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Apple Tightens iTunes Security With New Security Questions, Alternate Email Address

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With over a quarter billion iTunes accounts, many of those with credit card information associated with Apple IDs, Apple is taking even more precautionary measures to increase security. Now, when a users opens iTunes from their computers or logs into iTunes or the App Store on their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad device, they are greeted with a popup box asking them to complete some security questions and entering an alternate email address.

Users are taken to a page asking them to select and fill out answers to those selected security questions and provide a backup email address to the one that is associated with the Apple ID account. After a user has completed the new security information, they are sent an email to the new email address that they provided to verify the account, according to The Next Web:

Thank you.

You’ve taken the added security step and provided a rescue email address. Now all you need to do is verify that it belongs to you.

The rescue address you have given us is [email protected] Just click the link below to verify, sign in using your Apple ID and password, then follow the prompts.

The rescue email address is dedicated your security and allows Apple to get in touch if any account questions come up, such as the need to reset or change your security questions. As promised, Apple will never send you any announcements or marketing messages to this address.

With sales of iOS devices increasing year over year, Apple has increasingly become the target of hacks and attacks and the move to create a safer, secure ecosystem where users can purchase and enjoy their ecosystem is an important one for the company to maintain healthy satisfaction ratings with customers given that the iOS App Store is the largest mobile app store in the world.  These recent changes are meant to help protect customers against phishing and fraud.

This is the latest in a number of security upgrades to iTunes that Apple has implemented in recent years. The company had in the past prompted select users to upgrade their passwords to make it more secure and also requiring users to log in with their Apple IDs when a new device is registered.

 

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

32 Comments

  1. The Captain

    04/13/2012 at 10:39 am

    Ah okay, I just got this on my phone and was wondering if it might be some type of phishing scam. Glad to know it is legit.

    Thanks and nice write-up!

  2. Alex

    04/13/2012 at 10:47 am

    If they are the target of hacks, requiring all this extra information is a BAD thing!!!

  3. Yeahright

    04/14/2012 at 11:31 am

    “These recent changes are meant to help protect customers against phishing and fraud.”  The only protection against phishing is by the user not clicking on links they shouldn’t or giving information when the asking party isn’t legitimate.  Asking these questions does not help those scenarios.  Asking these questions does help a user and Apple recover from such an event, although such questions don’t make any system more secure.  This is not a security upgrade to iTunes as you state.

  4. Thgar

    04/15/2012 at 1:33 am

    Why did Apple give no warning?  Why should I after entering my password be forced to enter it again to answer these questions?  What do these question prove.  More than one I wold have to answer NO or N/A or really after 30 years I should remember?  Who is Apple trying to protect by getting even more information on ME?  It does not appear to be me.  I may, read probably will, simply stop using iTunes to download music or applications.  At least until Apple explains this new requirement as they should have months ago.

  5. huihui22

    04/15/2012 at 6:01 pm

  6. haohao113

    04/16/2012 at 8:07 am

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  7. Ekmul

    04/17/2012 at 5:43 pm

    I do the questions and enter the rescue email then it goes back to the beginning…WTF?  Apple is beginning to feel very unapple-like.   

    • Stacy

      04/21/2012 at 8:33 am

      Yes! This keeps happening with my daughter’s account used through her Touch 4 as well. We enter the security question answers, rescue email and birth year and it goes back to that same screen asking for the same info. We never get to the “Do you still want to buy…” as I have with my other accounts accessed from other devices. Any ideas?

  8. Maximus1000

    04/18/2012 at 1:51 am

    it wont let me create a rescue email address!!! iphone for sale anyone???

  9. Kay-el

    04/18/2012 at 6:33 am

    Whoever decided on these questions is a moron. And whoever keeps the answers to these kind of questions in their head needs something useful to do with their life. I’ve bumped into this security structure before and I find it so annoying that I would cancel the service if there was an alternative. Steve is up there scowling down at these guys for this one. Good intention, BAD CHOICE.

  10. Cschuler

    04/18/2012 at 4:30 pm

    This is stupid and annoying!  My grandson was “helping me” to download a new app (game, of course) and we got locked out!  The security questions are ridiculous.

  11. Theiners

    04/18/2012 at 5:07 pm

    I hate this! I refuse to purchase anything until this goes away.
    Maybe I will save some money. We have multiple users at my house and the answers would be different for everyone. I tried using the same answer just to make it easy and it said I couldn’t. It is hard enough to keep track of all my other passwords let alone how I answer 3 more questions I don’t even remember or know! Sometimes I wonder about who is making the decisions over there – DUH!

  12. Blah

    04/20/2012 at 7:27 am

    Are they going to make us answer these questions EVERY time we buy something on iTunes..? Hmmm… PASS..

  13. Charlotte1015

    04/20/2012 at 3:00 pm

    My moms iPhone is asking for these questions and mine isn’t. We both haver the same phone and they are both up to date. Any ideas? Thanks.

  14. Sfowler63

    04/21/2012 at 9:21 am

    I only have one e mail account as I’m an old bugger and don’t want anymore e mail accounts so can’t complete the security request

  15. MikeA

    04/22/2012 at 3:31 pm

    Are the people at Apple retarded? Why would they put out an email that so closely resembles a phishing scam? Come on Apple, you should know that most people, including me, are not going to follow an email link and provide our account information for others to steal. Even if this is legit, you just opened the door for scammers to send similar emails to rob people. OMG, after Steve Jobs lefts Apple they fell to ruin, then he came back and made them one of the most successful businesses on the planet. Now that he’s dead, here we go again with the same old hair brained management.

  16. Wievil

    04/23/2012 at 7:25 am

    It
    would be nice if they allowed you to setup your own questions like the
    account management site suggests you can.   Start here “https://appleid.apple.com/cgi-…”
    and select the link to manage your account then > password and
    security and after you’ve answered two of your three security questions
    you can change your password,  manage your security questions, setup a
    rescue email account and put in your birth date.

    Under “Change your security questions” you can’t “… create one of
    your own”, you can only “Select a security question …” from one of
    their lame questions.

  17. Cbartlett

    04/26/2012 at 7:09 pm

    This is ridiculous! I didn’t have a second email address and put my husbands in. It locked up his Apple acct! Blah! FIX THIS!

  18. Social

    04/26/2012 at 10:31 pm

    This is total bs. I’ve got a good pass and an email. That all the security I want. Is Obama running apple now? This is ridiculous.

    I DON’T EVEN KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIER RETARD QUESTIONS! How can I answer if I do t even know? Effffffing idiots!

    I’m don’t. Windows phone or droid for me. Tired of the tyranny.

  19. Singingheart

    04/27/2012 at 7:54 am

    Help, I only have one email address and don’t want another one. This stinks. Any suggestions?????

  20. Bobex

    04/29/2012 at 9:19 am

    This really sux for me. I can’t come up with two of the questions/answers – all choices are completely irrelevant to me. Additionally, I don’t have (or want) another email address to provide. Thank you Apple, you’ve successfully turned my $400 phone into a useless brick. Nice…

  21. Hyrel

    04/29/2012 at 12:50 pm

    I refuse to add more information to my account. If someone is going to get my password I don’t care but the more they have the worse it is for me. Looks like I’m going to stop using apple again.

    • Hmc8

      05/01/2012 at 3:00 pm

      I answer the questions and It takes me back to the beginning of the queen. What the. Stupid. I can’t download apps now.

  22. Rich

    05/04/2012 at 9:56 am

    Nice to see Apple users with a clue. It looks like people just accept this kinda crap as part of being an Apple user. This requirement and its implementation is brain dead on so many levels.

  23. Michael Gill

    05/04/2012 at 4:36 pm

    New security questions sounds like a lot of ill thought through hastle. Wonder if theres a way of coming out of I tunes
    and maybee using a gift card or something. I’ll certainly be looking at another way to use my I pad / iPhone /I pod.

  24. Marie Iobst

    06/14/2012 at 12:05 pm

    What do you do when you don’t have a backup email address?

  25. Sarah

    06/21/2012 at 7:24 pm

    I need help! I forgot the answers and I’ve been trying to purchase an album on itunes and i can’t because i don’t remember the answers! I’ve been trying for months! :( Can someone PLEASEEEEEE help me?!

  26. Skye

    07/19/2012 at 10:57 pm

    I don’t like the questions. Where were you born? Who was your favorite high school teacher? Where did you and your partner go on your first date? Why do they have to keep reminding me of what happened in my past?

    And someone, somewhere in cyberspace is keeping track.

    Just ask for a password — that’s enough.

  27. Chris

    10/15/2012 at 6:24 pm

    What the hell I just bought a 25$ iTunes gift card and I can’t even use it. I called tech support three times and they say I order to Change my questions I have to know the answer. Wtf man I wasted 200 Dollors on an it touch and another 25 on a gift card that I can’t even use. Apple fuck you I wish Steve job was alive instead of you hit bags I might go and returne my piece of shit and buy a Zune

  28. Patsy

    11/14/2012 at 10:17 pm

    I checked mine and my BF email adress was records as the second email… I never received nor enter this email. Now I want to know if he enter the information, what kind of information can he get, can he use this on iCloud’s ?

  29. Ken

    11/15/2012 at 3:25 pm

    Android here I come

  30. Pingback: Apple's Real Motive for Bringing a Fingerprint Scanner to the iPhone 5S: The Answer Is Under Your Nose

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