Apple is on the hot seat because of lack of security on iCloud accounts. Here's why those nude photos got out and what you need to know to secure your iCloud data.

Recently hackers broke into several female celebrities' personal accounts and stole pictures from their online photo collections. The hacked accounts included those of Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Upton and others. Of course the hackers then posted all the nude photos of the celebrities for all the world to see. Because of the tantalizing subject matter, this made headline news and was even brought to the attention of the FBI.

The photos were believed to be taken on iPhones or iPads, copies of which were stored on Apple's servers, collectively called iCloud. Most people who use these Apple devices have the devices set up to backup all of their pictures to iCloud. This offers the convenience of having an instant back up as well as giving the user the ability to access their data from any Internet-connected device with only their username and password.

Almost immediately after the hacking, Apple stated that they found no flaw in their security. However, several days later, they announced that within the next few weeks they will be strengthening their security measures. There is no doubt that Apple is worried about tarnishing their shiny reputation in the area of security. However, a little more honesty on Apple's part would be refreshing. If their security measures were stronger, this may not have happened.

This doesn't mean that all of Apple's security is lacking, but the security that they had on the data in iCloud accounts certainly is.
As part of their improved security measures, Apple has announced that the in next version of their iOS mobile operating system (iOS 8), due out later this month, a two-step authentication process will cover access to the data in iCloud accounts.
With a two-step authentication, you will need two things to authorize your account on any device – your password and a special code. You can set this up in the account and security settings of the service you use. Basically you enter your mobile phone number and when you try to access your account from a new or unauthorized device, the service will send the code to your cell phone. You then use your password and the code to access your account. With most services, you only have to do this once on any device.

So although Apple hasn't admitted to any liability for the celebrity data breach, they have stepped up to the plate to improve their security to help prevent future attacks of this type.

To take advantage of this added security, you will have to activate their two-step authentication. This is something that you should do for every online storage service that you use. Two-step authorization is available for all of the common cloud storage service including Microsoft's OneDrive, Twitter, Dropbox, and Google.

To implement the two-step authentication for Apple:
1. Go to appleid.apple.com and log in with the email address and password that you normally use to access your Apple account.
2. Select "Password and Security" on the left side.
3. Select "Get Started" under Two-Step Verification and follow the instructions.

Remember that to take advantage of Apple's more comprehensive security features, you will also have to update your iPhone or iPad to the latest iOS operating system when it is available later this month (September 2014).