Alert: Apple iCloud and Contacts

I know this in not about real estate, rentals or corporate housing, but it took me 4 hours to get my contacts back and I wanted to share what I learned and save you some heartache along the way.

If you are currently utilizing Apple Contacts and/or ICloud you need to read this…

Step 1) Change your ICloud Password NOW and get in the habit of changing it every few months.

Step 2) Don’t trust Time Machine to properly backup your Contacts database. Go into Contacts,  click on any contact then select Edit, choose Select All, select File, choose Export, then decide how you want to export your backup.  This new file will be easy to find on Time Machine. And if you are old school choose Export to PDF and print a copy for your file cabinet.

1st Flaw: ICloud is great if you drop your phone in a toilet and need to reconnect with your data, but if your data gets ruined, corrupted or goes missing all ICloud does is copy bad data from one place to another.

2nd Flaw: Time Machine backs up your Contacts database in a hard to find, hard to open, hard to restore file.  By following step 2 above you have created a nice and easy way to find file that Time Machine will let you get and restore.

3rd Flaw: Old IPhones can actually be whipped clean and are free from old data.

Here’s what I think happened: The other day I started getting Text messages from people I didn’t know and not just like one random text, I was now part of other peoples long text discussions. Odd I thought, but I was too busy to figure it out.  Then one day all the names on all my text discussions were gone and all my 1,057 contacts were now also gone replace by 36 new contacts of people I did not know.

Sitting at the Genius Bar at Apple for 4 hours we discovered a new phone number was now associated with my ICloud account which was the reason I was now getting text messages associate with this new number.

Our guess is one of my old phones was reactivated with a new phone number and somehow that phone was still automatically connecting with my ICloud account.  As soon as I changed the password no previous device could accidentally access that account.

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