Earlier this week a handful of Apple device owners in Australia reported that their iPhones, iPads, and Macs had been remotely accessed by a mysterious hacker named Oleg Pliss. It's unclear what happened, but it looks like Pliss gained access to users' Apple IDs and their passwords. From there, he used Apple's Find My iPhone feature to completely lockdown their gadgets and demand a payment through PayPal to regain access.
The best way to protect yourself from Oleg Pliss, or any hacker with similar ideas, is to simply ensure that you have a strong password plus enable apple two-step verification.
Once a user has your iCloud credentials, he or she will be able to access your contacts and calendar, remotely like your iPhone or iPad, and completely wipe everything on it. Don't fall into the horrible habit of using variations of the same password for every important account you own.
It may take a little extra effort, but brainstorming unique and powerful passwords is the most accurate way to prevent unwanted intruders from obtaining your personal data. One simple way to do this is to come up with a completely random sentence. Then, take the first letter of each word in that sentence. Throw in some numbers and symbols, and capitalize some of the letters. Now you have a password that's easy to keep track of as long as you can remember that sentence, but it'll just look like a mix of random characters to an outsider.
Keeping a password on your phone's lock screen is also important. iPhone users that keep their phones protected with a passcode have been able to unlock their device even after receiving an alert from Oleg Pliss, according to reports. Those who didn't, however, couldn't access their devices after receiving the message. If you don't know how to turn passcode on, Apple has some pretty detailed instructions here.