There are many ways you might lose your data, be it from hackers to using your iOS device on a non-secure Wi-Fi network. However, there are easier ways for those wanting to steal your personal data; and no, we're not talking about the US government's NSA!

Back in April there were reports of people receiving texts from 'AppleInc' asking them to confirm their Apple ID as it's about to expire, and that message appears to again be doing the rounds in early July. Here's our guide on staying safe. Read next: How to secure your iPhone from hackers.

Read next: How to remove card from iTunes & App Store

How to avoid Apple ID scam: Avoid clicking on unknown links

There are various texts that are being sent to people, such as the one pictured below, courtesy of Dave Vitty on Twitter, who has been receiving texts to change his Apple ID.

How to avoid Apple ID scam - SMS

As you'll be able to see from the screenshot above a text was sent by 'AppleInc' with a website URL to fill-in your details. These links come in different forms, so far we've seen: 'appleexpired.co.uk' / 'appleidlogin.co.uk' / 'icloudmobile.co.uk', but there might be more websites out there used for phishing purposes. 

It might be pretty obvious to some not to click on the link and/or input any data within the websites listed, but in this case, the website URLs are believable websites of which Apple could own.

The actual URL that is used to manage your Apple account is: https://appleid.apple.com/ - in order for you to know it's the official link, look for the Apple signed SSL certificate by the address bar. There are various browsers out there, such as Google Chrome (pictured below), which will provide you with information about the secured connection to the site you're visiting. 

How to avoid Apple ID scam - Apple Website

You'll find that most of Apple's website and all of the parts that require you to sign-in are secured by a HTTPS, secured connection. In simple English, the websites are official, licensed websites that are owned by Apple, not a fake phishing site. Read next: How private is your iPhone data, and how to protect your privacy.

How to avoid Apple ID scam: Am I in danger of clicking these links?

Often clicking a link doesn't result in an automatic virus or stolen details, however sometimes you might find sites have tracking cookies and malicious codes behind them, which you might compromise your security.

However, most phishing sites will require you to enter your details so that the hackers can have easy access to your personal details. In either scenario our advice will remain the same: Do not click on links of which you're unsure about, even if they come from your friends and family!

You'll often find a phishing link that would have been sent to you by a friend or family, which has then been clicked-on by them and then automatically shared through his or her contact list. If you ever receive a dubious text message from a contact, always question them about the link - you might even help them uncover that they've been caught by a hoax! Yes, you'll look like an honourable white knight.

How to avoid Apple ID scam - Server down

Thankfully, there are measures internet browsers take and even search engines, such as Google to take down such links.

In our example stated above for: 'appleexpired.co.uk' / 'appleidlogin.co.uk' / 'icloudmobile.co.uk', we found them to be either completely shut-down or blocked by our browser (we used Firefox for our tests) - even though they've been around for just a day or two!

How to avoid Apple ID scam - Blocked by browsers

If for any reason there are links that reappear in the future, do not click on them. Always consult the source it has come from or dig deeper and ask your friends and family for advice, better still ask us at Macworld.

If you've clicked on the link, then submitted your details; we suggest you immediately change your personal details and even book an appointment with an Apple Store Genius, to ensure your data hasn't been compromised by hackers. Read next: How to book an Apple appointment, visit the Genius Bar in the Apple Store.

How to avoid Apple ID scam: User poll

With the above steps you should feel more secure, let us know in the poll below if you've been a victim or been a stallion and stayed away from those pesky fishers and their baits - we'll see ourselves out for that joke.