It was possibly the greatest online security scandal of 2014 – nude celebrity photos, stored on Apple iCloud, leaked online for millions to see.

Naked photographs of Hollywood’s brightest stars, including Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton, were posted to an online message board after a hacker allegedly took the goods from Apple’s online storage service.

How was it done? Apple chief executive Tim Cook says the hacker scored the stars’ passwords by correctly answering security questions or using a phishing program to obtain their login details.

Many celebs and commentators have played the blame game. They say it’s Apple’s fault for allowing accounts to be hacked.

We disagree. Surely celebrities wouldn’t leave saucy snaps on the back seat of their unlocked car. So why would they neglect to have a watertight online account? A cloud storage service can only provide the tools to keep information safe – it’s up to the user to use them correctly.

Apple adds iCloud security settings

In the wake of the scandal, Apple has announced it will up its security settings. If an attempt is made to change an account password, store iCloud data elsewhere, or log in to an account on a new device, Apple will send the user an email or push notification alert.

But here’s the thing: hackers are opportunists. They will keep trying to hack accounts that are worth the risk and effort for the return.

And it’s not just celebrity photos that can be stolen and shared with the world. Your business’ confidential data, financial and client information is also at risk.

3 simple steps to protect your business from hackers

So what can you do to keep your business information safe? Here are our top 3 tips:

  1. Use two-step authentication. This means having to enter a few password options, a passcode or a long access key. Most cloud vendors, including Apple, offer it.
  2. Use a password management tool. We recommend LastPass – read about it in our post The Heartbleed bug – what it means for your business.
  3. Choose a password that isn’t easily guessed but is easy to remember, such as Go@ustrali@ Or WeareAlive5*.

At Stanfield IT, we’re serious about safeguarding your business information. Just get in touch and we’ll show you how.