An Apple ID is the account used to sign in to Apple services on the manufacturer’s devices. This account allows users to access all of Apple’s products and services, such as iCloud and the App Store.
Apple IDs are typically the same as the email address that’s linked to the account. This can be a personal email, business email or school email, but all are considered to be “personal” Apple IDs.
Storing data with an Apple ID
One of the main purposes of an Apple ID is to access stored information on a device or in the cloud. When a user is signed into a device with their ID, they can store and access all of their personal data using iCloud. This data includes files, photos, contacts, messages, and calendars. All of this information can be synced when signing into a new device for the first time.
Backing up personal data to iCloud can be carried out in multiple ways. Users can manually backup their data by accessing a device’s settings. Regular backups can also be set up to be executed regularly.
Using apps with Apple ID
Apple IDs are also used for interacting with apps. Some apps, such as iTunes, the App Store and Apple Music require the use of an Apple ID to access their services. Previous purchases from these services can be downloaded onto other devices using an ID.
Apple’s proprietary iMessage and FaceTime communication apps also use Apple IDs to identify user accounts. Users who lose their Apple iPhones can sign in to the Find My iPhone app on a separate device using their ID to view their current location.
Apple ID security
So much sensitive personal information is stored through Apple IDs that taking proper security measures is vital to avoid breaches and identity theft. The following are steps users can take to protect their personal data:
- Password strength: Passwords should be a unique string of characters that are a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. This password should be complicated but still memorable. If a user forgets their Apple ID or password, there are methods for recovering this information.
- Multi-factor authentication: Using more than just a password as a form of authentication is a powerful way to increase account security. One common additional form is to use randomly generated one-time Apple ID Verification codes sent to a phone or other device. Some devices with more advanced technology can also use biometrics as a form of authentication. This includes fingerprint readers, retinal scans and facial recognition.