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.

Exchange Users Hold Off iOS 11 Upgrade

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Just because it’s new doesn’t mean you need it. While iOS11 has some amazing new features, there’s a significant problem with Outlook.com, Office 365 and Exchange mail accounts. Apple and Microsoft have both acknowledged that mail fails to send in some cases with iOS11. Both are reportedly working together to get the issue resolved.

For those of you who don’t use Microsoft for mail services, we can recommend upgrading to iOS11. Keep an eye out for subsequent updates, where issues, like the one above, are patched.

UPDATE: iOS 11.0.1 has been released today. This update is designed to resolve the issue sending mail from an iOS device hosted with Microsoft Exchange, Outlook.com and Office 365.  You can follow this tutorial to update your phone to the latest version.

Location – Location – Internet Service!

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You’ve got the perfect office!

Does your office have Everything you need?

Having a good reliable connection to the internet is worth a lot in the business world. Small businesses hanging onto old DSL (or worse) T1 connections may not realize the cost accrued in lost productivity. We’re not just talking about doing more, better, faster. It’s about having the bandwidth to take advantage of tools that bring efficiency to your business. These tools include cloud based services like Dropbox, web apps, G Suite, and other other essentials.

We had a client who was hamstrung by their internet connection. They needed an offsite backup to meet compliance requirements. Not meeting this requirement jeopardize their livelihood. They wanted to take advantage of an offsite, cloud storage provider. Companies like BackBlaze, offer secure, offsite backup that is easy to setup and relatively inexpensive. However, when their server backed up their precious data to the cloud, everyone was virtually kicked offline. Mail stopped going out, webpages failed to load and folks got grumpy!

Marin Mac Tech worked with its partner at Comcast to get high speed internet installed for all of the tenants in the building. This wasn’t just a good for our client, it made the whole building more desirable for other businesses. It was a “win” for the landlord and the tenants.

Don’t underestimate the amount of data it takes to run your business. Having a good internet connection is a lot like having enough hot water for the house. Sure, you can take a cold shower, but you wouldn’t want to do it that often.

Don’t get caught with low bandwidth. Call Marin Mac Tech for an assessment of your internet needs. We can help find the right service to make your business work well!

Call us now!

What’s Lurking on Your Mac?

By Security, Services One Comment

Your Mac isn’t as safe as it use to be. Computers and websites are now more universal than ever; and that’s a good thing! You can run complex sites for real estate and finance just as easily on a Mac as you could on a PC. But because of this great interoperability, vulnerabilities such as malware and browser hijacks can hit Safari uses just as easily as those using Internet Explorer (if anyone still does).

How do I know if I have a virus or malware?

You know you are infected with something when your search bar that, usually says https://google.com suddenly says something like http://searchagent.net. It’s troublesome because these compromised search pages can look like your Google page. But they can take you to sites that have been hacked and host malicious code causing even more trouble for your mac.

Clean it Up!

If you’re at all concerned about malware there are a few things you can do to find it and clean it up. Malwarebytes offers a free tool called Adwaremedic. It’s a great stand alone app that searches for adware and malware and does a great job of cleaning up threats once they’re installed.

An Ounce of Prevention

The cool kids at Sophos Labs (Thanks Tyler) have created a low maintenance product that works well and doesn’t hog your computer’s resources. Sophos Home is a cloud managed product that scans and prevents malware and virus from showing up on your computer. Being cloud managed means you can keep an eye on up to three computers.

Get a Check Up

Securing your computer is more than just running apps. It’s whole approach that looks at your behavior, your risks and password hygiene. Marin Mac Tech provides complete security assessments that look at all aspects of your digital life, identify risks and make recommendations to help protect your activities. Setup up an appointment to find out more.

Cracks in your wireless foundation?

By Services No Comments

Spotty internet throughout your home or business is like being without hot water. Sure,… you can still take a shower, but it’s going to be uncomfortable. Suffering with poor wireless internet coverage can be equally uncomfortable with buffered movies, spotty Spotify, and fractured Facetime.

Setup your wireless environment with the tools services that deliver ample and consistent bandwidth needed to run your digital life. I’ll layout the three main components to solid network:

Your internet connection

The way you connected to the rest of the world has everything to do with how well your world runs. For the home or business, Comcast delivers internet over coax cable. Among the different ISPs Comcast provides a stable high speed connection the greater internet. For the price, you get incredible bandwidth and speed.

Your Network

Once you have have a big pipe into your office, don’t choke your traffic with old network hubs or routers that connect your devices. Gigabit ethernet provides you the capacity needed for your everyday demands.

Wireless Coverage

When you have more than one wireless access point it’s likely you’d benefit from a centrally managed system. We use the Unifi line from Ubiquiti Networks. Marin Mac Tech offers remotely managed wireless that keeps your network safe and up-to-date.  With multiple access points throughout your business, we can test and insure that you’ll have consistent and strong coverage wherever you’re working.

Don’t suffer any more with poor buffered movies or terrible video calls. Let us conduct a free network assessment to develop the best solution for your needs.

FOMO Rules My Inbox

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43393032 - business woman in a state of shock sitting near the computer.

For most of us, FOMO rules our inbox. We just can’t delete that promo message from Restoration Hardware or the Gap letting us know that “you can save 70% off” something you don’t really need.
From a productivity standpoint, these messages are a waste of time. It’s a waste to delete them and a waste to file them. But the deluge of solicitations and subscriptions must be confronted. Mailboxes exceeding 5-10 GB make it harder for your mail client (like Outlook or Apple’s Mail) to maintain this database of messages. Time to clean it up!
There are few things you can do to temper your FOMO and maintain a clean mailbox.
Use tools of the trade:

Gmail and Google apps provide one of the best platforms for organizing your mail. You can use Gmail filters to automate message actions and sorting to help you keep on top of the important stuff. When there’s time, check your “Promotions” section where those Gap deals end up. Check out this Lifehacker article for some great filter ideas.

Use Filters in Gmail
Apple Mail Filters

Apple mail also has filters that allow you to set rules based on the message’s To, From,  or Subject. One of my favorite rules deletes messages after a certain number of days (see below).

Apple Mail Filters
Legally; you don’t need it!

I’m by no means a legal expert on this, but I can tell you that some companies only keep 6 months worth of email. The thought is that if you have a policy against keeping it, then it can’t be subpoenaed. What’s important is not how long you have your mail, but that you have a policy around keeping it.
Talk to us about what email solution is best for your company. We offer hosted email solutions that meet both of these requirements, whether you want to get rid of it regularly, or keep it forever.