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Asheville Apple store tells how to keep devices from being hacked

"A lot of people have been proactively coming in and trying to understand what their security risks are and being able to understand what, if any, problems they have with the passwords they are using," Charlotte Street Computers' Sean Gates said. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

An Asheville computer store is warning customers about a scam that allows hackers to hijack Apple devices.

Hackers are using Apple’s “Find My” service to remotely hold devices for ransom.

The “Find My” service is meant to help people recover phones or computers if they are lost or stolen. The service also lets people lock their devices remotely, which is supposed to protect them from being stolen, since the devices would be useless if they're locked.

But because the service can be activated remotely, “Find My Device” is also an easy way for someone to lock a device, from anywhere, while you still have it. All they need is your username and password.

The Apple technician at Charlotte Street Computers said paying the ransom is a big mistake. In its newsletter to customers, the business urged folks to turn off the device and bring it in for service.

"A lot of people have been proactively coming in and trying to understand what their security risks are and being able to understand what, if any, problems they have with the passwords they are using," Charlotte Street Computers' Sean Gates said.

Experts said the easiest way to protect yourself is to change your Apple ID password and make sure it is different from passwords used with other online accounts. Doing so helps insure that if one of those sites is hacked, your iCloud account won't be in jeopardy.

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