Cleaning Up Safari Passwords

A Handy Tip for Cleaning Up Passwords in Safari

The number one challenge for Mac users that I regularly hear about from my clients is dealing with passwords. This includes deciding on passwords to use with new services, as well as making sure passwords are never shared across services. If you use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password, they have built-in functions to help with that. But if you use Apple’s built-in Keychain function, finding reused passwords has not been easy.

Dilbert Password

Well, if you use Safari on your Mac, version 12 now includes a function to notify you if you are sharing passwords with any other service. To access this, open Safari and under the Safari menu, choose Preferences, and click on the Passwords icon. You will be prompted to enter your regular Mac login password. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be presented with a listing of all the passwords Safari has saved for you.

Selecting any entry will highlight that service, and clicking on the Password dots will reveal the password for that service. If that service has a yellow triangle to its right, clicking on that triangle will bring up a window with information about duplicates. As seen in the screenshot below, that window will also give you a URL you can click on to go to that service and change your password.

In this example, in order for me to complete the clean-up indicated below, I would need to change the passwords on at least two of the three indicated sites to ensure passwords are not being shared.
Safari Password screenshot

If you also use an iPhone or iPad, and you have keychain sharing turned on in iCloud, then those iOS devices will inherit any password changes you make, and will then be instantly available on those devices, too.

 

Help Mr. Wizard!

Would you like some help with this, once and for all? That’s why we’re here. Contact us and we can take care of it for you!

Skype 7 – Is It Really Almost Dead?

SkypeYes, the Sad Day is Coming Soon

Support for Skype 7 will end on Nov‍emb‍er 1, 2‍01‍8 on desktop devices. When support ends, Microsoft will begin requiring updates to version 8. Although you may be able to use older versions for a little while, they encourage you to update soon to avoid any interruption.

Microsoft introduced Skype 8 for Mac desktop late in 2017. Along with that also came a rush of very negative responses from users over the new design. Since then, they have issued updates regularly (sometimes weekly) since the initial release. A laundry list of bugs and problems have been fixed since version 8.0. As of this writing, version 8.32 is current and seems very stable. You can download the latest version at skype.com.

Problems with Skype 8

Many users have reported that when they were automatically upgraded to version 8, that they could no longer log in. Skype 8 uses a better security protocol, and employs Microsoft’s standard 2-factor login security features. Because of this, your Mac may not automatically enter your login credentials for you. Some people have reported much frustration with this process. They have opted to sign up for a new or different account, which, of course, would not contain all of their original contacts.

If you know your Skype address (mine is brucemiracle), then you should have no problem signing in to the new Skype 8. At their login screen, enter your Skype name and then click on the “Forgot Password” link to have them confirm and/or change your password. You may be prompted to also enter a phone number and/or an alternate email address as methods of using 2-factor authentication to ensure it’s really you.

What’s Good About Skype 8?

Microsoft says, “With Skype version 8, you’ll be able to record calls, have private conversations, make HD video calls, transfer files up to 300 MB, and more.”  Skype has published a Getting to Know Version 8 page with lots of helpful information. Additionally, they’ve created a Getting Started page with frequently asked questions. In my opinion, Microsoft has spent too much time trying to make this Skype attractive to a younger generation. It now has lots of animated emojis and other cute frills. However, it also seems true that behind the scenes they have been improving both the video and audio quality, especially for group conversations.

Can’t You Please Stop the Madness?!?

Yes, we can! Software upgrades that require credentials for logins like this can be problematic, especially if your own record-keeping for logins and passwords is not yet first-class. We can help you get those passwords under control, including those for Skype and other Microsoft products. Are you ready? Get in touch and together we can finally make it all work!

Addendum: Many people rely on Skype for regular communications within their daily business. For this reason, we highly recommend that you do NOT wait until November first to upgrade, thereby potentially leaving you in the lurch without a functioning Skype.

Mojo? Mojito? No. Mojave!

MacOS MojaveApple releases Mac OS 10.14 Mojave

Update: Apple released the 10.14.1 update on October 30, which improves the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac. It also offers group FaceTime and more emojis. We now give this a thumbs-up, but still with all the caveats listed below.

The folks in Cupertino have been working on the latest version of the Mac operating system software for a year now. This update is more of a refinement, rather than a rollout of lots of new core features. While the changes are evolutionary (as opposed to revolutionary), we are generally giving a thumbs-up to the upgrade, but with the caveats listed below.

Apple Support has a page about compatible Mac models and their recommendations about how to get ready for an upgrade. And they have their own extremely slick page about all the “magical” features of Mojave.

But here’s my short list of what’s significant and recommendable in this release:

  • Dark mode. Apple introduced a dark menu bar & dock option in High Sierra, but Mojave’s dark mode turns the entire desktop dark. For people like me who spend many hours per day on their Mac, this is a huge and very welcome change for light’s effect on our body’s circadian rhythms, our eyes and our brains.
  • Stacks. Mojave does some intelligent guessing and can organize your desktop files for you.
  • Group FaceTime Calls. Finally! (Oh wait; not until later this fall – dang!)
  • Continuity Camera. A completely new feature – you take a photo on your iOS device and it appears instantly inside an Apple app on your Mac.
  • Apple’s original Keychain Access app has finally grown up. It not only suggests complicated passwords, it also retains (and can then apply) all of them for you. You get better control of your data, enhanced tracking prevention, and Automatic Strong Passwords.

Will my favorite apps still work?

MacRumors has a compatibility list compiled by their readers. Many people will want to know if Microsoft Office 2011 still works. So far, some very advanced features in Excel have problems, but otherwise Word, Powerpoint, and Excel 2011 all seem to work fine (Microsoft stopped releasing security updates for Office 2011 earlier this year). Version 15.25 and newer of Office 2016 work just fine.

OK, so what’s the actual recommendation here?

There is nothing in this upgrade that is an absolute must-have, either for speed, security, or stability. That said, Apple has worked hard on stability for this release and the compatibility factor seems to be much, much improved over previous major upgrades. The Mac OS is evolving, and Mojave has many, many small but significant changes that feel like a maturation of the previously rushed-to-market release of High Sierra.

As always, the very first thing to do for this upgrade is to backup your data. Then go to the App Store under the Apple menu and click on Updates and follow the instructions.

What if I don’t want to risk having any downtime because of this upgrade?

Contact us, and we will be happy to help walk you through every step of the process, and make sure you don’t lose any time or productivity!

iOS 12 – Should you upgrade?

Apple releases iOS 12 September 17th The folks in Cupertino have been working hard for a year now on the latest software update for iPhones, iPods and iPads. They had some ambitious goals for this release, and not everything made the final release. However, because of the fine-tuning and optimizing they’ve done on iOS 12,… Continue Reading

The Four Computer Dreads – Part 4: Ransomware & Scams

Ransomware is a form of malicious software (or malware) that, once it’s taken over your computer, threatens you with harm, usually by denying you access to your data. The attacker demands a ransom from the victim, promising — not always truthfully — to restore access to the data upon payment. Ransomware attacks are typically carried… Continue Reading

iPhone Spam Calls and Text Messages

What can I do about all these robocalls? The most common recommendation from security experts is to simply not answer your phone from numbers you do not recognize. That said, you’re probably still receiving voice messages that are clearly from robotic electronic recordings – robocalls. There are a number of apps you can run on… Continue Reading

The latest scam is from… AppleCare Tech Support???

Two different scams have become very prevalent in the last two weeks, with scammers escalating their tactics, and both of the scams seemingly involve Apple or AppleCare Tech Support. Both are bogus and both use social engineering to trick and scare you into doing some thing they want you to do. The so-called AppleCare Tech Support… Continue Reading

The Four Computer Dreads – Part 3: Phishing

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication (like an email). According to the 2013 Microsoft Computing Safety Index, the annual worldwide impact of phishing could be as high as US$5… Continue Reading

Facebook was reckless with your data – Now what?

(Update: You now have the ability to download a copy of all your current data on Facebook. This article from macobserver.com shows you how.) As you may already know, there’s been a security meltdown at Facebook, thanks to a company called Cambridge Analytica. As many as 50 million users learned that their social media data was… Continue Reading

Identity Theft and the Equifax Data Breach

MacFinesse reported on the Equifax data breach back in October 2017. Just this week, the Chicago Tribune wrote this article as an update: Equifax hack put more info at risk than consumers knew (This is a brief excerpt from that article) The Equifax data breach exposed more of consumers’ personal information than the company first… Continue Reading

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