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 email@example.com.
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.
11/7/2017 0 Comments
This has been a common problem encountered by so many iTandCoffee clients. In fact, we have already had seen two clients this week who have had the problem (and it's only Tuesday!).
Apple just won't accept my password!
The issue arises when 'two-factor authentication' has been enabled on an iOS 10 (or MacOS), but where other devices that use the same Apple ID are running an older version of iOS or OS-X.
The older versions of iOS and OS-X don't 'understand' the newer security steps that two-factor authentication bring.
As soon as two-factor authentication is enabled on one of their devices, our clients have found that their password keeps getting rejected on other devices - even though they know that the password is correct.
They get a message popping up on their 'up-to-date' iOS 10 device (or on their 'up-to-date' Mac) saying that someone is trying to access their account, with an 'Allow' (or 'Don't Allow') option.
When they choose 'Allow' to get the 6-digit two-factor authentication code, they find themselves stuck - because the device that rejected their password does not offer a place to enter this 6-digit code.
Instead, it just tells them that their password is incorrect.
Fear not! There is a solution
Fortunately, there is a relatively easy fix for this problem.
We covered this issue in our February 2017 Handy Hint newsletter. (Subscribe to our great Newsletter here so that you get to see FREE tips like this »)
This tip has since been moved to our Handy Hint Library, which is for iTandCoffee Club members. Here it is - if you are a Club member, just select the link to view the solution.
Not yet a member of The iTandCoffee Club?
Contact iTandCoffee on 1300 885 420 if you need help to solve this problem.
If you are 'not so local' and are not yet a member, why not join The iTandCoffee Club to gain access to our huge library of great tips like this.
Related Handy Hints and Articles
Handy Hints (for iTandCoffee Club members only)
Blog Articles (no membership required)
I was reading the Innovic monthly newsletter this week, and it included a handy link that I thought readers of our own iTandCoffee newsletter might appreciate.
It is a link to a site that allows you to check if your email address (or username) has been found on a list of details stolen from various well-known websites - for example, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Adobe, Yahoo.
This various websites were compromised at different times over the past few years, and email addresses, passwords and other details were stolen.
I found my own email address was listed twice on the 'hacked' list - for LinkedIn and for Dropbox.
I had already changed my password for these sites, but it was unsettling to see that I was 'on the list'.
Its worth checking your own email address, and then ensuring that you have changed your password details for any site for which you DO appear on the list.
Here is a link to the website:
*** UPDATE TO BELOW POST 22/5/17: If you have not yet updated to iOS 10.3.2, perhaps 'hold fire' for a few days to see if Apple releases a further 'patch' release this week. It may be that the below message - and further issues since with sign-in to my Apple ID - are due to problems with that update. If you have already updated to 10.3.2 and are having any problems, we would be interested to hear about them - please leave a comment below.
There I was, happily writing this week's iTandCoffee Newsletter, when the following message popped up on my iPad's screen.
It would be very nice to be in London, but I am currently here in Melbourne! So just who was trying to sign in to my Apple ID on an iPhone in London??
I, of course, chose Do Not Allow and promptly changed my iCloud password, forcing all devices associated with my iCloud to be signed out (as a precaution).
Thank goodness I had two-factor authentication set up on my Apple account so that, even if someone had gotten access to my password (which I can't believe they did!), they would not be able to break into my account without my iPhone or iPad.
Have you set up Two Factor Authentication on your iCloud account yet? If not, it's time to think about doing this - not just on your iCloud account, but on ALL of your online accounts.
If you need help with this, talk to iTandCoffee on 1300 885 420.
Find out more about iCloud - 'Understanding and Using iCloud'
18/3/2017 0 Comments
The last few weeks have seen lots of articles in the press about two terms that are a 'glorious mystery' to most readers of this blog. I have also had very regular questions about these things from clients.
They are NBN - National Broadband Network and VPN - Virtual Private Network.
Let's look at each in turn, and at some articles that have appeared recently about these services.
NBN - do we all need to change?
Given that she currently has a Telstra cable broadband connection (as do we), she wondered if she needed to do anything - given that she had heard that the Telstra cable broadband network will be retained as part of the NBN.
While this is correct, the Telstra cable broadband network has been sold to NBN. This means that all Telstra cable customers must change to NBN when it becomes available in their area. The Optus Cable network is being decommissioned completely - so Optus cable clients must also change.
The same applies for anyone that has an ADSL connection to the internet - you MUST switch to the NBN once you receive notification that the NBN is available in your area. If you don't you will risk being disconnected.
Even if you don't have internet to your home, you are still impacted by the NBN if you have a phone - landline phone connections are also moving to the NBN.
You can stick with your current Telco, but it is probably a good time to consider who will give you the best price and service.
I know that, when it comes time for this household to switch, I will be taking a very close look at who provides the best deal and won't necessarily be sticking with Telstra as my provider. In this family we need unlimited downloads and fast speed - and it will be a case of who can provide these for the lowest cost.
And I will doing a 'self-install' of any equipment that needs to be installed in my home - to save myself the $240 installation fee that Telstra would charge to send someone to do it for me.
(iTandCoffee can assist clients with this install - our fee is nowhere near that of Telstra! Call 1300 885 420 if you want to discuss this option with us.)
For those of you who want to read a bit more, here are some recent articles and information about the NBN and the two major Telcos.
Articles about/from Telstra
If you need advice on what to do, iTandCoffee can help. Call 1300 885 420 to make an appointment. We are located in Glen Iris, Melbourne, but can arrange to come to you if needed*.
VPN - what is it, and why might you want it?
The issue of how to stay safe when travelling - and when using Public Wi-Fi networks - comes up regularly at iTandCoffee. (We cover this topic in the Travel with your iPad, iPhone and other technology class, which will next run on Friday 24th March at 10am. Places are still available if you would like to join us - find out more here ›)
We are regularly seeing and hearing in the press that using public Wi-Fi networks is, in some cases, how people get 'hacked' - how they have their private information stolen, their online account compromised, and/or their money stolen.
Lately there has been an advertisement playing regularly on the radio about a new product from Norton, one that is supposed to keep you safe when using public networks.
The solution offered is to use a VPN whenever you use a public Wi-Fi network.
But what is a VPN - or Virtual Private Network?
A VPN provides a layer of protection for any communications you have across the internet.
When a VPN is installed and active on a device, it ensures that any data sent across the internet from that device (or received to that device) is 'encrypted' - scrambled, so that no-one can read this data (unless they are supposed to!). It is like creating a secure 'tunnel' through which your data can travel - a tunnel that others cannot break into.
Here are some articles that describe the concept of a VPN, and give some options for those thinking about getting a VPN, or an alternative product that can help protect their online life while 'on the go'.
If you would like to find out more about VPNs and how to set one up, let us know using the below form. If we get enough interest we will run a class - otherwise, we will get in contact with you about arranging one-on-one assistance (should you decide you need it).
"I want to know more about VPNs"
* In-home appointments are available to homes within 20km of iTandCoffee. Distance/travel surcharge applies to these appointments, as shown on our Prices page.
1/2/2017 0 Comments
A client who visited iTandCoffee this week had been unable to access her iTunes account on her Apple TV since she upgraded her iPhone to iOS 10 and activated the security feature called 'two-factor-authentication' on her Apple account - something that Apple really pushed us all to do when updating our devices to iOS 10.
Her Apple TV kept giving her the error message that her iTunes password was not correct, even though she knew it was - and that password still worked fine everywhere else.
Each time she tried to sign in on the Apple TV, she got a message on her iPhone saying that there was an attempted sign in. Even if she chose 'Allow' and got the 6-digit code on the iPhone, the Apple TV did not give her an opportunity to enter that code.
The good news is that there is a solution to this, one that provides a way to sign in to an Apple iTunes or iCloud on a device that is not giving you an option to enter the 'two-factor-authentication' code
We have added a 'Handy Hint' for iTandCoffee Club members on how to fix this problem. It is now in the Handy Hint Library - select the link below to view this hint.
Not yet a member?
Contact iTandCoffee on 1300 885 420 if you need help to solve this problem.
If you are 'not so local', why not join The iTandCoffee Club to gain access to great tips like this.
26/12/2016 0 Comments
If you have you been confused about why Apple sometimes shows that your device is in some other location, you are not alone.
In particular, the message says that 'Your Apple ID is being used to sign in to a device near ...' and shows a location that is (usually) in your current city somewhere, but just not necessarily at your current location.
This is one that iTandCoffee deals with regularly. In a very recent example, Messages was failing to complete activation because the owner of a new iPhone 7 Plus was choosing the wrong option when shown a message on her iPad - a message indicating that someone was attempting to access her account 'near St Kilda Rd'.
This was confusing, given she lives in Clayton - so she chose 'Don't Allow' every time it popped up.
Why do I get a message that shows a sign-in has been requested at some other location?
A warning again to iTandCoffee clients and subscribers about staying safe online over the Christmas and New Year Period ...
If your iPad, iPhone, Mac or Windows computer (or any other device, for that matter) pops up a scary message saying that you have a virus and that you need to call a 1800 number, please DON’T CALL THE NUMBER.
I know I've mentioned this one only recently on this blog.
I am including it again beause yet another iTandCoffee client was almost caught out by this scam this week. Luckily the call to the number did not go through, and she contacted me before any damage was done. But her Mac did pick up some nasty Adware that we had to remove.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE 1800 NUMBER if you get such a message on any of your devices or computer.
The scammers are trying to
If you are concerned you have been caught out by this, or need help to sort unlock your browser or deal with adware/malware, please contact iTandCoffee to make an appointment.
We can walk you through what to do over the phone, or in-shop at 34 High Street Glen Iris, Victoria. If you are in Melbourne, we can do a home visit to help sort you out.
(Please note that charges apply for all appointments.)
Related handy hints and articles
Handy Hints (For iTandCoffee Club members only - find out more here.)
Call 1300 885 420
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