Keep your Apple recovery key safe… or else

Recent steps have made it much harder for outsiders to gain access to data locked away by a person’s Apple ID. But owners of the data run the risk of getting locked out themselves if they don’t keep good track of their recovery key, The Next Web is warning.

Changes came a few months ago, when Apple added a two-step authentication protocol for services like iTunes and iCloud. Users not only have to enter their password, but a second code that they receive directly to one of their approved devices.

To make sure users are not locked out should they lose their password or one of their devices, Apple created a 14-digit recovery key, which the company advises customers to keep somewhere safe.

It can then be used if an Apple ID gets locked because of a hacking attempt or because a wrong password has been entered too many times, reports The Next Web, a tech news website that has put the system under close scrutiny.

Thus, while Apple has created a fairly sturdy security network based upon two different codes and approved pieces of hardware, it means that losing two of those three gets a person locked out, with no more access to their data, from movies to music to books to stored email.

It’s true that a user so affected could start a new ID. However, the new account would not have all the data files of the old.

Assuming you haven’t already seen your account locked and you realize you have already misplaced your recovery key or neglected to make a note of it, go to the Settings in Apple ID and have a new one generated.

Register with your Apple ID and pick the option for password and security under changing your ID. There will then be an option for replacing a lost recover key under a special tab for the keys.

Print the number out at least twice and hide every copy in a secure but easy-to-find spot.

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Keep your Apple recovery key safe… or else