Can I Do Dictation on My Mac? Yes!

Most everyone is familiar with how to do dictation on an iPhone by activating the microphone within the keyboard and/or using Siri. This has your phone interpret your speech and turn that into text, as if typing on the keyboard. But did you know you can do the same thing with your Mac? It’s true! Apple has continued to improve upon this service over the years. Any Mac with OS X from Mojave 10.14 and beyond, has the ability to do dictation with high accuracy.

Whether you are composing an email, sending a message through iMessage, or writing a long Word document, your Mac can take dictation for you – no typing required.

Set up your Mac to Listen

  1. Under the Apple menu, open System Preferences.
  2. Select “Keyboard” and when that opens, click on the “Dictation” tab on the right.
  3. For the “Dictation” radio button, turn that to “On.”
  4. On the left, select “Internal Microphone” or other preferred mic. You will see the microphone animation responding to the ambient sound.

To get started, open your email, Word document, or iMessage window and place your cursor where you want to begin. Press the Function or “fn” key in the lower left-hand corner of your keyboard twice in a row. A small window with a microphone will appear and will indicate that your Mac is now listening and waiting to dictate your speaking.

Similar to Siri or dictation on the iPhone, you will need to speak your punctuation as well, such as saying “period” or “question mark” at the end of a sentence. Fortunately, Apple put together a handy list of Commands for Dictating Text on Mac.

When you are finished, either press the Done button text just below the microphone icon, or press the function or “fn” key once to have your Mac stop listening.

The quieter your surrounding environment can be, the more accurate your Mac’s dictation will be.

Can you help me?

Yes, that’s what we’re here for! Contact Us and we can get you set up!

How to Clear Your Mac’s Browser Cache

Fast Browsers

Your browser cache is responsible for storing the data of previously viewed websites. While the purpose behind the cache is for quicker loading times of the sites you visit, it can work against you over time.

Clearing your cache might not be completely necessary, nor need to be done often. However, clearing your browser’s cache can prove helpful for several reasons. Mostly, purging the stored data in your cache automatically forces your browser to seek and retrieve the most recent webpage elements instead of recycling the same old components, whether they’re up-to-date with the developer’s standards or not.

Why should I clear my cache?

Not only can it slow down your browser, but it makes your private info more vulnerable to breaches. Furthermore, resetting your cache will potentially help in the event of 404, 502, and other errors that may possibly result from a corrupt cache, and clear any private data you have stored in the form of login IDs, passwords, and additional sensitive information you’d rather not save on your machine. It’s also a simple trick you can employ to shed any unnecessary data, which could slow down your browser.

Clearing the Cache in Safari

Step 1: Open settings — Launch Safari, click Safari in the upper-left corner of the main menu bar, and select the Preferences option near the top of the drop-down menu. Then click the Advanced tab located in the top navigation bar and check the box directly on the bottom that says Show Develop menu in menu bar. This will add a new menu to Safari by default.

Step 2: Clear the browser cache — Click the Develop menu near the middle of the main Safari menu bar and select the Empty Caches option.

Clearing the Cache in Firefox

Step 1: Open settings — Open Mozilla Firefox, click the button with three bars in the upper-right corner of the browser window and select Options from the resulting drop-down menu.

Step 2: Clear the browser cache — Click the Privacy and Security tab located on the right side of the navigation bar and head to the Cookies and Site Data section underneath. Click the button labeled Clear Data. You’ll want to make sure that the option for Cached Web Content is checked, and then press Clear. You can also check the box next to Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed to do so automatically when you close the browser.

Clear the Cache in Google Chrome

Step 1: Launch Google Chrome and click the Chrome menu icon represented by three horizontal bars in the upper-right corner of the browser window, and click Settings near the bottom of the resulting drop-down menu.

Step 2: Then, click the link for Privacy and Security in the left sidebar. You’ll then want to click that and look for the Clear browsing data option. Click it, and make sure the box for cached images and files is checked. You can uncheck the other boxes for browsing history or cookies and other site data if you only want to clear the cache.

Six Signs of a Phishing Email

How Do You Spot a Fake Email?

(excerpted from an article at eero.com)

Phishing – a fraudulent attempt to obtain your sensitive information by disguising oneself as trustworthy – continues to be one of the most prevalent ways for hackers to gain access to your accounts and compromise your identity.

At the end of 2019, over 86,000 phishing websites were discovered per month. Here are six common signs you are reading a phishing email. Here is an example:

1. Sense of Urgency

While phishers are not limited in who they try to imitate, they often try to copy financial institutions, cloud logins (Apple, Microsoft, Google), or disaster relief organizations. Their goal is an obvious one – to get you to take action on the email. To do so, they inspire a sense of urgency by telling you your funds are at risk, your account is being closed, or some other impending negative action.

2. Suspicious Sender Address

Email applications can only go so far to protect you from phishing. Scammers will often buy a domain name similar to the one they are trying to spoof. In the above example, the fisher is trying to imitate acmebank.com. They opted to use acrnebank.com hoping that your eye would be tricked by using “rn” instead of “m”.

3. Generic Greeting

In an era where marketing is personalized, it is less common to receive an email with a generic salutation. Most trusted institutions will address you by name, especially when an action is required.

4. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Spelling and grammar mistakes are a telltale sign of a phishing attempt. Reputable companies proofread communications before publishing. Run-on sentences, misspelled words, and odd phrases are all signs that the email is not legitimate.

5. Link to Invalid Domain

The aim of a phishing attempt is to collect sensitive information. A common way scammers do this is by redirecting you to a fake online form. The link title and where the link takes you will often be different. It is simple to make a link “look” legitimate.

6. Suspicious Attachments

A more nefarious tactic is to attach infected files that allow attackers to gain a foothold into the system. Instead of simply gaining access to one account, the phisher now has to access to the entire computer. They can use their access to target your contacts from your email address. Common file types used include .pdf, .doc/.docx, and .exe files. However, attack techniques are always evolving.

How you can defeat phishing

  • Notice how you felt when you initially read the questionable email. If something felt off, then it probably is.
  • You can always go to the targeted site manually, i.e. go to your browser and type in www.acmebank.com, and do not click on a link embedded in the email.
  • Reach out to a professional or technical friend to get a second opinion if the email seems wrong.

Phishers use a combination of social engineering tools to trick you into doing what they want, and many of them are very good at it. Moreover, many of them target retirement-age individuals, who tend to trust what they read more than younger people do.

If you receive an email that looks suspicious, contact us and we’ll happy to take a look at it for you. We are here to help!

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How to Use Apple Mail Drop to Send Large Files

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