Updates below on this…it appears that this may have been just a server hiccup timed with a tip that seemed related. That doesn’t mean changing your password isn’t a bad idea.

There is a rumor going around that there has been a security breach on Apple’s MobileMe Me.com and some people’s passwords aren’t working. We’re looking into this now and will update this post accordingly…

Stay Tuned.

Updates: I checked my MobileMe account and had no problem getting in. Could it be a fluke?

As a bit of history, remember there was a pretty significant iTunes breach over the summer, which was resolved. Lots of people (including me) changed their iTunes passwords in the wake of that, perhaps this another good time to change again.

Although this might just have been a hiccup, there’s no reason not to just go ahead and change your password regardless. The Holiday Season is one time of the year when breaches can be common.

Here’s how to change your MobileMe/AppleID password…

Through MobileMe:

  1. Up in the right corner where your name is, click that menu and choose “Account”
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  2. You’ll be taken to the AppleID page where you need to enter your password again.
  3. On the next screen choose Password and Security on the left side:
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  4. On the next screen choose “Change Password”:
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  5. There you enter your old password and then a new one twice and update.

In iTunes:

  1. Choose “View my account” from the Store menu:
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  2. After entering your password, click “Edit Account Info” on the next screen:
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  3. Here you can change your password:
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    In case you can’t read it, this is what Apple says about passwords: “Your password must have at least 8 characters; and must include a number, an uppercase letter, and a lowercase letter. Don’t use spaces or the same character 3 times consecutively. Don’t use your Apple ID or a password you’ve used in the last year.”

That’s it for passwords in this case, but what about being cyber safe over all?

Number one is using good passwords. I’ve gone from a system where I had a number then a partial word then two or three more numbers (e.g. 1coffee234) to using either totally random passwords generated by 1Password or a system like this:

Think of a phrase like “drinkteamornings” which is long, but uses all words and switch out substitutions like this: dr1nkt3@m0rn1ng$ which is both easy to remember and a good password. If you use Drinkt3@M0rn1ng$! it’s even better and still easy to remember.

Oh and having a good password doesn’t mean you use it everywhere it means that you use several passwords like that for core services coupled with tools like 1Password.

Now let’s talk WiFi and shopping.

By and large shopping online is a safe experience, but do stick to sites you know well (Amazon, big retailers, etc) and make sure that you see https in the URL (or for Google Chrome a big, green, closed padlock).

As for free, public WiFi…I’m steering clear of it and using my iPhone or data stick. Firesheep really changed the game for public wifi. No, none of it is new, it’s just a lot easier now.

Tonight’s MobileMe story looks like a false alarm, but keeping your eye out for these things can updating your password isn’t a bad idea. Maybe while you’re in the password updating mood, update/change the passwords on other key accounts (Facebook, Google, Twitter) too.