Monthly Archives: April 2017

Be on Guard Against Mac Malware OSX/Dok

Macs are less vulnerable, by nature, to viruses and malware, but they are not impervious.  There is a real threat right now, that we feel compelled to share with you, so you can be on guard and spread the news to other Mac users.   It takes over the system, but it starts with a phishing email, hoping you will let it in.

Now, most of us know by now about phishing and how to check for fake emails.  Many companies have a dedicated link on their website to report suspicious emails, in fact.  Bad guys are bad, though, and they spend their time making it harder and harder to tell the true from the false (seriously, can we give them some better project to spend their time on?).

Please read and share this blog and the links below, which have some very helpful tips about how to educate yourself and hopefully avoid falling victim to these malicious attacks.

From the good folks at 9to5 Mac:

Nasty Mac malware bypasses Gatekeeper, undetectable by most antivirus apps

PSA: Now is a good time to educate your less-techy friends about ‘Apple’ phishing emails

A great article to not only remove, but to protect against in the first place, from MacWorld:

The best free methods for removing Mac malware, viruses and ransomware

And another, which goes into a bit more detail about this new threat, from Cult of Mac:

Gatekeeper won’t stop this ‘major scale’ Mac malware

And finally, a good overview of Mac general security tips from noodlemac:

My Favorite Mac Security Tips

Of course, if you don’t have time or don’t feel comfortable removing malicious programs yourself, we’re here to help!

PS – If you’ve been a subscriber for any length of time, you know we don’t usually post two blogs in one day.  We really feel like this is important and didn’t want to wait to pass it along.  Please share as you see fit and we’ll be back on our regular schedule next week!

Apple’s Ecosystem is by Design

It always surprises us when people talk about Apple’s ecosystem and how brilliant it is, like it’s a new thing.  We know that we are now, and have always been, passengers on Apple’s train.  Yes, we can each have our own room, or we can go into the club car, or we can invite other people into our room, but we are still not driving the train.

Some people don’t like giving up that ‘control’, but people who are immersed in the Apple ecosystem are really happy they don’t have to lay the tracks or pay for the gas.  All you have to do is maintain and manage your own little space.

Maybe Apple isn’t really worried about being “the top selling” laptop/desktop/phone.  The changes they have made through the years (which are often criticized at first) have proven to be beneficial to their users.  Long before SuperDrives were removed from MacBooks and iMacs, there was a gentle incentive to ditch physical media (and who doesn’t love the extra closet space CD’s used). Apple didn’t respond to that market, they created it.  So if you miss multiple ports and resist USB-C, you can be sure that soon you’ll think it’s the best thing ever.

Is it any wonder, then, that Apple appears to be bringing a lot of its component tech development in-house?  It’s an iceberg – this has been going on for years already, right under our noses.  They are not suddenly leaping into new business ventures.  Take a look at the massive Apple Park that’s near completion after years of construction.  Just like their devices, it seemed uncalled for when we first heard about it.  Who needs that much space?!  But now … ooohhh, it all makes sense.  They have also expanded their Seattle center and other satellite offices, even in China.

We do love the Apple Ecosystem.  It has existed – by design – from the start and has expanded and evolved, and continues to grow in unexpected ways.  Like Legos, Apple devices just fit together and work (mostly) seamlessly.  And if Mac users sometimes seem fanatical, it’s just because they enjoy knowing that if there is some adjustment to make in using a new product, it will be short and well worth it.

We completely agree with AppleHolic on this: Apple has a big picture in mind.  Apple’s secrecy doesn’t mean they are stagnant and with an entire industry built on Apple rumors, it’s nice to seem them all come “magically” together sometimes.

So, whether you’re only plugged in using an iPod nano or your house, car, tv and communications are all aboard the train, we’re glad you’re here with us!  We do have a passion for Apple products and have dedicated ourselves to helping the people who use them any way we can.

 

TechRestore FaceBook Fun Weekly Roundup

Greetings from your friends at TechRestore!  We hope you are enjoying this Spring season and all the wonders that it brings (baseball, tulips, Spring break, to name a few, if you need a list).  If you missed our FaceBook posts this week (let’s face it, FaceBook is a bit overwhelming sometimes, we don’t expect you to see everything we post!), here is a brief recap.  We really enjoy staying up to speed on Apple and tech news and we hope you enjoy what we share.

On Monday, we shared about the new Apple app “Clips”.  Clearly, you already know about it!  It’s been breaking records for downloads numbers all week long.  We also shared a tip about organizing your email like a BOSS.  After you read that, you may want to join those of us here who have taken on the massive task of putting this to practice in our own lives.

#HowToTuesday covered having “the talk” with the significant senior in your life and an early Throw Back Thursday post about the Apple I that was so good, we couldn’t wait two more days to share!   We also published a blog (which you obviously saw or you wouldn’t be reading this either!).

Wednesday, we shared a parents’ nightmare and how Apple stepped in to help out.  This story about the Apple I in the Living Computers: Museum + Lab revealed not only a fascinating exhibit and perspective on Apple’s place in computer history, but a look into the mindset of the man many credit with its success.

#TBT again visited 1976 and the 3rd Apple founder’s early exit, leaving us to wonder what the shape of Apple would be if he had stayed on.  Surely, he’s tired of hearing it, but we couldn’t help wonder if he might be related to Batman.  If you have an older iPhone, don’t worry about the newest iOS update, you’re still covered.

Finally Friday!  If you have upgraded, you’re likely to have lots more room on your iPhone or iPad now.  Well, fill it up with pictures!  Here we shared some great tips for photos.

Are you looking for some common ground with your teen?  This “Taking Stock with Teens” report may give you an idea, at least in terms of what the stock market can measure. (Hint: they want a new iPhone.)

If you haven’t already, please “Like” and “Follow” us on FaceBook. Yes, it’s a big playground, but we’d love to see you there and if you have some comments or ideas or news you’d like to hear, please share!

We’ll be publishing another blog soon with our thoughts and musings on the Apple ecosystem and why it’s not new.

Spending Less Time with Your Phone and Why It Matters

These days, our phones tell us everything.  We can see what everyone’s having for lunch via Instagram, check the news and the weather, map our bike rides, reserve parking, order coffee, transfer money, lock the door, turn on the lights, turn off the coffeepot .. you get the idea.  Hey, we can even make a phone call!

Mobile phone addiction is practically built in.  You may have an idea sometimes that you are spending too much time on your device.  Maybe the third time you have to charge it each day is a clue.  So what?  Is a digital detox the answer?  Sweat it out and break the cycle?  Sure, that’s one way – likely to lead to a social media binge trying to catch up on everything.  There has to be some comfortable middle ground, right?

They say knowledge is power. A good place to start to see where you’re spending your time is right in the settings on your iPhone.  Go to Settings >Battery and scroll down to where it displays the usage.  Right at the top you’ll see what your phone is working hardest at.  Sometimes that’s all you need – knowledge.  If you’re a will-powered person, you can apply it simply by consciously decreasing the time you spend on those top activities.

What if there’s no clear leader? What if your display uses the most battery?  Well, that means your phone is on, it’s just not powering a specific app most of the time.  In this case, try adjusting your notifications settings.  You can adjust each app individually by going to Settings >Notifications and clicking on each one to customize the type and frequency of notifications.  An easy tweak to your Do Not Disturb configuration.  You can schedule times where your phone is quiet or customize the behavior whenever you choose the feature (the crescent moon shaped icon in your control center – a swipe up from the bottom on iPhones – is your Do Not Disturb switch).

One super fix is to turn off your Background App Refresh.  This will not only save your battery, but will reduce your notifications as well.  Disabling the background refresh will also help you set aside a clear time to check important apps, like mail.  (If you’re into serious organizing of your mail, check out this boss tip.)  You can also make adjustments in other apps.  FaceBook allows you to put your friends in “lists” so you can see just the updates of people in that category.  Read this helpful tutorial to find out how to set that up.

There is also the issue of perception.  How many times do you open your phone each day?  60 – 100?  More?  What’s measured, improves, as they say.  There aren’t a lot of apps for iOS that track usage.  We found one that seems hopeful called RealizD.  It tracks: screen time, pickups, time between pickups, times of day pickups occur, tells you your busiest day of the week and allows you to set goals for yourself (then reminds you when you’re getting close).  It’s a free app, with options to pay for “family tracking” and some other advanced features.  For getting a reality check, the free version works just fine.

So, why is it important to have this information?  If everyone else is hunched over their phones, who cares if you are too?  Well, it matters.  As my gramma used to say “Because. That’s why.”  Even if you haven’t walked into a lamp post yet, you’re still missing out.  You can’t smell a cool spring breeze, pet your dog or feel the sun on your face through your phone.  Even though Siri can tell you a joke, or get you directions or remember your mom’s birthday, she is not your friend.

Spending less time on your phone hopefully translates to spending more time doing the things you used to just monitor.  Meet up with friends (or at least talk instead of read updates).  Your phone is a tool.  An amazing, useful, helpful tool and that’s all.  Learn how to use it to make your life more full by making it work for you.  And every so often, turn it off (or at least, let it rest).

 

This Week on the TechRestore FaceBook Page

Hello! It’s been a minute since our last blog post, but we have been busy, busy on the FaceBook page.  If you have not already, please “Like” and follow us.  You will find lots of useful tips, interesting articles and history in our posts.  Here are the highlights from last week.

On Monday, we shared 10 iPhone tips you’ll use everyday (not that we need another excuse to touch our phones each day).  We also tipped our hats to companies who are doing right by our planet and pledging to continue their green policies, even though some regulations have been rolled back.

#HowToTuesday is one of our favorite FaceBook days! This week we shared a video about making ringtones from music on your iPhone using Garage Band (warning, this is so fun it may cost you an entire weekend day!).  A second article we shared was about the free space that Apple’s new file system magically creates on your iOS device in the latest update.  One of our techs updated and gained over 2 GB of free space! That is a huge difference!

Wednesday, we were excited to share some interesting take-aways from the small Tuesday press meeting Apple held.  They talked a lot about the future of the Mac Pro and where they might be going with ARM chips as companion processors in their desktop and laptop units (and no touch screen for the MacBook, at least, not soon). 

#TBT (Throw Back Thursday) is another favorite day!  We love looking back on Apple and tech history.  This week we talked about Apple vs the Beatles, the first cell phone call and John Sculley’s birthday (though not everyone agrees on his legacy, he was a key player in Apple’s success).

Friday, the best comprehensive review we’ve read so far about the new iPad.  This article goes deep into the specs and practical analysis of the mid range offering and what it means to us and to Apple.  Speaking of new things – iOS 10.3 is officially launched and Apple has a fun new app called “Clips” to add to your iOS device right away! If you love making movies and compilations, this takes it to the next level.

Saturday rhymes with shortcuts! (Well, not technically, but they do seem to go hand in hand, don’t they?) We found a cheat sheet of Mac keyboard shortcuts to make your life simpler and practically mouse-free.

We hope you find these articles helpful and even thought provoking.  TechRestore is all about Apple and the people who love them like we do (even if you love them a little less, we still welcome you!).  We’d love to hear your thoughts and if you come across something interesting, please, share with us!

Enjoy your week!  If you’re not on Spring Break yourself, you are probably enjoying the traffic benefits of all those people who are.  We’ll be on the job, so be sure to stop by our FaceBook page and see what’s circulating out there this week.