8/11/2019 0 Comments
Every now and then, iTandCoffee sees a Mac user who does not know their Mac's main administrator password. This so often occurs when the Mac has been set up to automatically sign in without requiring entry of a password.
Many of you will have seen press around the recent revelation by Google about a vulnerability that existed briefly in Apple's iOS, a vulnerability that was patched about 6 months ago.
I regularly tell clients how safe they are using an i-Device, that they can't catch a virus or spyware. So I was really concerned when I saw the press reports on this - wondering if I had given my clients a false sense of security.
In recent online news about security, privacy, scams and threats, there have been some scary articles about new threats to millions of Windows users.
Many Mac users think that, by having a password protecting their access to their Mac, they are making their Mac's contents inaccessible to those who should not have access - for example, if the Mac is stolen.
The truth is that, for the majority of Macs, the password will not prevent such access. Your Mac is still vulnerable to unauthorised access if it falls into evil hands.
A recent experience of an iTandCoffee client highlights an important security warning for all of us.
Don't rely on email / text for communicating bank account details, especially for large transfers
If you ever ask someone to transfer money to your bank account, or you are asked to transfer money to someone else - especially where the amount involved is large - be very careful about trusting the bank account details that you provide (or are provided) via email.
Yes, that's right. All I had to do was provide the person's first name, last name and email address to do a password reset and gain full access her account.
We covered this topic in an article in late 2016, but figured it's time to repeat it - given how many times we are asked about it at iTandCoffee.
If you have turned on a security feature for your Apple iCloud/iTunes account - a feature called two-factor authentication - you will find that, whenever you sign in to your Apple account on a new device or from a web browser, you will get a message popping up on another device.
Here we go again! 2018 has only just started, and the press is flooded with stories of the latest security threats to our devices, called Spectre and Meltdown.
Spectre and Meltdown are security flaws in computer chips in over 3 billion devices - computers, tablets, smartphones. Meltdown only impacts Intel chips, but Spectre impacts billions of devices.
All hardware and software vendors - including Apple - have been scrambling to release patches that will 'plug' this security hole.
A new flaw in Wi-Fi security could leave all our devices vulnerable to hackers, according to reports in the press this last week.
Here is an article from Fairfax media this week about the flaw, which relates to the WPA2 security protocol that our routers use.
Apparently, iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Windows computers and Android devices are at risk, with Android devices being at higher risk than the others. (The articles I saw did not mention Mac computers.)
Microsoft, Apple, Google and router providers are all working on patching this security hole, and will release updates to their operating systems and router 'firmware' in the near future.
To ensure that your own devices and computers and computers are not left vulnerable, it will be essential to apply any updates that are released for your devices.
I will advise in the iTandCoffee fortnightly newsletter when such updates are available.
One thing that may trip a lot of people up is how to update the 'firmware' of their router - since the router is the device that is the centre of this vulnerability, and the imminent firmware update will be essential to ensuring your ongoing security.
If anyone needs assistance with this, iTandCoffee will be able to help - in your own home if necessary (depending on your location).
Call 1300 885 420 to make and appointment, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need to learn more about Wi-Fi, routers and other basics?
We look at lots of basics of technology - what is Wi-Fi, what is a router, what is 'mobile data', and more at the 'Introduction to the iPad and iPhone' class which we are running again at iTandCoffee, from Thursday October 26, 10am. Select the button below to book online, or call 1300 885 420.
In my daily check of my Apple News app, where I have set up a 'topic' that provides me with daily 'computing and information technology news', I saw a concerning article about the release of over 700 million email addresses online.
For some of these email addresses, passwords were also available - hacked from who knows where!
Here is the article for anyone wanting to read about this:
Have you been 'pwned'
As mentioned in the above article, it is possible to visit a website that tells you if your email address is available on any known list of 'hacked' email addresses - including this new massive list.
The website is haveibeenpwned.com. Just enter your email address to see if it is on any list.
I was surprised to find my own iTandCoffee email address was on this new list! It was not on any list last time I checked, so this leaves me wondering which of the many online services I use has been 'hacked'.
So as a precaution, I have changed my password for the impacted email account, and for other key accounts that use the email address.
Now I need to see where else I have used this email address, and decide if password resets are needed! Ow.
At least I have a different password for every online account, which minimises any 'damage' if anyone does have more than the email address. And I have put all these different passwords into my 'password safe' on my iPhone. This means that I always have easy - and secure - access to my passwords whenever I need them, either from my iPhone or iPad.
(If you are an iTandCoffee Club member, you can watch the members-only video about how to set up a password safe on your iPhone/iPad. Here is the link to this video»
If you are not yet a member, find out more about The iTandCoffee Club here »)
How to change your online passwords
If you need to change your password for your various online accounts, here are links to the relevant pages on some of the important ones:
Need further advice or help?
If you need advice on how to change any other online passwords, just leave a comment below. Or if you would like assistance with making changes to your passwords, book a time with iTandCoffee. Book online here or call 03 9886 0814 or 1300 885 420.
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