I got a call from my mother-in-law this week. She usually doesn't call me directly unless she has a technology problem, and this time, it was a good one.
It seems her iPad and her iPhone were both in a state of wanting her Apple ID password, and they were telling her the account was locked and to proceed she needed to reset the password.
This wouldn't be a problem for many people, who could jump on a computer and reset the Apple ID password, but in my mother-in-law's case the iPad and the iPhone are her only ways to get online, so she was stuck.
There was a link on her screen to reset the password, but for that she'd need to remember her security questions.
Let's just say she and I didn't remember the security questions.
You can also reset the password through email, so through Apple's website, I was able to reset her password and then log into her email account to make the change.
I then called her back to tell her the new Apple ID password and talk her through getting her devices unlocked.
What happened was interesting. Apple released an iOS update, and both her devices had updated and restarted. To complete the update, you are asked to log back into your iCloud account.
My mother-in-law didn't remember the password, so she locked the account after trying too many times without success.
It didn't help that she really didn't understand what was going on with the update. Navigating a password reset procedure can be challenging, even for me sometimes.
Luckily, my wife's iPhone did the same update the day before, and she was also presented with the screen to enter her Apple ID, which she did without incident, so when my mother-in-law called, I quickly recognized she was in the same boat.
The takeaway is to take your time to read and understand what is being asked in those little dialog boxes. If all else fails, have a plan for someone who can help you navigate these situations.
We've been talking about passwords and how to keep up with them. In this case, a detailed notebook containing your logins and passwords is invaluable.
Explore further: Lessons from Yahoo hack: Simple tips to safeguard your email