The dangers of not regularly reviewing your account recovery options

It’s super important to regularly check your account recovery options, whether it’s for your email, Apple ID or any other application.

Why? Well in particular for iPhones your Apple ID is what gives you access to your phone, so losing the ability sign in or reset your password could mean losing everything; your contacts, your messages, even all your photos.

Well I hadn’t heard of this before and almost lost access to my phone. Here’s what happened…

So a couple of weeks ago I had chat with Matt one of our technology advisors here at Enee. He was telling me the story about what had happened with someone he knew and the mess that they got into with their Apple ID account when trying to reset their password. This ultimately resulted in the person not being able to access the account, which meant that any devices tied to this particular ID was now useless.

Anyway, me being a recently new (and naive) iPhone user myself said to Matt.

“Oh but Matt, I’m pretty sure I don’t have an Apple ID.”

To which he responded, “Yes you do, all iPhones require this setup before the phone can even be used.”

And that’s where the conversation ended.

By then all that was left of me was a cloud of smoke and a spinning hat caught mid air, which is strange because I wasn’t even wearing a hat. And that was pretty much the moment that I knew I was in trouble.

My account had been already set up, and since there was no urgent need at the time for me to access my Apple account I had no clue if the password I had in mind actually worked.

So I tried it. And it worked – is what I would have liked to say had happened.

It didn’t.

“It’s okay” I said to myself, “It’ll be fine, I’ll be able to reset it and then problem solved”.

Tucking this thought back into the recesses of my mind, I continued on with my day until the next day, when I started panicking. I decided it was probably a good idea to reset it now, whilst I didn’t have an urgent need for anything and could still access my phone.

Okay. First step, my reset options. Send a reset password link to my email, easy right? Except nothing came.

500 refreshes later, and I hadn’t received an email. But I still had one more option and that was through answering my security questions.

First question, date of birth, easy. I type that in annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd…

It didn’t work.

In the rush and excitement of getting a new phone I had entered my birth date incorrectly. Unbelievable!

Anyway long story short, I managed to reset my password. I found out I had set my husband’s email as my recovery email address so I was able to locate the email from Apple and reset it.

In this case, I was lucky, I was very lucky. And this is what I’ve learnt:

Regularly review all your accounts to ensure your information is correct and relevant.

Yes, like me you might have entered a crucial bit of information incorrectly and that could be that one stumbling block to resetting your password.

What account recovery options should you check?

If you’re considering checking (I’d highly advise it!), here are some applications amongst many, that you should consider reviewing:

  • Email accounts
  • Accounts with delegated access or multiple users
  • Paypal and other financial accounts
  • Cloud applications such as Google Docs or Dropbox
  • For Apple users: Apple ID and iCloud

And these are the things you want to be checking when you do review each application:

  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Mobile number
  • Primary email address
  • Recovery email address: if you don’t have two emails, use a family member’s account.
  • Recovery questions
  • Credit card details

For businesses this is particularly crucial as employees come and go. If an account was set up by an employee that has already left, how sure are you that you will be able to access their account if the password was lost?

So the moral of the story is check everything now and do it regularly. So that when that crucial moment comes along you’ll have confidence in your ability to recover your account.

If you haven’t reviewed your recovery details recently and need assistance with checking if everything is still up to date, then give us a call at 08 7070 0900 or email us.

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