It’s been a harsh day Down Under; many iOS and Mac users have discovered their devices held “ransom money” by a cyberpunk leveraging Apple’s Locate My iPhone and Find My Mac solutions.

System Preferences utility showing iCloud preference pane, indicating the Find My Mac controls toggled off

Australia’s The Age records details acquired by current security breaches, combined with the human propensity to recycle security credentials around services, might have led to the lockouts.

The normally-helpful (or a minimum of curable) Locate My X services can undoubtedly be utilized for ill, as Wired’s Floor covering Honan found out in 2013 to his remorse.

It’s notable that iPhone users which have a passcode in position must have the ability to bounce back accessibility, as long as the passcode was created outside of establishing Find My iPhone. In this page, I’ll explain ways to disable Discover My iPhone/iPad and Locate My Mac, and also how you can develop a passcode on your iOS device.

First, let’s disable those services. Note that you must recognize your iCloud account details to transform off either of the Discover My X services– that’s the point, really, as a thief probably would not know your password and wouldn’t be able to open or reinstall your purloined gadget with FMx activated.

Disable Locate My iPhone/iPad

This is quite simple. Merely adhere to these steps:.

  1. Open the Settings application on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Touch iCloud.
  3. Scroll down of the list, and relocate the slider classified “Discover my iPhone” to the Off position.
  4. You’ll should confirm with your iCloud password.

iPad Settings screen indicating iCloud settings and Find My iPad turned off

That’s it. On the Mac, the process is equally as easy.

Disable Locate My Mac

  1. Launch System Preferences.
  2. Click iCloud.
  3. A new pane shows up. Scroll to the bottom of the listing on the right. De-select Discover My Mac. (If you aren’t using it, ideal to uncheck Back to my Mac as well– if your iCloud password was jeopardized then BTMM could possibly also be a security danger.)
  4. Once again, you’ll should confirm with your iCloud password.

System Preferences pane indicating iCloud settings

iCloud system preferences pane

Develop an iOS passcode

Simply to ensure that you can unlock your tool locally if you do re-enable Locate My iPhone, it’s a good suggestion to establish a passcode. (If you have an iPhone 5s and you enabled the Touch ID attribute, iOS forced you to produce a passcode, so you’re good to go.) These screenshots are for iOS 7, however the iOS 6 process is comparable.

  1. Open up the Settings application.
  2. Scroll down to Passcode.
  3. If you have actually never created a passcode prior to, toggle Turn Passcode On.
  4. You’ll be urged for a brief (4-digit) numerical “straightforward passcode” or a longer/complex alphanumeric passcode. Pro suggestion: Even if your employer or university needs a complex passcode through MDM, you can still access the “quick entry” numeric keypad for your passcode … simply develop an all-numbers passcode of the minimum length or longer, and you will not need to peck out the unlock code on the full key-board.)
  5. When your passcode is enabled and validated, you could establish the timeouts for passcode accessibility, which apps can be accessed from the lock display, and much more.

iPhone passcode settings screen

As a whole, Apple’s recovery/security solutions like Discover My iPhone are an excellent thing, and valuable to have up and running– as long as you note affordable password hygiene with your iCloud qualifications, which are the “tricks to the kingdom” for iOS app acquisitions, iTunes songs, your iCloud e-mail and iWork online papers … well, you obtain the idea.

Yet shutting off Locate My iPhone is a practical short-term action if you’re concerned concerning this kind of hack strike, or much worse things that could possibly happen with a compromised iCloud password.

You can follow on Twitter or join our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Apple and the Web.