Your Apple ID has been locked for security reasons
Your Apple ID unlocks your entire iUniverse… From your iPhone to iCloud, it controls email, contacts, Apple store purchases, iTunes, and more. Getting locked out can put a severe hamper on your digital freedoms.
Two main reasons you might have problems logging in are:
1. You forgot your password – usually because you haven’t used it in so long.
2. Your account has been compromised, and the hacker(s) changed your password.
Either way, if you enter too many wrong guesses, you will see alerts that say:
- “This Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons.”
- “You can’t sign in because your account was disabled for security reasons.”
- “This Apple ID has been locked for security reasons.”
It is easier to change/recover your password BEFORE you get to this point by going to iforgot.apple.com, but that doesn’t mean you’re free to go. Remember that “after you change your password, you might need to update it in your iCloud settings and in any Apple services that you sign in to with your Apple ID.”
HOW MANY GUESSES ARE TOO MANY?
How many failed attempts do users have before their account is locked? Apple’s official answer is “3 to 5,” although even that is not verified. The reason is for security, but of course, it’s a pain for people who are just trying to download some music from iTunes. If your Apple ID password is not working or you’ve forgotten it, never try to guess more than three times, or you could go to what we like to call “iJail.”
APPLE’S HARSH SENTENCING PRACTICES
If you get locked out and remember your password later, you can try logging in again after 8 hours. Otherwise, follow instructions for password recovery/reset found at iforgot.apple.com. But you’re not ready to pass “Go” just yet…
According to Apple, “After multiple unsuccessful attempts to unlock your account, your Apple ID will remain locked, and you can try the next day again.” In other words, you get to enjoy a 24-hour stint in Apple jail.
We’ve seen a client get locked out of their account for 20 days!
It gets complicated if you have trouble verifying your account during the password recovery. In theory, as long as you have answers to your security questions or access to your primary or recovery emails, you should be okay, but not necessarily. Clients have experienced lockouts even while accessing their email and verifying identity on the phone with Apple support. In some cases, Apple incarcerated users behind virtual bars for up to 2 weeks!
Since hackers’ goals are primarily to disrupt and steal, Apple essentially rewards hackers by not allowing an immediate route for their paying customers to reactivate their accounts.
AVOIDING THE PROBLEM
Make sure criminals can’t access your account in the first place. Use a 2-step authentication whenever possible. Connect an SMS phone. Know all your security questions. Keep a secure paper file with all your pertinent information. If you elect to keep a hard paper copy, treat it like cash and keep it in a fireproof safety security lockbox.
Doing these simple things will save you a ton of hassle from the Apple man in the future. In terms of digital security, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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check out our article: DNS Security with DMARC and SPF: A Comprehensive Guide to Stop Hackers