Showing posts from May, 2017

Tip of the Week: How to Keep Your Mac Safe from Hackers and Malware

Just because you're surfing the web on a Mac doesn't mean you can't get infected by malware. Here are five things you can do to limit your vulnerability and make things as hard as possible on the bad guys.

1. Disable Browser Plug-ins Adobe's Flash plug-in for web browsers is one of the most common ways for hackers to attack Macs on the web. You should uninstall Flash if you don't need it. Adobe has instructions here:

If you find that you can't get by without Flash, never click on a website notice that your Flash needs to be updated. Hackers have used these notices to get users to install fake Flash updaters containing malware. Instead, use the Flash update option in System Preferences to check for updates. To check if your Flash needs to be updated, click the black apple in the menu bar at the upper left-hand corner of the screen and choose System Preferences. Then click on Flash in the …

Tip of the Week: How to Limit Your iPhone's Cellular Data Usage

Anyone not on an unlimited data plan with their cellular provider knows the pain of getting a bill with extra charges because they used more data than allowed. Before you decide you need to switch to a more expensive unlimited plan, try these five ways to keep from getting charged extra.

ONE: Learn how much data you're using and which apps use the most data.
Most cellular carriers have an app that you can download and connect to your account. The app can tell you when your billing period is and how much data the carrier says you've used in the current period. Another important thing to remember is whether you are sharing one pool of data with multiple phones. If so, you'll need to take each phone's usage into account, not just your own.
If you tap on Settings, then Cellular, you can see Current Cellular Data Usage. Unfortunately, the phone keeps track of all data since the last time it was reset. If you scroll all the way to the bottom, there's an option to Reset St…

Apple Updates Mean It's Time to Check Your Backups

Yesterday, Apple released updates to iOS (recent iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches), macOS (recent Macs), tvOS (4th generation AppleTVs), and watchOS (all Apple Watches). There was also an update to iTunes. While these are relatively minor updates with a few bug fixes and security patches, it's always a good idea to back up your device before applying a system update. Here's how to back up each device category.

If you are using Time Machine, make sure your backup drive is connected and turned on. The Time Machine icon in the menu bar will show the time and date of your last completed backup. If you aren't using Time Machine, follow your usual backup procedure. If you don't have a backup procedure, you need to get one. If you don't, you'll regret it sooner or later.

iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch:
Either connect your device to iTunes on your computer, or make sure iCloud Backups are turned on in Settings. Both iTunes and Settings will show when your last bac…

Amazon Video Reportedly Coming to the AppleTV

Good news for AppleTV users! According to Buzzfeed, Amazon will be releasing a Prime Video app for the AppleTV this summer. The app will allow anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription to watch the library of free videos Amazon includes with a Prime subscription, as well as any videos you've purchased through Amazon's streaming service.

Since Apple released the 4th generation AppleTV, the only way to watch Amazon Prime videos on an AppleTV was to use the Amazon Video app on an iPhone or iPad and then AirPlay the stream to the AppleTV. While this method works, it's cumbersome, and can overload weak WiFi networks, resulting in low-quality video.

Until now, Apple and Amazon had been choosing to compete in the streaming video market rather than cooperate. Now it looks like that's changing, at least a little, and that's good news for consumers.

You can read the full Buzzfeed story here:…

Tip of the Week: Make Your Mac More Efficient By Customizing the Sidebar

Is the sidebar in each of your Mac's Finder windows the same as it was when you started up your Mac for the first time? If so, you're missing out on a quick and easy way to save time when you're working with files and folders.
First, you'll want to clear any items you never use out of the Sidebar. Click on the blue smiley face in the Dock, then click on the Finder menu (next to the black apple at the top left of the screen), and choose Preferences. Click on the Sidebar tab.
If you never use features like iCloud Drive or AirDrop, uncheck the box next to the feature's name. If you frequently find yourself accessing an option that's unchecked, check its box and it'll be added to your sidebar. When you're finished, click the red dot to close the Finder Preferences window and save your changes.

If you don't like the order items are displayed in the Favorites section of the Sidebar, you can drag any item up or down the list until it's where you want i…

Tip of the Week: iPhone Emergency Medical Info for First Responders

Imagine you're in an accident, and are unconscious. Could your iPhone save your life? It might if you've entered your Medical ID in the Health app. A first responder who finds your iPhone can access your Medical ID and learn any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, and what family members, loved ones, or friends they need to contact. If you've entered the appropriate information, it can be accessed even if your iPhone is locked and protected by TouchID and/or a passcode.

To enter your Medical ID on your iPhone, open the Health app and tap on Medical ID at the bottom. Tap the Edit button and enter whatever information you want a first responder to have access to. It's important to remember that anything you enter here can be viewed by anyone in possession of your iPhone, even when it's locked. You need to weigh any privacy concerns you may have against the usefulness of the information in an emergency situation. When you are …