Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Alert: Your iCloud storage is almost full. You are currently using 4.8 GB of 5 GB total storage.

I received an email tonight with the subject 'Your iCloud storage is almost full.'. I couldn't help think, was this a scam email or a legitimate email. I checked all the links in the email, the headers for the email and the IP address from where the email was sent from, which was registered to Apple. So yes, this was a legitimate email.

I was surprised to see I'd used up nearly all my iCloud storage. I actually thought I'd disabled most of the iCloud features but apparently not. Time for me to go in and first delete some unwanted material on my iPhone which has been uploaded to iCloud. Then I'll disable the features I don't want to use with regards to iCloud, so hopefully the problem won't occur again. It turned out I had the iPhone backup set to use iCloud. I deleted the backup and the incomplete backup that had been created in iCloud. I do however use other techniques to backup my devices so it is important to make sure you backup your devices so you can at least recover the data that is important to you. 

This is actually a good marketing strategy for Apple. Those who don't manage their use of iCloud will end up purchasing more storage thinking they need it. When you look at a basic iPhone it has 8 or 16GB or storage. The 5GB will easily be consumed backups and you may not even know it is happening. It also means there's data usage from your internet access plan you've used that may or may not impact the cost of your internet service. Whilst it does take some effort, it is important for you to know what each feature of your device does and how that could affect you.

What also concerns me is this is an automated message in a standard format. Once spammers/scammers see messages like this they'll create fake messages to trick people into taking some action. If you receive any such messages from Apple treat them with suspicion. It only takes a moment to infect your computer or to share your personal or credit card details.

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