5 Things You Should Do Before Passing on Your iPhone or iPad

passing on iPhones and iPads

 

When that long awaited upgrade finally comes round (or you simply must have Apple’s latest offering), you can pretty much guarantee the kids in your household will be screaming for your old iPhone or iPad.

However, it’s important that before you hand it over you do a bit of kid-proofing.

Thank you to macworld.com for the following five ways to prepare your old tech for your kids.

1. Wipe your old data

First of all, backup your old iPhone or iPad so save any data you want to keep.

Once that’s done you’re all clear to do a factory reset, which wipes your device’s storage and returns it to the original factory settings:

  • Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings

2. Create a child’s iCloud account

Even if your child is younger than 13 years old, he or she can still have their iCloud account and Apple ID. All you need to do is create the account under iOS’s “Family Sharing” umbrella. With her

Just create the account under iOS’s “Family Sharing” umbrella. Keep in mind that just because she/he has an iCloud account, they won’t be able to start web surfing, tweeting, or posting selfies on Instagram without your say-so. To set up:

  • Settings > Your iCloud username > Family Sharing > Add Family Member > Create an Apple ID for a child

Then choose a payment method for App Store purchases (which you can control and block), then choose an Apple ID username and password. By default, they won’t be able to make App Store purchases without your consent. To double-check the “Ask to Buy” setting, tap Settings, tap your iCloud account name, then tap Family Sharing and your kid’s name.

3. Add restrictions

Now it’s up to you to decide what iOS features your child can use and which ones will be off-limits.

  • Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions > Create a restrictions password

Then, scroll down and disable all the iOS features you’d rather your child didn’t mess with. In the ‘Allowed Content’ section, be sure to disable in-app purchases as well as block music with explicit music and grown-up movies, TV shows and books.

In the Privacy section, you can control which apps can access location services, contacts, the microphone etc. Plus, at the bottom of the Restrictions screen, you can also disable access to multiplayer games, friend adding and screen recording for any Game Centre-ready games.

4. Hide settings, mail and other Apple apps

You can hide all those various Apple apps in a “Hidden” folder in the very last iOS home screen.

To create a home screen folder, drag one app icon on top of another, name the folder, then start dragging other app icons into the newly created folder.

5. Turn on Airplane Mode

This cuts off internet access althogether.

If your old iPhone or iPad is running iOS 6 or later, you may also want to disable home-screen and in-app access to Control Center:

  • Settings > Control Center, then switch off the Access on Lock Screen and Access Within Apps settings

Although it won’t completely disable Control Centre, it will make it a bit harder to find.

Hopefully, these five tips will make sure your littles one can enjoy your old tech safely.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: macworld.com

Mac Users Watch Out For Fruitfly – The First Mac Malware of 2017

Apple malware fruitfly

 

As a Mac user, you’re probably shaking your head in disbelief at this news. Despite thinking Macs were completely free of malware, Malwarebytes have recently found the first piece of MacOS malware of 2017.

The old code that was discovered is simple but ingenious. It is made of only two files and yet capable of communicating with a remote command and control server, and of taking and sending screenshots.

Regardless of whether the malware is old or just appears to be, it’s relatively easy to discover and eradicate. Malwarebytes’ software will do the job, detecting it as OSX.Backdoor.Quimitchin. As the company summarises:

“Ironically, despite the age and sophistication of this malware, it uses the same old unsophisticated technique for persistence that so many other pieces of Mac malware do: a hidden file and a launch agent. This makes it easy to spot, given any reason to look at the infected machine closely (such as unusual network traffic). It also makes it easy to detect and easy to remove.”

Apple itself is aware of the malware, calling it “Fruitfly,” and has since released an update to protect against future infections.

So you see, if you think your Mac is less of a target than Windows 10, think again.

It would be wise to run some malware software on your Mac and scan it periodically with an application like Malwarebytes to make sure you’re not infected.
MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Digital Trends 

Watch Out There’s a New Mac OS Ransomeware About

Mac OS ransomeware

 

Ransomware and the such like is not something Mac users have had to worry about too much. Seen as a ‘safer’ option than Windows machines, the Mac user has been happily using their devices, relatively trouble free, for quite some time.

But that’s changing.

According to Computerworld:

“A new file-encrypting ransomware program for Mac OS is being distributed through bit torrent websites, and users who fall victim to it won’t be able to recover their files – even if they pay. Crypto ransomware programs for Mac OS are rare. This is the second such threat found in the wild so far, and it’s a poorly designed one.”

The offending ransomware, dubbed OSX/Filecoder.E, was spotted by security firm ESET and was developed in Apple’s Swift programming language.

It works by pretending to be a cracking tool for commercial software such as Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Mircosoft Office for Mac. However, because of programming errors, and the lack of a developer certificate from Apple, it is often blocked by newer versions of Mac OS.

The biggest problem with this malware, according to Computerworld, is:

“It generates a single encryption key for all files and then stores the files in encrypted ZIP archives. However, the malware doesn’t appear to have any ability to communicate with an external server, so the encryption key is never sent to the attacker before being destroyed.”

Sadly, malware is never going to go away, and more and more cunning scams will be developed. The best advice we can offer is to remain vigilant and never click on or download anything that you’re unsure about.

We’re grateful to Computerworld and Spiceworks for this update so we can pass it on to you to help you and your data stay safe.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Don’t Fall Victim to SMiShing

Phishing

SMiShing is the text version of email phishing.

Research recently carries out by McAfee Labs has identified an active SMiShing campaign targeting iPhone users.

It goes like this:

  • You receive a text message telling you your account has been temporality locked and a ‘helpful’ link to click on to unlock your account
  • Of course, clicking the link takes you to a site full of warnings about the impending closure of your Apple account
  • Another link then takes you to a counterfeit Apple ID login
  • The information you enter here (i.e. your Apple ID and password) is collected by the cybercriminals and used to gain access to your Apple account

Not good.

You’ve got used to being on your guard against bogus emails, now you have to apply the same thinking to text messages.

As a general rule, if it sounds dodgy it probably is. If unsure, open a your browser and make your own way to the Apple account login page and see if you have any messages there.

A guide to spotting SMiShing

It’s highly unlikely this Apple scam will be the only SMiShing attack out there, so here are a couple of things to remember.

1: How they contact you

Since you bought your iPhone you’ve probably had to re-enter your iCloud or Apple ID password for various reasons. When needed, you’ve never been asked to by text message. Pop-up is the standard method Apple use, so be suspicious of any text message that asks for your Apple credentials.

2: What they look like

These forms of attack are sent out in huge quantities so, to save time, the cybercriminals use code from a previous attack. When this happens you see things like standard email fields of “from,” “subject” and “message,” giving a clear indication that you should be suspicious – after all, when was the last time you received an text message with a subject line?

The best advice we can offer (as always) is be on your guard and if something looks odd it probably is.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Keep Prying Eyes Away From Your iCloud Pictures

iCloud picture security

 

Your pictures capture important personal memories. You store them in iCloud to ensure they’re safe from crashing PCs or malware disasters. But are they really safe?

OK, you’re unlikely to fall victim to unscrupulous hackers who mercilessly stalk the rich and famous, but that doesn’t mean you can be relaxed about the security measures you take to protect your photos.

To help you rest easy at night knowing your pictures are safe and sound, here’s a 5 step process that will make sure prying eyes can’t get near your photos.

1. Controlled backup

The first stage is to know what data is being backed up to your iCloud.

Go to Settings > iCloud and you’ll see a list of apps and services that automatically backup to the cloud. All you have to do is switch on or off the ones you want to be backed up.

2. Powerful passwords

A couple of weeks ago we wrote about the importance of strong passwords. Even though Apple places a restriction on the number of password attempts, it’s essential you create a strong password. That means using upper and lowercase, plus numbers and symbols to create a password that you can remember and that’s super strong.

3. Two-factor authentication

The two-factor authentication feature adds an extra layer of security. To enable it, go to Settings > iCloud > Password & Security > turn on two-factor authentication.

Now, when you sign into your account, you’ll be asked to enter your password and a verification code that will be sent to your phone when you login.

4. Switch off iCloud

After having said how great iCloud is, this might seem a bit of an odd one to you.

The problem with storing your precious memories in the cloud is that you don’t have control as to how they are stored, so if you’d rather not use iCloud and prefer to backup to an external hard drive, go to Settings > iCloud and scroll to the bottom. Here you’ll find the option to ‘Sign out’.

5. Manual backup

If you decide to go with our last suggestion and switch off automatic backups to iCloud, you’ll have to backup manually using iTunes.

Yes, it’s a pain, but you do at least get to control where your backup is stored.

First, make sure you’re running the latest version of iTunes, then connect your iOS device and choose File > Device > Backup.

Once you’ve done that, open iTunes preferences and select the Devices tab. This will show you the name of the device and the date and time iTunes created the backup.

 

There you go – that’s how you can either make sure your iCloud account remains safe from hackers, or backup your pictures using iTunes. Whichever method you choose, stick to our advice to make sure your memories stay safe and secure.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Are iOS Devices Threatening Your Business?

mobile phone security

 

Did you know that only 20% of Apple iOS devices are running on the latest operating system?

Running outdated iOS systems leaves you open to well-known vulnerabilities such as Ins0mnia and Quicksand. A report by security provider Duo Security estimates that more than 20 million devices connected to enterprise networks are no longer supported by the device manufacturer. And, because they can’t be upgraded, they pose a real problem.

This issue is compounded by the fact that there are numerous devices still on the market that can’t receive updates, so potentially, even new devices could be a security threat.

It’s not just iOS

This isn’t a problem that’s just confined to Apple. It is estimated that there are more than 90% of Android devices running out-dated operating systems too.

With the number of personal mobile devices being used in the workplace, Duo Security warn that IT professionals must be aware of the risks and how to sort them quickly.

Education, education, education

The only way this can be addressed effectively is for the device users to take some responsibility.

Henry Seddon, head of European Operations at Duo Security told Computer Weekly:

“Users need educating, but organisations need to put in place systems that not only educate users, but can also encourage them and make it easy for them to upgrade to the latest versions of software. It’s up to everybody in the company to take responsibility for the company’s security and their own, and organisations need to prove the tools that stop them at key points, and encourage and enable them to follow past practice.”

Failure to do so can potentially open up organisations to malware and other forms of attack.

Security recommendations

Here are some of Duo Securities recommendations:

  1. Establish basic mobile device security policies for the company and get buy-in from business managers
  2. Enable all employees to use passcode and fingerprint screen locks to prevent trivial access to sensitive data on mobile phones
  3. Consider excluding phones that are jail broken
  4. Provide helpful tips and reminders to users to check for updates on personal devices accessing company data
  5. Update or replace outdated hardware in use in the enterprise that may no longer be supported with security updates by the manufacturer
  6. Recommend that employees using Android devices consider Nexus handsets with more frequent and direct platform update support
  7. Address common update issues up front with guidance on problems related to updating mobile devices, such as providing tips on freeing space for updates
  8. Use free tools to detect devices with particularly concerning vulnerabilities (e.g. X-Ray for Android)

This is no longer something that can be ignored by businesses. Management and employees must work together to ensure the security of data and avoid embarrassing breaches.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Computer Weekly

The Security Risks Attached to iPad and iPhone

security risks with iPhone and iPad

 

The news has been awash recently with details about Apple’s reluctance to create software that will hack an iPhone at the will of the FBI.

Depending on where you stand on the moral issue of helping your country to catch terrorists, it’s a major leap for a company like Apple to place their customers’ security and privacy first.

That, in part is why the i-family of gadgets has been so popular – because the biggest risks to your security are not remote attacks, but personal theft.

Even if you’re unlucky enough to have your phone or tablet stolen, assuming the thief doesn’t know your passcode, your data is pretty safe because 10 failed attempts at your code and the contents of your phone are wiped clean.

To give you peace of mind, here are a few basic things you can do to keep your personal data safe.

Setting your passcode or password

  1. Open Settings > General and tap Passcode Lock
  2. Click Turn Passcode On
  3. Enter a four digit PIN
  4. Re-enter the four digit PIN
  5. Tap “Require Passcode” and ensure it is set to “Immediately”
  6. Tap Passcode Lock to get back to the Passcode Lock settings

If you prefer, you can use a password instead of a passcode to ensure a higher level of security, but you will need to enter the combination of letters and numbers to unlock your iPad or iPhone, so most people stick with the passcode.

  1. Tap Simple Passcode to Off
  2. Enter a password (a combination of numbers and letters)

Find My iPad/iPhone

Find My iPhone is an app and service that you can install to locate an iOS device if it has gone missing. It also enables you to remotely wipe an iPhone or iPad, or send a message to it in the hope of retrieving a lost iPhone or iPad.

  1. Click on Settings > Privacy > Location service
  2. Tap Find My iPad and click it to On
  3. Open the App Store and Find My iPhone. Install the app.

Open the Find My iPhone app on an iPad or iPhone and log in to see where all your devices are. Note that this service can also be accessed from Apple’s iCloud website.

Saving password details in Safari

The iPad can be used to save your passwords and credit card details. Before doing this it is considered advisable to set up a passcode first, as an additional security measure.

To set up Safari to save passwords follow these steps:

  1. Tap on Settings and Safari
  2. Tap Passwords & Autofill
  3. Tap the Names and Passwords button to turn it on (green)

When you next visit a website in Safari, and enter your name and password, a popup will appear asking if you want to save the password. Tap on Save Password and the password will be stored locally in the iPad.

  1. Tap Simple Passcode to Off
  2. Enter a password (a combination of numbers and letters)

To access password details in Safari

  1. Tap on Settings and Safari
  2. Tap Passwords and Autofill
  3. Tap on Saved Passwords
  4. Tap on a password entry and enter your Passcode

You can now view the Website, Username and Password details on the iPad.

To delete a password from Safari

  1. Tap on Settings and Safari
  2. Tap on Passwords and Autofill
  3. Tap Edit
  4. Tap the selection circle next to the password you want to delete
  5. Tap Delete and Delete again in the pop-up window
  6. Enter your passcode

iCloud Keychain

If you have several Apple devices and want to use Safari to save your passwords, then you can use iCloud Keychain to synchronise your passwords from one device to another. So if you enter a password into a website on your iPhone, it will automatically be added to your iPad.

You must have your passcode activated to use iCloud Keychain. Follow these steps to turn on iCloud Keychain

  1. Tap on Settings and iCloud
  2. Tap on Keychain and turn on the button next to iCloud Keychain
  3. Enter your iCloud password and tap on OK
  4. Move to another computer or device using the same iCloud. On the Mac open System Preferences and iCloud and details next to iCloud
  5. Enter your Apple ID and Password and click on Allow

Your iPad or iPhone will now have all the usernames and passwords that have been stored on your Mac (and vice versa). You can also do the same thing with your iPhone to sync between all your devices. If you don’t have a Mac you can use an iPhone to authorise the iPad or vice versa, just follow the Notification pop-up and enter your Apple ID and Password on the device.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.