Password Security Advice

Password Security Advice


From October 2020

One of the biggest cyber security threats is weak passwords. Passwords can be weak because they are common (password, 123456, qwerty, etc.) or because they are reused. When a website has a security breach, the hackers will attempt to use hacked email and password combinations found on one website for other websites. And attempting to use stolen credentials on ‘high-value’ websites (email, banking, credit cards, PayPal, etc.) is their priority.

Therefore it’s imperative that, at the very least, you have completely different passwords for your most important accounts (email, banking, credit cards, PayPal, etc.). A password manager like 1Password (we are a 1Password partner) or Keeper can help. Or you can use the built-in password management of Safari (Keychain), Chrome, etc. In addition, you need to set up 2FA/MFA (two-factor or multi-factor authentication), whereby you are sent a code to log in to these websites from new devices.

Hacking is on the rise in 2020, with security breaches happening every day. By taking some simple precautions you can greatly minimize your risk. Please give us a call or reply to this email if you would like help with password management. Click below for information about password hygiene.

https://cisomag.eccouncil.org/6-practices-to-strengthen-your-password-hygiene-in-2020/

Mac Changes: Big Sur and Apple Silicon

Two Big Changes Coming to the Mac: Big Sur and Apple Silicon


From September 2020

The most important thing to know about Big Sur is that we highly recommend NOT installing this when it first comes out. Especially MacPractice users. MacPractice will NOT be compatible with Big Sur until months after macOS 11 is released. We will not know the compatibility of many other programs with Big Sur until after the release.

 

That said, macOS 11 Big Sur is the start of a new look and feel for the entire Mac operating system to make it more like an iPhone and iPad. Apple claims it will be the biggest change since Mac launched its version 10 operating system in 2001.

 

The Big Sur update will further help integrate iOS apps with Macs. For example, it will make it easier to share photos, images, and gifs in Messages. Other features include visual previews of tabs and translation features in Safari. It will be released this fall.
 
Apple is also changing its processors from Intel processors to their Apple Silicon processors. This major change in the chips is expected to bring increased performance and battery life to Macs. Big Sur will be the first OS that will compatible with Macs that run on Apple Silicon.

Apple to End macOS 10.13 High Sierra Security Updates November

Apple to End macOS 10.13 High Sierra Security Updates This November


From August 2020

Apple will stop all security updates for macOS 10.13 High Sierra in the fall of 2020. That means if you fail to replace your Mac or upgrade your macOS to a newer version by November, you would be putting your data at risk due to less advanced security. 
 
The following computers cannot run macOS 10.14 Mojave or higher and should be replaced by the end of the year:
 
MacBook Air introduced in 2011 or earlier
MacBook Pro introduced in 2011 or earlier
Mac mini introduced in 2011 or earlier
iMac introduced in 2011 or earlier
Mac Pro introduced mid-2010 or mid-2012 

How do I know what Mac and macOS I have?
 
To see which Mac and macOS you have click on the Apple icon on the top right hand part of the screen and then click “About This Mac” in the drop-down menu.

There it should tell you the kind of Mac you have and which macOS you’re running.
 
What can I do if I’m still running High Sierra?
 
If you have a Mac that is too old to update to macOS 10.14 Mojave or newer, please contact us to discuss your options for replacement. If you can update to Mojave or a newer OS, please consult with us first. We will make sure that any software you are currently using will be compatible with a newer OS.

 

Five Anti-Phishing Cyber Security Tips

 

Five Anti-Phishing Cyber Security Tips


From July 2020

Phishing, or tricking people into giving personal data by email, text, or phone, has been around for a while. Still, it’s not going away. Here are five tips to prevent phishing:
 

  1. Be suspicious of both unexpected text and emails. Emails aren’t the only way people phish.
  2. Hover over the link an email gives you before clicking; that can show you the actual URL. See if the actual web address seems legitimate.
  3. Check the actual email address (not just the display name) to see if it matches the name of the company.
  4. Don’t ever download an attachment from an unknown email.
  5. If a Word or Excel document asks you to enable macros do not enable them unless you’re 100% sure you need those macros. A macro can easily infect your computer with a virus or malware.

         So, if you unexpectedly see this when opening your Word Doc or Excel:

DO NOT click enable.