Creating Safe Passwords – Mac Tip November 3rd 2017

For all of us, from the serious “power user” with hundreds of accounts to the first time Mac user, our passwords are one of the most important parts of our digital identities. From social media like Facebook and Twitter, to email in Gmail and Hotmail, to online shopping and digital payments through Amazon and Paypal, our online accounts are the gatekeepers for tons of our personal information.Despite how critical these accounts are, many of us find it difficult to treat online security with as much attention as it really demands. Hear it from us: it’s worth it. Your credit card information, personal identity, social insurance numbers and more could be at risk without a safe and secure password.Over the years, requirements for safe passwords have gotten more and more complex in line with the continuing development of more powerful processors. The website howsecureismypassword.net is a great illustration of how quickly even an inexpensive desktop PC can break a password simply by trying a long list of possibilities. Try typing a few passwords similar to yours into the site and see how they are rated. You’ll find that the longer your password (generally over or around 16 characters) the safer it is, and the more types of characters (capital letters, numbers, etc.) helps as well. And don’t forget that computers can now access databases of common phrases, too. The passwords that are easiest for us to remember, yet difficult for a computer to break, include several regular words that we can break into a mnemonic. Randall Munroe, the creator of the famous XKCD comic, wrote this comic in which he popularized the phrase, “correct horse battery staple”. It can be tough for us to remember substitutions or misspelled words, like “Grap3frooT”, but if you can picture the password in your mind, it becomes much easier. Length also generally trumps complexity when it comes to password breaking, which is why Randall’s phrase is actually more effective than the above “Grap3frooT” example in spite of being easier to remember. The next step, once you have a good password, is to come up with several for your different accounts. You can then use a tool like 1Password to help you keep them all organized, without leaving yourself vulnerable to people who will test your broken password against multiple different accounts. As always if you have any questions about this week’s Mac Tip, or really anything else, feel free to email us back or give us a call at 250-995-3020. Thanks for reading Mac...

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Back to School Apps!

Back to School Apps!

Welcome to Mac Tips!

This week, we will be focusing on the lead up to back to school by going through some must-have productivity apps to help you get ready for the coming year.

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What is Multiple Desktops?

What is Multiple Desktops?

What is Multiple Desktops? Why should you use it? How do you use it?

For the next couple of weeks we are going to be covering these questions in detail so you can have a greater understanding of what this awesome feature can do for you and how it can increase your productivity on your Mac.

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iMac 3TB Replacement Program

iMac 3TB Replacement Program

Have you purchased an 3TB iMac between the dates of December 2012 and September 2013? If you have, you may be eligible for a hard drive replacement.

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Four Awesome Upgrades for Your Old-Style MacBook Pro

Four Awesome Upgrades for Your Old-Style MacBook Pro

As an Apple Reseller, we think upgrading your old machine is often better value than buying a brand new machine. What’s the secret?

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Return of the MacBook (and new Pro!)

Return of the MacBook (and new Pro!)

This week saw another Apple media event, sharing new information on the new MacBook and updates to the Retina display model.

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Video Issue Repairs for 15″ MacBook Pros

Video Issue Repairs for 15″ MacBook Pros

It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally Apple will announce that they’ve found an issue with one of their products that more than a few users have experienced. In these situations, they offer special Repair Extension programs, which allow people with affected machines to bring their computers in to repair the issue at no charge.

Though it’s never a fun to have to tell folks that their machines may have a problem, the fact that we can now solve this issue at no cost to you is pretty awesome. Today we’ll be going into a little depth about what kinds of issues you might have seen on these computers and what to do and expect if you’re planning on bringing yours in.

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Cleaning out the gremlins: Resetting your Mac’s NVRAM and SMC

Cleaning out the gremlins: Resetting your Mac’s NVRAM and SMC

It’s relatively rare that you’ll have a problem with these, but if your computer is acting up in some way, resetting them is a quick and easy step that might just solve your problem.

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Don’t Get Scammed: Fake Support Phone Calls

Don’t Get Scammed: Fake Support Phone Calls

Over the past few months we’ve had quite a few clients tell us they’ve received phone calls from people claiming to be tech support, reporting that they have viruses and all sorts of nasty stuff on their computers.

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How to avoid adware and unsafe installs

How to avoid adware and unsafe installs

We’ve seen quite a few customers lately coming in with weird browser homepages, strange ads on different websites where they weren’t before, and even unwanted programs running in their toolbars and menus. The name of this scourge? Adware!

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How do I find my serial number?

How do I find my serial number?

This special identifier gives you access to your Mac’s manufacturer’s warranty as well as any extended AppleCare programs, and lets technicians know exactly what unit you have.

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Which iPad is right for me?

Which iPad is right for me?

First of all, welcome to 2015! We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are excited for the new year! We’re back to Mac Tips and seminars now with new updates coming, so stay tuned for the latest news on what’s happening at ReStart.

Onto the good stuff! With the release of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 last fall, there are now five different iPad models being produced by Apple at a wide range of different prices. The number one question for customer this month is “What’s the difference?” The new iPads differ from their predecessors in a few ways, including size, functionality and design.

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Fill your house with music, cable-free!

Fill your house with music, cable-free!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to play your digital music through these without having to rig up the New York telephone system from room to room? Read on…

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Changing your Mac’s desktop background

Changing your Mac’s desktop background

Apple’s latest operating system comes with some amazing photos of Yosemite National Park, but who wants their machine to look exactly like everyone else’s? Today we’re talking about how to change the background on your desktop to a photo of your choice. Onward!

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Sending & receiving calls and texts with iOS 8’s Continuity

Sending & receiving calls and texts with iOS 8’s Continuity

There’s been a bevy of new features that have come along with iOS 8 and the new version of OS X, Yosemite. One of the coolest (and handiest) is the ability to send and receive calls and texts from your iPhone on your Mac, reducing distractions and keeping all your communications on the same platform.

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