MacMost: Security

Using More Secure iPhone Passcodes
4/25/18
iPhone passcodes that are only 4- or 6-digits long can be easily broken by the same equipment law enforcement agencies use. While it is unlikely to be an issue for typical users, you can opt to use longer passcodes or even an alphanumeric password for your iPhone to make it nearly impossible to break.
Encrypting Pages, Numbers and Keynote Documents
4/24/18
If you need to encrypt your documents for security or legal reasons, you can do this easily in Pages, Numbers and Keynotes with the Set Password option. It is important to remember your password or you will lose access to the document. You can also just opt to use File Vault to encrypt all of the data on your Mac.
A Beginner's Guide to Getting Started With Time Machine
2/2/18

Every Mac user should be backing up the files on their Mac. The easiest way to do this is to use Time Machine, which is part of macOS. You can get a cheap external hard drive and start doing this today. Time Machine is simple and automatic and can save you from disasters, as long as you start using it.

Setting Up and Using iPhone Lost Mode
12/18/17
As long as you have Find My iPhone activated on your iPhone, you can then use a computer and log on to the iCloud web site to trigger Lost Mode. This will lock your phone, and enable you to display a message and phone number on the screen. You'll also get location updates sent to you via email. You can turn off Lost Mode if you find your iPhone.
The Root Password Hack Explained
11/29/17

Many Mac news sites and blogs are reporting about a way that someone can gain access to your Mac without your password. However, the danger is usually overstated as someone needs physical access to your Mac to use the exploit. In this video I'll show you the problem and also a simple way to prevent it. However, Apple will probably have a fix for this in the next few days or even hours.

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.