We’re seeing an uptick in email phishing attacks purporting to come from Microsoft about Office 365. They’re quite convincing messages that tell users that their credit card payment has failed, that an account needs renewing, or that a password needs to be confirmed. Needless to say, they’re all complete scams, and clicking a link in them takes you to a malicious Web page that will try to steal your password or credit card details. As we noted in “Gone Phishing: Five Signs That Identify Scam Email Messages,” large companies never send email asking you to click a link in order to log in to your account, update your credit card information, or the like. Hover over links to see where they go before clicking anything, and stay safe out there!
Macs haven’t had removable storage for years, so when you want to move files between computers, you can use USB flash drives, email, Messages, AirDrop, or local file sharing. Those techniques are fine, but for a more efficient, effective, and elegant solution, try a cloud-based file sharing service.
These services use special software to integrate into the Mac’s Finder, designating a particular folder to hold shared files. Whenever you add a file to that folder—or any subfolder inside it—the software automatically uploads it to the cloud and downloads it to linked devices. File changes and deletions sync quickly, so the shared folder remains in sync everywhere at all times. iOS’s Files app also provides a single interface to the main services on your iPhone or iPad.
For years, you’ve used the App Store app to install operating system and app updates on your Mac. That’s still true for apps, but with macOS 10.14 Mojave, Apple moved operating system updates to the new Software Update preference pane, which replaces the old App Store preference pane. Open System Preferences > Software Update to check your version of macOS and access available updates—there will be an Update Now button to click. You should also visit this pane to tell your Mac how to best handle system and app updates: Don’t select “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” because updates might come at an inconvenient time for you. Instead, click Advanced and then select “Check for updates” and “Install system data files and security updates”—they’re important. Unless you’re low on drive space, selecting “Download new updates when available” is fine, since that will make updating faster. However, keep “Install macOS updates” and “Install app updates from the App Store” off so you can choose when to update.
Touch ID lets users register up to five fingers that can unlock an iPhone, which has long been a boon for those who share access to their iPhone with trusted family members. However, users of the iPhone X haven’t been able to give a second person Face ID-based access, forcing those people to wait for Face ID to fail and then tap in a passcode manually. iOS 12 lifts that limitation, allowing a second person to register their face with Face ID on the iPhone X and the new iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max. To set this up, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode. Enter your passcode and tap Set Up an Alternate Appearance. Then give your iPhone to the person who should have access and have them follow the simple setup directions.
Have you found yourself composing an email message on your Mac while staring glumly at the receipt or document you need to scan and attach to the message? Adding that scan to the message isn’t impossible, but until macOS 10.14 Mojave, it hasn’t necessarily been easy.
It’s super simple now, thanks to a new Mojave feature called Continuity Camera. It lets you take pictures or scan documents with an iPhone or iPad running iOS 12 and have those images show up immediately on the Mac, either in a document or on the Desktop.
It is not uncommon for Mac users to login with local user accounts, even in a directory environment. The question becomes, how do we enforce password policies on those local accounts? There are many schools of thought on this but here is how I did it recently with the combination of a configuration payload and a simple script.