All Posts By

Travis Woods

Happy July 4th

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The last several months have been a wild ride. We’re grateful to have a team and clients that are resilient and ready to press on. We also have some news about changes to the way that Marin Mac Tech does business. We’re finding new ways to improve the support we provide to our clients.

Supporting a Remote Workforce đź’»

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COVID-19 Response

Marin Mac Tech Supporting Remote Workers

Marin Mac Tech, like many of you is finding its way through the new pandemic landscape of COVID-19. We aware of the the burdon that social isolation is putting upon daily businesses and the engine of commerce.  That’s why we remain open and ready to help keep you and your business working. We have many tools to call upon that make working from a remote location seamless and productive. For example, our unified communications service, called Elevate, includes an integrated VoIP phone that travels with you everywhere, as well as file sharing, chat, and simple video conferencing tools.

We’ve always prided ourselves on making on-site technical support easy and available to all. However, during this period, we realize that an in-person meeting may not alway be best. We are offering more remote appointments to address this constraint. Although remote, we remain committed to creating the same successful responses to your technology needs. There will still be the need for Marin Mac Tech to make on-site visits for things like hardware set up and network improvements. However, it is our first duty to protect the health and safety of our employees, clients and our community. We continually monitor the  recommendations from Marin County HHS  and adhering to them to do our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Please help to protect our community by adhering to the following recommendations:

  1. Opt for a remote appointment if you or a member of your family have any symtpons of a cold or flu.
  2. Clean your work surfaces and your computer prior to your tech’s arrival. Apple has created a detailed guide for cleaning your Mac.
  3. If an on-site appointment is nesseccary our technicians will not be shaking hands and prefer the “what’s up dude” head-nod or a simple mutual bow.
  4. Our technicians wear latex-free gloves to proectect against contaminated surfaces and prevent the spread of viruses.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. We are committed to helping our community get through this epic struggle.

A Good Partner…

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We work tirelessly to provide our clients with stellar support, service and products. All of our team is rowing the same direction to take care of clients. But it doesn’t stop with our team. We look for vendor relationships that are more than transactional, their partnerships. We’ve found a great partner with Intermedia because they share the same priorities in delivering an exceptional customer experience. We’re proud to offer Elevate a Unified Communications Platform as a Service, where the flexibility of  VoIP, mobile offices, file sharing and conferencing come together to bring new efficiencies to the dynamic work spaces of 2020.

Apple ID Jacking is Real

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Your Apple ID is the key to unlock your computer, it stores your personal photos, and tracks your devices. There’s an aggressive phishing scam that goes after that information to get to your computer, and personal data. While it looks legitimate, this email brings you one click away from giving up some of your most personal information.

Protect against Phishing Scams
  • Don’t follow links from you email that request your credentials. Go right to the source if you get an email from Apple requesting you to update your Apple ID, by going to Apple directly.
  • Get proper phishing and spam filtering. Marin Mac Tech provides robust spam and phishing filtering that can me added on to your email, preventing these attacks from making it to your inbox.
  • Phish your employees. Marin Mac Tech offers a way to test your employees and safely test whether or not they give up crucial credentials.

As these scams get more elaborate and sophisticated, the need for tools like anti-phishing, DNS filtering and encryption becomes mandatory not optional. New mandates coming in 2020 will require companies to disclose the loss of critical data. This hits companies with a one-two knockout. It’s one thing to lose data, but it’s arguably more damaging to have to publicly disclose the loss. We’ve seen disclosures like that, close medical practices for not having the right tools or complying with the best-practices for dealing with sensitive data.

 

 

Hold Off Catalina

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Hold off Catalina

Catalina May Not Be For Everyone

Catalina is the newest operating system for your Mac, but it may not be the greatest for you. Here’s a quick guide to help determine whether clicking the “Upgrade Now” button will bring you joy or frustration.

  • Your computer

    • MacBook: 2015 and later
      MacBook Pro: 2012 and later
      MacBook Air: 2012 and later
      Mac Mini: 2012 and later
      iMac: 2012 and later
      iMac Pro: 2017 and later
  • The apps you use

    • Catalina renders old apps useless. About 10% of the apps we use are built on 32-bit architecture which is no longer supported in Catalina. Apple is favoring the 64-bit architecture to provide greater processing power to newer apps. Yes, it’s a good thing, but not all app developers are ready for this change. Find out if your apps are 64-bit. 
  • Next-Level Security

    • Once again, the Mac OS offers a greater level of protection from viruses and exploits. This will require more of your attention when installing new apps or making changes to your Mac OS.
    • Some apps will require you to grant them permissions. This is all managed in the System Preferences –> Security & Privacy. Catalina Security & Privacy

Battery Recall for 15″ MacBook Pros

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Apple sent many of us a notice about a potential fire danger with the 15″ MacBook Pro. This is the former MacBook Pro model, from a time when USB  and Thunderbolt ports on the side of your Mac were cool. To see if your MacBook Pro is included in the recall, check your serial number using Apple’s recall page.

If you must send in your MacBook Pro for service, there are few things to take care prior to sealing the box or dropping with the Genius Bar:

  1. Backup your computer using TimeMachine. iCloud doesn’t provide a complete backup like TimeMachine does. TimeMachine will save your data to an external drive, saving everything from Applications to Photos.
  2. Create a separate login for Apple. You don’t want to give up your super secret dead-pet-password. So, create a new user for Apple with a basic password that you can share.
  3. Don’t got to Apple Store. In most cases, Apple can send a shipping box for your computer. They’ll FedEx the computer to their service center and FedEx it back to you. It will save you the time and hassle of queuing up for the Genius Bar.

Marin Mac Tech is happy to help you facilitate the backup and answer any questions. Getting help is easier than ever.

FaceTime Bug Allows for Eavesdropping

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A newly discovered bug with the current iOS software (12.1.x) allows incoming FaceTime callers to listen in on the person their calling prior to the call being picked up. Apple is expected to release a software update this week to correct the bug. Until the update, you can disable FaceTime to prevent this bug. Here’s both how to exploit it and how to fix it according to 9to5Mac .

Here’s how to do the iPhone FaceTime bug:

  • Start a FaceTime Video call with an iPhone contact.
  • Whilst the call is dialling, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap Add Person.
  • Add your own phone number in the Add Person screen.
  • You will then start a group FaceTime call including yourself and the audio of the person you originally called, even if they haven’t accepted the call yet.

It will look like in the UI like the other person has joined the group chat, but on their actual device it will still be ringing on the Lock screen.

Here’s a how-to turn off FaceTime until the update is released thanks to 9to5Mac.

How to turn off FaceTime on iPhone or iPad

To disable the feature on your iPhone and iPad, do the following:

  1. Open the Settings application
  2. Scroll down and look for the FaceTime icon
  3. Switch the toggle to gray

How to disable FaceTime on your Mac

To disable Face on your Mac, following the below steps:

  1. Open the FaceTime app on your Mac
  2. Click “FaceTime” in the Menu bar
  3. Click “Turn off FaceTime”

 

 

 

Can you be phished?

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Phishing attacks are on the rise. So many of us get messages that look like they are from legitimate sources, such as Dropbox or Gmail, asking to rest passwords or trying to get us to update account information. This makes it tough to figure out what’s real and what’s not.

While we can always apply another tool to weed out these fake messages, the best prevention is education. If you have an email address, you’d better get smart about the ways you can be fooled by scammers.

  1. Check the following links – Often times, an email link may look like it’s going to Dropbox.com when really it’s not! Don’t get fooled by long links. Learn to spot the top-level domains in a follow link to determine it’s legitimacy.
  2. Don’t open attachments from unknown senders. Even if it’s someone you correspond with regularly, double check the email address to ensure it’s not malformed or spoofed.
  3. Just because it looks legit, doesn’t mean it is. While your bank may send out a notice that your statement is ready, don’t follow the links. Just open your browser and go directly to the bank’s website. This will ensure your credentials remain between you and your bank.
  4. Run anti-virus with web protection. Yes, even if you have a mac, the time has come for everyone to have some layer of protection for their computer.

Don’t spend sleepless nights worrying about your computer security. Marin Mac Tech is here to help protect your computer from the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats.