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iTunes alert

Published: 4:53PM Wednesday July 07, 2010 Source: Fair Go

Reporter: Phil Vine

Apple iTunes has revolutionised the way the world buys its music. It allows people to go online and buy tracks one at a time using their credit cards. But Kiwi Josh Bridgman lost $800 after hackers broke into his account. He's annoyed at Apple's response; they just sent him to his bank.  Apple's terms and conditions say they accept no responsibility for security breaches. 

Fair go's discovered its happening to iTunes accounts all over the world and the company is refusing to comment. If you google "iTunes account hacked" you will find 1.45 million results. But we couldn't find anyone in New Zealand from Apple who could discuss iTunes and their Corporate Communications manager in Sydney told us they couldn't "support an interview". 

Our advice:

- Create a strong password - A mixture of upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers. You can check the strength on a site like the password meter.

- We think Josh might have fallen victim to a phishing email someone posing as Apple.  This means he has been asked to change his password....watch out for those.

- The security questions Apple asks you to invent to remind you of your password are another weak point.  Make them as obscure as possible and not something like "where i went on honeymoon" (Hackers data mine twitter and Facebook to find these personal details)

- iTunes encourages you to load your credit card once and leave it in there like Josh did.  Our advice is if you want to be absolutely safe take your credit card details off iTunes. It's a hassle, but load it in fresh every time

Step by step instructions for removing your credit card details from iTunes. Don't forget to do it every time you buy something.

1. Make sure you're using the latest version of iTunes. It can be downloaded free of charge from the iTunes website.
2.  To open iTunes and go to your Apple Account Information page, click this link.
3. Enter your iTunes Store account name and password, and then click Account Info.
4. On the Apple Account Information page, click the Edit Payment Information button.
5. Select none from the list of credit card types. This will delete your billing information.
6. Be sure to click the done button at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

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