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Help family members keep track of Apple ID/iCloud details with TUAW's fill-out form

iPhone 4S and iPad Ornaments

Now that the gift-giving season is winding down, you may have a less tech-savvy relative who has suddenly found themselves with a shiny new Apple product. Whether they're getting started with an iPhone, iPad or MacBook, there's one thing they'll be needing (aside from apps): their Apple ID and iCloud account setup information.

iCloud will help them keep track of their contacts, calendar, email and documents; an App Store account (which, of course, uses the same Apple ID credentials) will allow them to load up that iPad with great apps. But setting up an account requires first providing quite a bit of personal information. That information -- including easily researched or guessed answers to security questions, which, for safety's sake, should be faked anyway -- is something your family may need again someday, even if your relative has forgotten it or is no longer around to provide it. Apple even lets you include a rescue email address, which could be set to go to the "family IT lead" if that person is willing to take on the responsibility of screening password reset attempts.

To that end, we've created a small PDF form; print it out and go over it together with your family member to keep track of all the important account setup info. Then, you may take a photo of it or scan it to hold onto (put it on an encrypted disk image, if you like) and your relative puts their copy in a paper file in a locked drawer or cabinet, with the house deed and the passports. You can't hack a piece of paper, and in the unlikely event that a password is forgotten or a security question misremembered, you can easily get back into the iCloud/App Store account with a minimum of heartache and recriminations.

You can preview and download the form right here. Best of luck!

Apple ID Account Details

This post was inspired by J. Thanks!

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