Java – Should I disable it ?

It’s come up before = and I still get questions about disabling Java – so post time.

Back in january the LA Times wrote

The Cupertino, Calif., company has remotely disabled the vulnerable software. Users whose Macs run the Mountain Lion, Lion, Snow Leopard or Leopard operating systems are safe.

Also Rick Ortiz wrote:

If you use Safari, Apple already did it for you. If you use any other browser follow the instructions. Though Oracle supposedly fixed this, there seems to be concern about the patch not being complete.

The Instructions

Bottom line – if you are reading this then I suspect that your Mac OS is at least at Leopard (according to the analytics) – but if in any doubt – as Rick says – follow the instructions

Password Safety

Thanks to Rick for these notes ….

Be Safe

  • Clever password attack
  • Don't use the same password for everything
  • make sure passwords differ when you use your email as your username

Most common way accounts are attacked

  • Gain access to an online email account
  • Yahoo, hotmail, AOL, Gmail
  • From there, they go on to attack other non email account

A Way To Remember Things

  • One Master Password
  • Apple's Keychain
  • FileVault 2- secure your hard drives
  • 1 Password
  • LastPass

Ways to Create Passwords

  • Apple Password Assistant

Things not to do

Apple – Malware – The Truth and The Fix

You might have picked up some news this morning about malware and viruses and trojans INVADING the quiet tranquility of your Apple computer.

Personal opinion ? Like som much of news – massive exaggeration – and of course – because it is Apple – the bandwagon is in full flight about how the world is about to come to an end …..

It isn’t.

Really – It isn’t.

This article aside (I like Dave Winer a lot – and his point is valid), WITHOUT some calm and sense prevailing – the gap will be filled with rumor, myth and wrong information.

First – some data – I have no idea how many Apple computers there are in the world  – but only 600,000 of them have been affected.

There are however estimates of 900 million to 1 billion computers in the world today. So, even if Apple had a 10% of ALL of them (they don’t by a long shot) – that means there are around 100 million Apple computers

Which means that around 0.6 percent of ALL Apples are estimated to have the virus.

OK – so what is the virus ?

Here’s what are friends at F-Secure have to say :

Trojan-Downloader:OSX/Flashback.I connects to a remote site to download its payload; on successful infection, the malware modifies targeted webpages displayed in the web browser.

Think about that – IF you are one of the substantially less than .6% of Apple computer owners that have been affected – it will mean that the malware will modify certain webpages displayed in the web browser – when you visit them. It doesn’t corrupt your data, destroy your files, spam your address book. It is malware.

OK – but you still want to get rid of it right ?

If you are feeling brave go here – now.

If you are not feeling so brave – and not so technically minded – then still go here (it is the same page) – and note the first three instructions :

Manual Removal Instructions

1. Run the following command in Terminal:defaults read /Applications/ LSEnvironment
2. Take note of the value, DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES
3. Proceed to step 8if you got the following error message:”The domain/default pair of (/Applications/, LSEnvironment) does not exist”

For the vast majority of you – statistically 99.4 % of you – when you get that message “The domain/default pair of (/Applications/, LSEnvironment) does not exist” – then know you are safe.

If you don’t get that message – then the instructions 4 onwards – tells you what to do – and that can either be YOU or one of your friendly neighborhood techies :0

Please email me if I can help you further. I am traveling at the moment – but always online 🙂

10 Steps to Smartphone Privacy

With thanks to Information Week for their original article and information .

1. Lock Your Phone

2. Use ‘Find My iPhone’ Or Similar Services

3. Don’t Leave Your Smartphone Unattended

4. Don’t Give Your Phone to Strangers

5. Keep Your Smartphone Up-to-Date

6. Manage Location Settings

7. Do App Due Diligence

8. Don’t Download Apps From Untrusted Sources

9. Watch Those Attachments!

10. Encrypt Smartphone Data

Read the whole article here.

1Password for IPhone Best App of 2011

The Unofficial Apple Weblog reported their Best of 2011, and Agile Bits Solutions’ 1Password took the prize for Best iPhone App. Easily beating out the competition by taking 49.7% of the votes, 1Password is an invaluable utility for anyone who surfs the web on their Mac or iOS device.

I have been using 1Password on my MAC for over a year and find it to be so efficient, easy, and secure that I can’t imagine being without it.

For information about 1Password, click here


Boost Your Online Banking Security with Trusteer Rapport

Trusteer Rapport was recommended to me by several major online Banks.  Click on the link below for more information, and notice the list of major international banks and financial institutions using Trusteer Rapport. Easy installation on my MAC, and seems like a very efficient program worth having.

Defends against phishing and malware activity

Helps safeguard your identity

Shows when you’re on an unprotected website
Download Trusteer Rapport1 for free continuous protection
Works with all major web browsers
Secures communication between keyboard and sensitive websites
Protects online banking username, password and other sensitive sign on information
Prevents malware from tampering with your online transaction
Works with your current antivirus software by providing another level of online security
Protects your information on up to 100 participating retail, social networking & email browser websites.

Simple protection indicator: green = protected; gray = unprotected
Removes malicious malware from your computer and notifies you that it has done so
Periodic reports sent to show malware and phishing attempts
Does not require any configuration or maintenance—just install and you’re protected

  • Defends against phishing and malware activity
  • Helps safeguard your identity
  • Shows when you’re on an unprotected website

For more information and to Download software – you can go here.

The Towson Hack: The mystery of vanishing iTunes

MY thanks to John Hardin for flagging this one. I hadn’t heard of this hack before I read the article. It SEEMS to center round starting with a gift card – and then exploiting a loop hole that connects your iTunes account back to your iTunes account.

IN other words – if like me you don’t have a credit in iTunes – you are fine (I THINK) …. but would love confirmation of that from someone that knows !!

Flagging it now for your information and if you have any additional info / experience of it = let us know.

The latest story can be read here : The Towson Hack: The Mystery of vanishing iTunes credit.