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Five Ways to Protect Your iPad from Security Issues

How you can protect yourself after the iPad breach by Alex Dunbar
June 10, 2010

E-mail addresses for over 100,000 people were revealed during the iPad hack. While it might not seem like a big deal, a lot of your personal information is connected to smart phones, laptops and iPads.

Griffin Reid knows all about data breaches and spends his days hacking into networks and seeing what he can find. Reid works for secure network technologies - an Internet security company that finds weaknesses in business networks and helps them guard their data. On Thursday, Reid said e-mail addresses can be a doorway to more important details.

"Any little piece of information you can get your hands on can help you leverage other information," said Reid.

David Milman and the staff at RESCUECOM have seen the malware, viruses and spyware that can come in through an e-mail inbox. Milman said 3G iPad customers should use extra caution with new messages.

"Let's say somebody sends you an e-mail and it looks like it's from AT&T or Apple. You open it up now you're infected now they can relay your e-mail, your iPad address and all your personal information," said Milman "Before you know it you've got a problem."

RESCUECOM specializes in data recovery. Milman was also concerned that the hackers had been able to connect the e-mail addresses with the sim card in each iPad. The sim card is a way to identify individual computers and Milman said some owners may want to change it.

"I would go to AT&T to see if I could get a new sim card or sim chip," said Milman "So even if my e-mail address got matched with my sim chip, now I can get a new one and they won't be linked."

Whether you have an iPad or not, computer safety experts say there is often far too much personal information readily available on websites like Facebook. On Thursday, several experts said that could be a much larger safety risk.

More information:

The FBI is now investigating a security breach for iPad users.

More than 100,000 users had their email addresses exposed. The breach only affected iPad users who subscribe to AT&T 3G wireless Internet service. AT&T Inc. Says it has no comment, but has apologized. Apple has referred all questions to AT&T.

The FBI is looking into "the potential cyber threat" from the breach.

A computer security company based in Syracuse, Rescuecom, has released its "Top 5 Must Do iPad Security Checks." Here are Rescuecom's tips:

1. Turn off the 3G Network: AT&T has stated that there is no more threat to customers. However, turning off 3G wireless Internet service, at least temporarily, will protect an individual's personal data from any further attack.

2. Request a new SIM from AT&T: The ICC-ID number that the hackers breached is attached to each user's SIM, the card linking an individual iPad to its user. Changing the SIM card would change the ICC-ID as well, rendering that information useless.

3. Confirm any email from Apple or AT&T: The most likely threat to iPad users comes from what are called "phishing attacks" - fraudulent e-mails disguised as being from a trusted source. These attacks trick users into giving away personal information or into opening e-mails that may install malicious programs.

In this case, the e-mails would most likely seem to come from Apple or AT&T, as most users would expect. Should an iPad owner get an email, they should confirm that it came from the real Apple or AT&T, and remember that the real companies never ask for personal or login information in an e-mail.

4. Change your email: The simplest solution is to stop using the compromised e-mail address. AT&T states the only information illicitly obtained was user's e-mail addresses. Changing your address would eliminate this threat.

5. Be careful what you use the iPad for: Using the iPad is, most likely, still safe. However, to best protect personal data, users should be careful what they use the iPad for. Avoid tasks such as mobile banking or anything that transmits personal information, especially when on a 3G network.


RESCUECOM provides homes and businesses with 24/7 computer repair and support. RESCUECOM meets every tech support need, including data recovery, virus removal, wired and wireless networking and support for all brands of hardware and software. "When it comes to your technology, we hook you up!" For information on products, services, and computer support, visit or call (703) 986-3233.

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