The risk which comes with “Find my iPhone”

This morning I was in the iBeat Shop (Apple Reseller) in Central Rayong when I encountered a desperate 66 year old Dutch man. Out of his backpack he pulled a MacBook Air, an iPhone, iPod and iPad.
All of them were remotely wiped. Apparently someone stole his iCloud Password. I tried to help him but apart from his iPad, all other devices had “Find my iPhone” enabled. You know what that means. You can’t activate them anymore without access to your iCloud account.
To make things worse, the old man didn’t even know his iCloud address. His daughter in Netherland set it up for him long ago. This leaves him with a bricked iPhone, iPod and MacBook Air.
Unless his daughter can contact Apple and convince them to give her access to the account, this can end in a pretty expensive disaster. The next problem was that he didn’t remember her phone number. It was on the iPhone. But all of his contacts were stored in iCloud. Luckily he remembered his Gmail account password so we could set up this on the iPad and there was the email address for his daughter. He sent her an email and now it needs to be seen if she can get back access to that account. Otherwise if he will not only lose his data but also 3 devices which are locked.

What this should tell you all is that if you use FIND MY IPHONE then you MUST enable 2 Factor Authentication or you can end up the same way. Find my iPhone is a great feature but if you don’t secure your account well enough, it can backfire and you lose everything. Data and device(s).

The Dutch man’s complain was, that nobody told him about 2 Factor Authentication.
Considering that not everybody is an IT nerd, Apple should not allow enabling “Find my iPhone” without setting up 2 Factor Authentication first.

1 Response

  1. David Jones says:

    You don’t need two factor authentication to lock an apple device. All one needs is your icloud user id and password….nothing else. Happened to me, but fortunately, I was able to shut down the hack before it affected all of my devices by changing my user id and password as soon as I noticed the unauthorized access. They only got my macbook locked up and wanted a meager $100,000 to unlock it. Needless to say, it cost me $80 to have it unlocked by apple. But, I agree….this Find My iPhone/Mac feature is a HUGE security vulnerability that apple must address. Even the apple service tech told me to NEVER EVER EVER EVER use this feature.

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