apps can easily do without this information.
Don’t trust your own memory and use a calendar? Then be sure to check which apps can access it. If they have no particular need to know your plans, block them from sticking their nose in.
As for targeted advertising, Apple does not utilize users’ personal data. The company groups it with data obtained from similar users, thereby depersonalizing the information.
This approach makes the advertising less relevant, but you can be sure that you are not being personally watched. However, if you oppose any kind of information harvesting on principle, you can disable ad tracking.
Lastly, subscriptions. They are handy for gaming, watching movies and TV shows, and listening to music. But if you signed up for a free or discounted trial subscription and do not intend to renew it, you must cancel it at least 24 hours before the
end of the trial period – otherwise it will be automatically renewed, at the full price. Look for this option in the Apple ID settings on an iPhone/iPad, or in the App Store on a Mac. This can be done from other devices too – see support.apple.com for details.
To protect my Apple ID more reliably...