Videos by Category: Security

Learn to Avoid Phishing Attempts
8/24/17
Mac, iPhone and iPad users get inundated with phishing attacks that appear to be official Apple emails but are in fact attempts to steal your Apple ID password. These fake emails play on emotions to get you to click on false links and then enter your password or download some malware. Take a look at some common examples. Thanks to those who contributed these examples!
Encrypting USB Flash Drives
7/31/17
If you use USB flash memory drives, also known as thumb drives or jump drives, you can encrypt them to make sure no one else can access your data if they get a hold of your drive. This is a system function in macOS Sierra that can be accessed in the context menu for that drive. Since these drives are easy to lose, it can be a good idea to encrypt them as standard practice.
Protecting Your Mac Against Ransomware
5/16/17
The recent dangerous WannaCry ransomeware attack should be a wake-up call to all computer users to keep their machines updated. While this malware does not affect Macs, that may not be true of future attacks. Keeping the operating system up-to-date would have protected victims of WannaCry. Please keep your Mac OS and apps updated, don't download software from sites you don't trust, and keep a good backup.
Using a VPN On Your Mac
4/26/17
It is relatively easy to use a VPN service on your Mac. Simply install the software that the service provides, and then set some preferences. From there it is usually automatic. Some services let you pick a server location and set some networks to be trusted at all times.
What is a VPN?
4/25/17
What is VPN and why do people use it? VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it allows you to establish a secure connection from your device, though Wi-Fi and your ISP, to the VPN service, and then out to the Internet. Using a VPN you can mask what you are doing from your ISP, which is particularly useful if you don't trust your ISP, such as when using a connection in a public place.
How Was My Password Hacked?
4/12/17
You may be surprised to learn how most passwords are hacked. It isn't by breaking into the account that is threatened, but by stealing the password from another site entirely. This happens because many people use the same password for different sites. You can easily protect yourself against this.
Set a Lock Screen Message
2/27/17
You can set a text message to appear on your Mac's lock screen. Use this to put contact information or instructions for someone who may find your lost MacBook. Change the message often to fit your situation.
Running Any App With Sierra Gatekeeper
1/27/17
In Sierra the system Gatekeeper function has been changed to only allow apps either from the App Store or from identified developers. But if you need to run other software, such as special software in a work environment, you can still run any software if you know how to override Gatekeeper.
Access Safari Passwords On Your iPhone
1/18/17
If you need to see your stored Safari passwords while on the go, you can get to them on your iPhone. While they are automatically inserted when using Safari on your iPhone, to use the passwords on another device you can go to the Settings app and view them there.
Protect Yourself Against Calendar Spam
12/5/16

Over the last few weeks many people have been reporting unwanted Calendar invites, usually looking like junk email with a sales pitch and links. It is difficult to get rid of these invites without notifying the sender that you either declined or accepted it. But there is a method to quietly delete the invite. A better solution is to switch to email notifications of Calendar invites until Apple fixes the problem.

Unlock Your Mac With Your Apple Watch
9/29/16
With Sierra and watchOS 3 you can set up your Mac so it unlocks automatically for you while you are wearing your Apple Watch.
Protecting Your iOS Device With Guided Access
6/6/16
If you need to hand your iPhone or iPad over to a child, consider using Guided Access to lock them into a single app and restrict what they can do. Guided Access allows you to turn off buttons and controls and even set time limits. You can regain access to your device with a password or Touch ID.
Password-Protected Locked Notes
4/6/16
A new feature in Mac OS X 10.11.4 and iOS 9.3 allows you to lock some or all of your notes in the Notes app. You can assign a single password that works for all locked notes in your iCloud account. You can lock and remove the lock on notes on your Mac, iPad or iPhone. This provides an extra layer of security if you store sensitive information in some of your notes.
How Gatekeeper Protects Your Mac
3/21/16
In OS X you can use Gatekeeper to protect your Mac from malicious software. Most users should have it set to only allow apps from the Mac App Store. When you do so, it is easy to allow other apps on a case-by-case basis, so even export users should consider this setting as the default.
Removing Adware From Your Mac
8/31/15
If you have adware on your Mac, it is fairly easy to remove. In fact, Apple provides a handy page with clear steps at http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203987. In this episode, follow along as I go through the steps to check my Mac for adware.
Learning About Online Scams
8/5/15

The best way to protect yourself against online scams is to learn about them. Here are three web sites that report scams. By browsing these sites a little each week, you will become knowledgable about these scams and learn to recognize when someone is trying to pull one on you.

Removing Persistent Alarming Safari Pop-Up Windows
7/29/15
If you find yourself stuck on a web page in Safari that is claiming that you are infected with a virus or that your computer needs to be scanned, it is a scam. But sometimes you can find that these pop-up warnings are hard to get rid of. Even if you quit and restart Safari, they reappear. It is easy to restart Safari without returning to the same page that starts the cycle all over again. You can also get help from Apple if you are infected with a more serious problem.
Recognizing Email Phishing Scams
5/20/15
Chances are you regularly get fake email claiming to be from companies that you do business with. However, these scam emails are trying to trick you into giving up your passwords and other information. It is important to be skeptical of every email message you receive and to learn to recognize the signs of phishing scams. Even email messages that seem to come from friends and relatives can be scams.
Creating Passwords With Keychain Access
5/18/15

You can use the Keychain Access app on your Mac to create secure random passwords for things that are not necessarily online. For instance, you can create random ATM pins or passwords for apps and other services. You can also store these passwords in your Keychain so you have a backup in a secure place in case you forget the password later on. Check out my book The Practical Guide to Mac Security at http://macmost.com/j-macsecurity

Safari Passwords
4/6/15
Safari lets you create strong passwords and save them when you create new accounts or log into existing ones on the web. You can access these passwords in Safari preferences or using the Keychain Access app. Thanks to iCloud, these passwords can sync across your devices allowing you to use strong secure passwords on your iOS devices as well as your Macs.
Guest User Accounts
3/11/15
If you want to give someone else access to your Mac, like a house guest or someone visiting you at work, use the Guest Account instead of letting them handle your real user account. Guest Accounts are easy to switch to, and protect all of your documents, settings and other data from mistakes the guys might make. When the guys is done, the Guest Account is wiped out completely, leaving nothing behind. You should have your own account, and anyone else who 'owns' the Mac with you, like a spouse or other family member should have their own account as well. Anyone else should use a Guest Account.
2/7/14

Earlier this week an NBC New report showed that it was very easy for all of your computing devices to get hacked in Russia. It seemed to show a phone, a PC laptop and a MacBook that were hacked almost instantly upon being turned on.
Most people took this at face value and assumed that hacking and malware are endemic in Russia. But computer experts noticed that the report lacked any details about what happened. Now we have an updated report from NBC News that sheds some light on what went on. And the truth is very far from what most people assumed.

MacMost Now 896: Quickly Locking Your Mac
7/26/13
It is important to lock your Mac when you are away from it and in other situations. Learn how to set a hot corner and use a keyboard shortcut to quickly lock your Mac once you have set things up in System Preferences.
MacMost Now 851: Facebook Scams And Misinformation
4/12/13
Many of the posts you may see in your Facebook news feed are scams or pieces of misinformation. Learn to be skeptical when you read information passed on from others. Verify information before passing it on yourself. Often, posts are simply ploys to gain popularity on Facebook.
MacMost Now 844: Apple ID Two-Step Verification
3/27/13
Apple IDs can now be made more secure by using the two-step verification process. This involves changing your Apple ID account and added secure devices, like your phone, to the process. In order to make changes to your account, like a new password, you would then need to verify your identity by using your device in conjunction with your password. This makes it much harder for someone to gain access to your account.
MacMost Now 813: Disable Java In Your Browser
1/14/13
It is easy to disable Java in your web browser. Doing so may help protect you from future malware threats. Java is no longer used on most web sites and you will most likely not notice the difference once you turn Java off.
MacMost Now 789: Password Protecting Small Bits of Data
11/19/12
There are many ways to password protect and encrypt small pieces of data on a Mac. You can use Keychain Access to encrypt a note in your keychain. You can use Disk Utility to create a small encrypted disk image. The app Evernote allows you to encrypt a piece of text inside a note. You can also use the Terminal to create a password protected zip file.
MacMost Now 776: Securing Your iPhone
10/19/12
If your iPhone is stolen much of your personal data, including access to your email and online accounts, can be stolen as well. Protect yourself by setting up your iPhone correctly in advance. Turn on passcode protection and also the Find My iPhone feature. With Find My iPhone you can erase or track your iPhone.
MacMost Now 746: Securing Your iCloud Account
8/10/12
A few simple techniques can help you secure your iCloud account and prevent someone else from gaining access to it. Use secure passwords, set up better security questions and answers, make sure your linked accounts are also secure, and be sure to back up your Mac!
MacMost Now 742: Understanding Gatekeeper
7/31/12
Gatekeeper is a new security feature of OS X in Mountain Lion. It allows you to prevent apps from being installed depending upon the source of the app. You can decide to only allow Mac App Store apps, or also allow signed apps, or turn off Gatekeeper if you don't want to use it. Learn how to set Gatekeeper and why it will help you keep your Mac more secure.