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View Full Version : There is a lot of misunderstanding of what an AppleID and iCloud are and what each do



bobtomay
07-24-2016, 11:09 AM
There is a lot of misunderstanding of what an AppleID and iCloud are and what each does.

AppleID:
With your first Apple device, whether that be a computer, phone, tablet, etc., you are requested to register your device by logging in with your AppleID or creating one.

The AppleID is what is used by Apple to recognize ownership. That is, who owns what hardware and software that is sold by Apple. The AppleID is what is used for registering your Apple devices and all software purchased from Apple, including the Mac App store, the iOS App store and iTunes. iTunes definitely does not use an iCloudID.

The data stored by Apple with your AppleID are the hardware devices associated with the account, any and all software that you have purchased from Apple (incl'g apps, video, music, ebooks, etc), your personal contact info and your billing info if you provide them. To be clear, while for many of us our AppleID and primary iCloud email are the same, none of this is associated with an iCloudID and there is no such thing as logging in to iTunes nor any of the App stores with an iCloudID. You can log into your AppleID account at https://appleid/apple.com to see the hardware, personal contact and billing info that is on file. To see what Apps, Music, Video, etc. is owned by a particular AppleID, you have to login to the App store or iTunes with the AppleID.

Your AppleID may also be used for the Messaging apps on your iDevices.

iCloud:
There really is no such thing as an iCloudID. iCloud gives you access to several free services provided by Apple to those who own/use Apple devices. You can log into iCloud at https://www.icloud.com. You'll see that logging into iCloud requires an AppleID, not an iCloudID. You can login to iCloud with the Same AppleID you use for registering your hardware and software (App stores and iTunes) or you can use a 2nd AppleID with the iCloud services. Once again, there is no iCloudID. iCloud is a group of services available to those with and owned by an AppleID.

Some of the iCloud services require an iCloud email address to use them. Those that have one of the old Apple provided email addresses (@me.com and @mac.com) will already have an iCloud email address and have access to all the services of iCloud, but may have to set some up on your devices if you want to use them. For those that set up their AppleID with a 3rd party email provider (@gmail, @yahoo, etc) some of the iCloud services available will require that you create an iCloud email address (ex. Notes). iCloud is the service you use to manage your iCloud email; sync Notes, Photos, etc.; use Find My Phone and all the other iCloud services. While signed in to your iCloud account, you are also provided with access to your personal AppleID "Settings" - because you used your AppleID to log into iCloud. While some of the iCloud services may require that you use your iCloud email address - it is still associated with your AppleID - not an iCloudID. It is the AppleID that owns the individual iCloud account.


Related to the question in the very first post - someone accessing the data on your Mac because they have your iPhone in their hand - not happening.
If they were able to get past the login screen on your iPhone - this would only provide access to the data on that particular iPhone - unlikely, hence the FBI lawsuit wanting Apple to provide a way to do so.
If they managed to somehow hack your AppleID email address and password, they would be able to log into your AppleID and your iCloud accounts and would have access to everything you have access to there.
It is no different than if someone had the login info for your Bank, your email, Mac Forums, etc., they would be able to access everything you can access from within the individual account they could log in to and nothing outside the individual account they are logged in.

If someone is able to log into your iDevice (Mac as an admin), iPhone, etc), then they have access to the data on that device. That does not provide access to data on some other piece of hardware - your Mac, another iPhone, an iPad nor anything else.

If someone is able to guess/figure out your AppleID username/email & password, then they would have access to all the info stored both in your AppleID and iCloud. There still is no access to any data stored on any piece of hardware you own except that which is stored in your AppleID and iCloud accounts.

The same as with every other account you log into online; unless someone can manage to guess/hack your username/email and your password, they can do nothing. Even if they manage to hack into an online account, there is no access to data stored on your piece of hardware that is not shared with that online account.

In order for someone to access the data located on an individual piece of hardware, they'll need a) the piece of hardware in their physical posession or b) to manage hacking into the network the hardware is connected to. Then, that piece of hardware will need to already be logged in or they'll need the login info (unless the device has a non-password protected share point on the network).

Related to another point brought up, CC being hacked and used by thiefs - there are plenty of ways for them to get your info. I had one of mine just a few months ago where someone tested one of my cards by using it for a $0.99 charge online and then proceeded to try purchasing some sort of Euro pass in Switzerland. It was caught immediately by the CC company and I was notified several months later by one of the companies I regularly do business with and had one that CC on file, they had their company servers hacked into about a week before the fraudulent charges showed up on my account.


-----------edit
There is no direct access through iTunes to any of Apple's vendors that sell via the iTunes store.
The only way you are going to contact one of Apple's vendors is going to be via the vendor's own website/email.
In essence, Apple is a retailer. It'd be like walking into your local brick and mortar store and asking to speak to the manufacturer or distributor.
Some of the content creators that have software available (think podcasts and iOS apps available in iTunes) do provide a link to their own site where you can check out their faqs &/or contact their customer support.
Places like ebay and etsy are not retailers - they essentially sell nothing and ship nothing - they provide a place for 3rd parties to sell their wares and really require a way to access the actual provider of the merchandise being sold.

harryb2448
07-24-2016, 06:22 PM
Great sticky mate! We see many folk confusing their Apple ID with the login user password also.

Slydude
07-24-2016, 06:27 PM
Ditto.

chscag
07-24-2016, 07:57 PM
Tom as usual does a great job of explaining things which is why I gave his post a "Stickum". :)

We are also going to close this thread so it remains informative only.