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Archive for the Category
‘Tech Support’

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What is Scareware on your Mac?

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

You’re at your Mac, doing some working as normal, and you visit on a site you have been to many times before. But then you get a pop-up. And not just any pop-up, but a warning message that says your computer is suddenly compromised. Usually phrases like “virus detected” and “suspicious activity” are part of the warning. Panic begins, what can you do about this? Luckily that dialog has a phone number on it you can call to help you sort things out. For a fee, of course.

Never ever call the number listed on your screen!

You want to call because they were helpful enough to tell you that your Mac has a problem. If they know your Mac has a problem, then they can help you fix it, right? Wrong. This is a tactic to get at your wallet and computer. Commonly called “Scareware,” it is a way for unscrupulous people to cause a panic and then “come to your rescue” for a fee. Even though there really isn’t anything to worry about, except for the message that keeps popping up over and over.

How can they know about my Mac?

There’s no legitimate warning that will ever come from your web browser about anything but your web browser; it has no way of knowing. If you already know this and you click the Okay or Close button, you might find that the warning pops right back up immediately. Preventing you from closing close the window that is trying to scare you in the first place, confirming that you do in fact need to call (and pay) to make it go away.

How do I fix this?

Fortunately, Apple has built into Safari a quick fix that works almost always. Just Quit or Force Quit Safari, then while holding down the Shift key start Safari. Keep holding down the Shift key until your normal home page loads. When you start Safari with the Shift key held down, it will reopen without any windows or tabs from your previous session. That keeps this scareware site from reloading, bypassing the maliciously crafted webpage.

But wait, that didn’t fix it!

If the above steps didn’t fix the problem, then your Mac could have adware installed. This is usually in the form of a plug-in to your browser. In this the case, you need to download AdWare Medic (now known as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac). Download and run this app to remove any know bits of malicious software. Please note that you may not be able to view the AdWare Medic website via your troubled browser. You have a couple options here, first try using another browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome etc.). You could always download it on another Mac and then copy it to a thumb drive.

The more you know!

Once you have resolved the problem, here are a couple links that will deal with the “bad guys” and protect yourself.

Apple Announces 2TB Time Capsule

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

TimeCapsuleTime Capsule now comes in 1TB and 2TB models starting at just $299. Time Capsule is a Wi-Fi hard drive that works with Mac OS X Leopard’s Time Machine to back up all your data. It’s also a full-featured wireless base station that includes simultaneous dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Guest Network, Back to my Mac support for MobileMe users, Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a USB 2.0 port for sharing a printer and/or a hard drive.

[Available from Apple]

Cable Identification Made Easy

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Cable IDTired of trying to explain which cable is which over the phone when trying to help someone with their tech issues? Here is one solution to that problem that I have found helps my clients. Now I just say “unplug the cable marked with the green disc.” If they decide to do a little rearranging, not a problem, this solution also has matching stickers to place on each port so they will know where each cable should be connected. A starter set of 10 reusable dotz is just $10.

[Available from dotz]

Find My iPhone Now Available

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

With the availability of iPhone OS 3.0, MobileMe members can now use Find My iPhone to help recover a lost iPhone or remotely wipe the personal data on it.

To get started, use iTunes to update your iPhone software to iPhone OS 3.0, and then follow these steps:

  • On your iPhone’s Home screen, tap Settings.
  • Tap Mail, Contacts, and Calendars.
  • Make sure Fetch New Data is set to Push.
  • Select your MobileMe account and turn
    on Find My iPhone.
  • Apple also recommends setting up a Passcode Lock on your iPhone, so only you can turn the Find My iPhone feature on and off. Go to Settings and tap General followed by Passcode Lock.

    If your iPhone goes missing you can log into me.com on any computer to access Find My iPhone (under Account) and display your iPhone’s approximate location on a map, write a message to be displayed on its screen, and play a continuous sound for two minutes even if the iPhone is set to silent. Or if you fear the worst, you can initiate a remote wipe to permanently erase your personal data and restore the iPhone to its factory settings. Watch this video to see how it all works.

    [via MobileMe News Feed]

    KPC 680 EVDO card with Mac OS X

    Monday, January 19th, 2009

    The KPC680, like the KPC 650, is also very Mac compatible.  It will work with 10.3.9 or greater including Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6). Unlike the V740, there are no native Mac drivers, but as long as you install and use Verizon’s VZAccess Manager software it will work just fine. BTW, unlike the previous models, the KPC680 can be activated on PC or Mac using Verizon’s VZAccess Manager. For the KPC 650 see our previous article.


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