Security checklist for families using Apple devices

If many people in your family are on the Apple ecosystem, here are a few things worth checking while you’re going to be in the same physical location over the holidays.

Ensure they have enough iCloud data and recent backups, then, enable automatic updates, and nudge them into updating (bring a couple chargers!), as these features are recent.

If they don’t have any iCloud storage, consider rolling them into your iCloud “Family” to share paid storage, it’s cheap and sometimes worth it versus trying to convince people to pay for backups 😅.

Then, go into iCloud Settings/Security and review the following:

  1. Enable iCloud Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) if they don’t have it. No need to go crazy with FIDO keys unless they’re security nerds or at-risk targets.
  2. Account Recovery: Make sure everyone has at least one “Recovery Contact” to help them back into their Apple IDs if something happens.
  3. Legacy Contact: Do the same for “Legacy Contacts”, which can be used to recover access to someone’s iCloud data after they pass. It’s less awkward to do this while reviewing a bunch of security settings than to bring it up on its own randomly!

As a bonus, if you’ve got security enthusiasts around you who have up to date devices on their Apple accounts, it’s a good time to enable iMessage Contact Key Verification.

Most people don’t need it, but if they’re interested in security, it’s a nice feature to demo while in physical proximity.