Use iOS 17.3’s Stolen Device Protection to Reduce Harm from iPhone Passcode Thefts

two women talking blurred in the background. in the foreground, a disembodied hand picking up a cell phone as if to steal it.

Last year, a series of articles by Wall Street Journal reporters Joanna Stern and Nicole Nguyen highlighted a troubling form of crime targeting iPhone users. A thief would discover the victim’s iPhone passcode, swipe the iPhone, and run. With just the passcode, the thief could quickly change the victim’s Apple ID password, lock them out of their iCloud account, and use apps and data on the iPhone to steal money, buy things, and wreak digital havoc.

In essence, Apple allowed the passcode, which could be determined by shoulder surfing, surreptitious filming, or social engineering, to be too powerful, and criminals took advantage of the vulnerability. It’s best to use Face ID or Touch ID, especially in public, but some people continue to rely solely on the passcode. Read More from “Use iOS 17.3’s Stolen Device Protection to Reduce Harm from iPhone Passcode Thefts”

You Can Now Have Zoom Meetings on an Apple TV

a conference room of people around a desk looking at the tv screen with another meeting participant on screen

When Apple introduced tvOS 17 last September, an eagerly awaited feature was its support for FaceTime calls, using Continuity Camera on an iPhone or iPad to equip an Apple TV with the necessary camera and microphone. FaceTime on the Apple TV requires a second-generation Apple TV 4K or later and an iPhone running iOS 17 or an iPad running iPadOS 17. Read More from “You Can Now Have Zoom Meetings on an Apple TV”

Help! My Account Has Been Hacked—What Should I Do?

hands typing on a keyboard with a red alert symbol superimposed on top

How would you realize that one or more of your Internet accounts—email, social media, financial—have been hacked? (Some prefer the terms “compromised” or “breached”—you may hear them from support techs.) Unfortunately, there’s no telltale warning sign because “hacked” could mean any number of things. Read More from “Help! My Account Has Been Hacked—What Should I Do?”

How to Search Directly in Your Favorite Websites from Safari’s Search Bar

We’re all accustomed to searching the Web generally in Safari by typing in the search field and pressing Return or tapping Go. Most of us are also familiar with the search suggestions that Safari shows below the search field as we type.

But did you know that Safari has a feature that lets you use the search field to search directly within your favorite websites, so you don’t have to wade through unnecessary search engine results or navigate somewhere manually before searching? Read More from “How to Search Directly in Your Favorite Websites from Safari’s Search Bar”

After “Mother of All Breaches,” Update Passwords on Compromised Sites

Hands of a person over a laptop keyboard. An image of a security icon hovers over the hands.

January’s big security news was the Mother of All Breaches, the release of a massive database containing 26 billion records built from previous breaches across numerous websites, including Adobe, Dropbox, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It’s unclear how much of the leaked data is new, but it’s a good reminder to update your passwords for accounts on compromised sites, especially those you reused on another site. Cybernews has a leak checker that reports which breached sites include your data. More generally, password managers often have a feature that checks your passwords against the Have I Been Pwned database of breaches and helps you change compromised passwords—1Password’s is called Watchtower, shown below. You can also search Have I Been Pwned directly. Don’t panic if your email address appears in numerous breaches because some of the theoretically compromised accounts may be defunct sites, trivial sites you used once 10 years ago, or duplicate password manager entries for a site whose password you already updated.

(Featured image by iStock.com/Prae_Studio)

Keep Your Contacts Current by Adding Siri-Suggested Content

Picture of a Rolodex on a yellow background.

Remembering to update your contacts with new email addresses, phone numbers, and postal addresses can be hard. But if you’ve received that information in Mail or Messages, Siri’s data detection capabilities can help. Open Contacts on the Mac and press the Down arrow to cycle through your contacts. When you see one with information in light gray and a parenthetical like (Siri Found in Mail), click the ⓘ button to the right ➊ to see some context in the source message. If the information is correct, click Add to Contact ➋ to keep it.

(Featured image based on an original by iStock.com/Brett_Hondow)

Time Machine Now Offers Daily and Weekly Frequencies

Time Machine calendar page photo

Since its inception, Time Machine has backed up on an hourly schedule. It then keeps hourly backups for the previous 24 hours, daily backups for the last month, and weekly backups back to the start of the backup. Once free space on the backup drive gets low, Time Machine deletes older backups to make room for new ones, always maintaining at least one copy of every backed-up file. The traditional hourly backups are usually fine, but starting in macOS 13 Ventura, Apple lets you choose a daily or weekly schedule instead. Read More from “Time Machine Now Offers Daily and Weekly Frequencies”

Use StandBy to Make Your iPhone into a Clock, Photo Frame, and More

The new Standby mode turns your iPhone into a digital picture frame, clock, or customizable widget display—and it remembers which approach you prefer in different locations.

iOS 17 brings a new mode for the iPhone: StandBy. All you have to do is connect your iPhone to a charger wirelessly or with a cable, position it on its side in landscape orientation, and press the side button to lock the screen. Standby works best with a MagSafe charging stand. Read More from “Use StandBy to Make Your iPhone into a Clock, Photo Frame, and More”

Concerned by the Privacy or Results of Google Search? Try These Other Search Engines

Google is big. Google Search generated $225 billion in revenue in 2022, thanks in part to being the default search engine on all Apple devices. To retain that position—and continue to reap the ad revenue that it generates—Google pays Apple about $18 billion every year. Along with Apple, Google pays billions to phone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Motorola; major wireless carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon; and browser developers like Mozilla and Opera.

So is Google Search’s 90% market share because it’s the best search engine or because Google has enough money to pay distributors for top placement? Read More from “Concerned by the Privacy or Results of Google Search? Try These Other Search Engines”

Improve Your Digital Security in 2024 with These New Year’s Resolutions

Get ready for a safer 2024 with New Year’s resolutions that will help you secure your devices, avoid scams, block malware, and enjoy the security and ease of use of password managers.

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2024! For many of us, starting a new year means reflecting on fresh habits we’d like to adopt. Although we support any resolutions you may have made to get enough sleep, eat better, exercise more, and reduce social media usage, allow us suggest a few more that will improve your digital security and reduce the chances that bad things will happen to you online. Read More from “Improve Your Digital Security in 2024 with These New Year’s Resolutions”

Everything You Need to Know about Taking Screenshots on the Mac

Many people use screenshots to clip portions of their Mac screen for later reference. For example, you could save a screenshot of an error dialog to show tech support, store a confirmation number from a Web page, or keep a chat from social media. You can even record screen movies to show a developer how their app is misbehaving. Read More from “Everything You Need to Know about Taking Screenshots on the Mac”

Locate a Featured Lock Screen Image in Photos

iOS’s Photo Shuffle wallpaper does a great job of identifying attractive photos for your Lock Screen. However, if you’re like us, you’ll sometimes wonder when or where you took a Lock Screen photo. Here’s how to figure that out. Touch and hold the Lock Screen when it’s displaying the photo in question, tap Customize, tap the Lock Screen wallpaper, tap the ••• button in the lower-right corner, and tap Show Photo in Library. Then you can swipe up to reveal more information about the photo, swipe left and right to see the photos on either side, or pinch to see it in the context of your entire photo library. Read More from “Locate a Featured Lock Screen Image in Photos”

Use This Hidden Setting to Stop Triggering Caps Lock Accidentally

There’s little more annoying than accidentally touching the Caps Lock key while typing and having your text suddenly TURN INTO CAPITAL LETTERS, which we all know is seen as shouting. Unless you have some reason to type in capital letters regularly, you can prevent this mistake by disabling the Caps Lock key or remapping it to another modifier key. In macOS 13 Ventura and later, choose System Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Modifier Keys, and choose from the pop-up menu next to Caps Lock. (In earlier versions of macOS, open System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys.) Read More from “Use This Hidden Setting to Stop Triggering Caps Lock Accidentally”

If Mail Fails to Send, Try, Try Again (Instead of Changing Servers)

Sometimes, something goes wrong, causing Mail on the Mac to have trouble sending a message. When it does, you may see an error like the one below, encouraging you with a default button to try another configured server. Don’t do it! Always click Try Later. If that still doesn’t work, contact your favorite tech support professional to troubleshoot the problem with the SMTP server associated with the account from which you’re sending. Attempting to send through another SMTP server is a recipe for trouble because various anti-spam checks may fail, causing your message to be filtered as spam or bounced back to you. Worse, if you select a different server and click Try With Selected Server, Mail remembers that choice going forward, so you will have to reset it manually later. Read More from “If Mail Fails to Send, Try, Try Again (Instead of Changing Servers)”

Feel Free to Upgrade to macOS 14 Sonoma When You’re Ready

Although we’re cautious about recommending that people upgrade to the latest major release of macOS, we think Apple has done a good enough job with macOS 14 Sonoma that anyone who wants to upgrade can do so now. That doesn’t mean you have to upgrade immediately, but there’s no major reason most people need to delay. Read More from “Feel Free to Upgrade to macOS 14 Sonoma When You’re Ready”

No, NameDrop in iOS 17 Isn’t a Privacy Concern. Here’s How to Use It

One of the prominent new features in iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1 is NameDrop, which makes it easy to exchange contact information with someone merely by putting your iPhone or Apple Watch next to theirs. When you do that, you can share your contact card and receive theirs, or just receive theirs—nothing happens unless you initiate an action. Read More from “No, NameDrop in iOS 17 Isn’t a Privacy Concern. Here’s How to Use It”

Use iOS 17’s Check In Feature to Reduce Worry

We’ve all had a friend or family member say, “Text me when you get home,” because they want the peace of mind from knowing you arrived safely. But what if something goes wrong—or you forget—so they never receive that text? They’ll be worried and won’t know where you are, if you’re OK, and so on.

In iOS 17, Apple has introduced the Check In feature to provide peace of mind—or in the worst case, to help emergency services. Read More from “Use iOS 17’s Check In Feature to Reduce Worry”

The “Hey” Part of “Hey Siri” Is Now Optional

If you use Siri, particularly on a HomePod, you’re probably accustomed to saying “Hey Siri” as the trigger phrase before your requests. In Apple’s new operating systems for 2023, you can now choose to invoke Siri using the traditional “Hey Siri” or just “Siri” (at least in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US). You might appreciate being able to stop saying “Hey” every time, or you might find that using just “Siri” generates incorrect activations. (And if someone in your family’s name sounds like Siri, you may want to turn the feature off entirely!) There are four places to look: Read More from “The “Hey” Part of “Hey Siri” Is Now Optional”