On the Alleged Apple ID Breaches

News broke earlier this week that “hackers” were trying to extort Apple for $150,000 in Bitcoin or they would reset the iCloud accounts and remotely wipe somewhere between 300 - 600 million iCloud users.

Whether or not the allegations are true are highly suspect. However, given recent major security breaches at other cloud service providers, people who use the same compromised username and password for their Apple ID are at risk.

Apple has refused to pay the ransom, a move which I personally applaud them for. Apple issued a statement to Fortune stating:

There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID,…the alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.

Protecting yourself from a breach like this is not difficult.

  • Do not reuse passwords across services
  • Consider using a password manager to ensure that you have strong unique passwords across all your various accounts
  • Turn on two-factor authentication for your Apple ID and other services that support it
  • Have good local backups of your devices so you can recover data in the event of a loss.
  • Help your friends and family implement these procedures as well

I can recommend a good podcast on the subject…

Mac Power Users #369: Workflows with Composer Michael Whalen

This week on Mac Power Users, David and I are joined by Emmy award winning composer and artist Michael Whalen joins us to talk about his 68+ Macs and how he's been making music with Apple technology since 1984.

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • TextExpander from Smile Type more with less effort! Expand short abbreviations into longer bits of text, even fill-ins, with TextExpander from Smile.
  • Gazelle Sell your iPhone for cash at Gazelle! 
  • Marketcircle We help small business grow with great Mac, iPhone and iPad apps including Daylight and Billings Pro.
  • Sanebox Stop drowning in email!

Mac Power Users #368: Living in a Tin Foil Hat World - Relay FM

This week on Mac Power Users, David and I put on our tin foil hats for this episode and discuss security, privacy and some of the best practices that can be implemented today for protecting your data from prying eyes. 

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • 1Password Have you ever forgotten a password? Now you don't have to worry about that anymore. Save up to 20% using this link.
  • The Omni Group We're passionate about productivity for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. 
  • MindNode MindNode makes mind mapping easy.
  • Eero: Blanket your home in fast, reliable WiFi. Use code MPU for free overnight shipping.

Mac Power Users #367: Getting Productive with Michael Hyatt - Relay FM

This week on Mac Power Users we are joined New York Times best-selling author Michael Hyatt to share some ideas about technology and productivity. I've long been a fan and follower of Michael and am very pleased with the way this episode turned out. It probably rates as one of my all time favorites.

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • Squarespace: Make your next move. Enter offer code MPU at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • TextExpander from Smile Type more with less effort! Expand short abbreviations into longer bits of text, even fill-ins, with TextExpander from Smile.
  • 1Password Have you ever forgotten a password? Now you don't have to worry about that anymore. 
  • Pixelmator Powerful image editing that gives you everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images, now on iPad and Mac.

Katie's Week in Review: March 5, 2017

To USB-C or not to USB-C, that and other questions are raised along with other links of note for the week ending March 5, 2017:

ScreenCasts Online Monthly Magazine: My Favorite MacBook Pro Accessories

This month’s issue of ScreenCasts Online Monthly Magazine is now available in ScreenCasts Online Magazine App. In the February issue, you’ll find an article from me about some of my new favorite accessories for the 2016 MacBook Pro.

The monthly magazine is packed with streamable versions of Don’s excellent video tutorials as well as articles, reviews, and tips from authors including David Sparks, Allison Sheridan, Wally Cherwinski and more. The magazine is free for ScreenCasts online Premium Members or available as a separate subscription or you can pick up individual issues. You can download it in the AppStore or find more info on the ScreenCasts Online website.

Mac Power Users #366: Catching up with Brett Terpstra

This week on Mac Power Users, Brett Terpstra is back to that about his gear, his newfound love of the Apple TV and Apple Watch, the state of Automation, Apps for Nerds, and going independent.

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • Squarespace: Make your next move. Enter offer code MPU at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • 1Password Have you ever forgotten a password? Now you don't have to worry about that anymore. Save up to 20% using this link.
  • The Omni Group We're passionate about productivity for Mac, iPhone and iPad. 
  • Fujitsu ScanSnap ScanSnap Helps You Live a More Productive, Efficient, Paperless Life.

Katie's Week in Review: February 26, 2017

The spaceship campus gets a name, more Mac malware in the wild and more. Here are the links of note for the week ending February 26, 2017.

  • Apple Park opens to employees in April - Apple - Apple’s new “spaceship” campus will open in April and is officially named Apple Park and will feature an auditorium named for Steve Jobs. Given the timing, I can’t help but wonder whether some WWDC events will be held at the new campus.
  • Mac ransomware on piracy sites - Malwarebytes Labs There’s more Mac malware on the loose. Pro tip - stop pirating software and you can save yourself a world of hurt.
  • Apple Extended its MacBook Pro Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program - Mac Rumors - If you have a 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro from 2012 - 2017 and have had problems with the anti-reflective coating wearing off, Apple may repair your screen free of charge.
  • Apple Says Third-Party iPhone Screen Repairs No Longer Fully Void Your Warranty - Mac Rumors - If you had your iPhone screened repaired at one of those pop-up shops or another third party provider that repair would previously void your iPhone warranty. Apple has reversed course and now says they will honor the phone’s warranty so long as the issue being fixed does not relate to the display itself. Flat rate repair on an iPhone screen is not that much more than third party shops, if you can opt for Apple or an authorized repair solution.
  • Amazon Goes with First Amendment to Protect Alexa Recordings - The Mac Observer - While Alexa isn’t supposed to be listening unless you use the wake word, Amazon is attempting to protect stored Echo recordings as free speech. Amazon is currently fighting a warrant for Echo recordings as part of an Arkansas homicide investigation claiming communications with the Echo is protected by the First Amendment.
  • 10.5-Inch and 12.9-Inch iPads May Not Ship Until May or June - Mac Rumors - Rumors have been buzzing about a refresh to the iPad Pro line with a larger screen. Expectations are running high for a Spring Apple event given their lack of updates to products in 2016. Now the rumor mill is saying that the long-awaited iPad refresh may be delayed.
  • Overcast 3: Design walkthrough – Marco.org - My podcast App of choice, Overcast, was updated this week. Overcast 3 brings design changes as well as under the hood improvements. Jason Snell of Six Colors, shares how he’s using Using Overcast 3 for podcast triage.
  • Adventures in Siri failures: Reminders edition - Six Colors - Dan Moren shares one of my constant frustrations with Siri, an unpredictable user experience. One day you’ll stumble upon the proper magic incantation that will make Siri obey your command, the next day she refuses to obey the same phrase. So frustrating.
  • Pulling Back the Curtain on the Latest Generation TiVo UI - TiVo - One of my other favorite products, TiVo is about to get a major UI overhaul. Codename Hydra, the new UI tries to combine sleek aesthetics with usability. Based on the preview, I’m not sure I’m a fan. The UI seems cluttered and busy. Hopefully there are settings to tone it down.
  • My thanks to MailButler for sponsoring the site this week. If you have an App or service you’d like to feature, please get in touch.
  • Finally, it's coming in 2017. Here's a look at the state of Apple Park: