Categories
Security

Don’t store passwords or other sensitive data in the Contacts app

In light of the recent Facebook data harvesting incident, I took a closer look at developer access to the Contacts app in macOS and iOS. The first time you open a third-party application that wants access access to your contact info, you’ll get a prompt asking for your permission. It’s bad enough that the app…

Categories
Security

Should I know my employees’ passwords?

If you’re a business owner or manager, you might feel that it’s your duty to maintain a list of your employees’ passwords. After all, you might need access to their documents or email when they are out of the office. Even worse, an employee could resign without notice. So knowing their passwords seems the logical…

Categories
macOS Server

Upcoming macOS Server changes

  On January 24, Apple announced that fundamental changes are coming to macOS Server in the spring 2018. The following services will be deprecated: Calendar, Contacts, DHCP, DNS, Mail, Messages, NetInstall, VPN, Websites, Wiki. In an unspecified future release, these services will be removed. It appears that Profile Manager, Open Directory, and Xsan will remain.…

Categories
Security

Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities

  It’s now more important than ever to keep your Macs and iOS devices fully updated. Apple has addressed the Meltdown vulnerability in High Sierra 10.13.2. A supplemental update to 10.13.2 addressed the Spectre vulnerability in Safari and Webkit. Apple has also released Safari 11.0.2 for Sierra and El Capitan. Note that Apple has not…

Categories
Home automation Product reviews

Google Home first impressions

  This holiday season, Google put a full-court press on Amazon to bring attention to its Google Home devices. Google and Walmart sold the devices at loss leader prices. This was my net price for each device, not including sales tax: Google Home: $79 sale price at Walmart – 20% Google Express app coupon –…

Categories
Mac hardware

iMac storage options

  While Apple provides solid state drives on its laptop models, the stock iMacs use slow spinning hard drives. The more expensive models include a Fusion drive, which is a combination of a SSD and a spinning hard drive. With a Fusion drive, frequently accessed files are stored on the SSD, for faster retrieval. The…

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iOS devices Product reviews

iPhone X first impressions

  After picking up the iPhone X for the first time, I said “wow” out loud. It’s really that impressive. The near-borderless OLED screen is gorgeous and the build materials are first-class. It’s the first time I’ve used an iPhone and was blown away at the speed. The A11 Bionic chip is a screamer. Although…

Categories
Security

Two-factor authentication

If you’ve been putting off enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on your internet accounts, you shouldn’t. 2FA is one of the simplest and quickest ways to protect your online presence. You need 2FA because it’s just too easy for a hacker or other bad actor to obtain your username and password. The most common method to…

Categories
Security

Security Through Obscurity

  Tomorrow Apple is holding its big media event to debut the new iPhone, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. Unfortunately, the details of these products were leaked. According to John Gruber, a disgruntled Apple employee obtained the URLs to the device “golden master” firmware and sent the URL list to 9to5Mac and MacRumors. This leak…

Categories
Networking

Mesh Wi-Fi Routers

  Setting up perfect Wi-Fi has historically been a challenge in many New York City apartments. In larger apartments, and especially pre-war apartments, the signal levels drop off precipitously in the rooms far from the router. For this reason, I always recommend in-the-wall ethernet for new construction or a gut renovation. In the cases where…