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iTunes account hacked

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Several weeks ago my daughter's iTunes account was hacked. She has had several phone conversations with Apple with no success. They are treating her as the hacker rather than the victim. Anyone have any suggestions on what we can do?

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If it's been that long, you probably have no options left other than to create a new Apple ID and use that. If there were any spendable credits available in the account, I'm sure those have been used up by now. Normally, all you would need to do is provide Apple support with the answers to the original security questions provided when the account/ID was first created. They should have that on record and be able to verify those answers. However, if the security questions were easy to guess (or discernable from her social media usage), they probably use that information to change them to different security questions so that the normal process of recovering your Apple ID via iforgot.apple.com cannot be used. The hacker may have even changed the account's registered e-mail address, so attempting to recover the Apple ID with the original e-mail information wold not work. And they may have even changed the Apple ID itself, so your daughter can't access her iTunes and other Apple services. If all this is true, the only hope is that Apple Support can verify those original security questions and answers.

Moving forward with a new Apple ID, be sure to enable 2 factor authentication. Unfortunately, this is not enabled by default; which is pretty stupid if you ask me. 2 factor authentication means that you will need more than just the Apple ID and password to access Apple services or change any account information. This is accomplished by sending a temporary verification code to one of your trusted devices, or phone numbers. You would then have to provide that code in addition to your password to gain access. Just make sure that if you setup a trusted device, it does not get lost or broken easily; but if it does, be sure to notify Apple right away.

Had 2 factor authentication been required when first setting up your daughter's Apple ID, the hack most likely would not have happened. But my guess is that your daughter's password was not a strong, complex one. And if she uses social media, there's probably plenty of information in her user profiles and online posts to figure out the answers to her security questions; especially if they're basic questions like "where did you and your boyfriend first meet", "mother's maiden name", "name the street you grew up on", "favorite food or author", etc. Best thing is to provide answers that aren't easily guessed (or that are even true), and that aren't short. And the password should not contain words found in the dictionary or relating to personal information. In fact, the best option is to use a password manager. Most of them include password generators that will create random, complex passwords for you, then store them in an encrypted database that you can use to retrieve or even have entered into websites and computer applications automatically. This way, not even you know your own passwords.

Sorry I don't have a better answer for you. Bottom line is, if Apple cannot verify the original security questions and answers for the original Apple ID, there is nothing they can do to help you.

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Paul,

 

Before my daughter creates a new Apple ID she wants to save her contacts that are on her phone. Since she cannot log on to her hijacked iTunes account, is there any way to save the Contacts without logging on to iTunes?

 

Thanks,

John

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You'll have to rely on some third party product/app to export those contacts and other items that are really designed to work through iTunes only; just one of Apple's poor decisions that negatively impacts the user's experience in cases such as this. With a compromised Apple ID, you're severely limited as you can't do things the way Apple intended; such as use iTunes to export or archive your contacts, calendar items, photos, music and more.

 

Since I don't use any Apple products myself (for this very reason I might add), I cannot personally recommend any specific product or procedure. However, I did find some recommendations from others for a prodict called CopyTrans. Overall, it has great reviews from users; but many of them advised taking the time to review the instructions thoroughly. There are actually four separate parts that are sold separately, with a bundle deal if you get all four. However, many reviewers did have issues with the TuneSwift feature to transfer the iTunes music files because it still required iTunes to be loaded on the PC side. If you only need to get the contacts though, that feature by itself is $10 cheaper than the entire bundle. Also, it is intended to be installed and run from a PC (with the iPhone connected via USB), not a Mac; so you'll need to have access to a PC to use this. While that may seem like a limitation, it actually makes sense. The most common reason users look to bypass the use of iTunes is that it is an extremely bloated application with many problems; especially on a PC. So, many PC users that own iPhones constantly look for ways to use it without the need of installing iTunes to synchronize all their contacts, music files, calendar items, etc.

CopyTrans.net

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