migformac news

Tips, tricks and recommendations: December 2020

In this issue:

  • In Focus: Security Matters! How to Recognize Bogus Emails
  • Why You Might Want to Wait to Download Big Sur, Apple's new OS
  • A Few Fun Features in iOS 14
  • How to get help: migformac support during COVID
  • About migformac
Almost every week, I hear that a client has been duped by a fake phone call, email or some other form of communication. This is very upsetting and is often an incredible hassle because credit cards need to be reissued and/or accounts need to be closed. It can also be expensive. The scammer can talk you into sharing your computer screen, revealing confidential data, or can talk you into an "insurance policy" for your computer, often costing hundreds of dollars--always paid with a credit card which gets compromised. Let's take a closer look at scam emails and how to detect them.

I am highlighting two emails that I have received in the past few weeks, slightly different in their presentation, yet both 100% bogus. The first one is supposedly from Apple and the other, from PayPal.

Below is a panel of three images: the image on far left is the original email that I received; the middle image is my annotated review of the email; the image on the right reveals the sender of the email. If you click on the images, they will expand.



In summary, follow these smart practices to keep you and your computer safe:

1) Don't panic when you receive a worrisome email. Take time to carefully examine the contents.

2) Always check the sender's email address for authenticity.

3) Never call a number or click on a respond button in an email from a company. If you want to contact them, get their official contact information from the website and verify the phone number.

4) Never let anyone view your screen or take control of your computer without proper identification. Calling Apple Support (800-692-7753) is legitimate. Be very careful of others.

Be aware, be cautious, be safe!

Many Apple enthusiasts are excited to install a new operating system (OS) when it becomes available to the public. Enter Big Sur, Apple's newest OS. If you have a new Mac, have plenty of storage space and RAM, you should be ok. However, if you have an older machine or if you use older versions of software, then you could run into problems. Even though I have a 2018 MacBook Pro, I wait to upgrade the OS for a couple of months after release, to give engineers time to work out the bugs.

It's not just the OS that needs to run smoothly. Companies that produce non-native applications (Microsoft, Adobe, etc.) and peripherals (printers and scanners) also need time to catch up to the newest OS.

It's a heck of a lot easier to wait a bit than to install a new, problematic OS and then have to revert to a previous OS. That's no fun.

Here's a helpful article from Tim Brookes in "How-To Geek," discussing the difference between "updates" and "upgrades" and some of the initial installation problems with Big Sur.

Do you love it or hate it when new iOS updates are released? Most of the time, it is a mixed bag but here are few new features in iOS 14 that I really like.....

While most clients are choosing not to meet in person, I have been doing some on-site appointments. I can come to your home or office if you are comfortable with that. I always wear a mask and use sterile hospital gloves to touch your equipment. I stay appropriately distanced from the client. I have also had some successful appointments on my back porch with all of the protections in place.

In addition, I am available for virtual appointments. We can phone chat, video conference, text and email. We can use FaceTime (audio or video) and Zoom for video conferencing. Zoom has worked very well. I can observe your computer or remotely take control with your permission. In fact, some clients prefer Zoom because there are fewer distractions compared to the ebb and flow of home activities, and you can keep your old sweatpants on!

I am also helping clients who have recently purchased new Mac devices with data transfer from old to new and other problems that require hands-on assistance. Clients drop off their equipment at my house (no direct personal interaction) at a mutually-agreeable time. I wash my hands and sanitize all surfaces both before and after my work, and then they pick up when finished. I can also pick up and return equipment to your home or office.

Feel free to give me a call or email if you have questions or need help. Thank you for supporting migformac during these challenging times.

About migformac

I typically come to clients' homes and offices to help with anything Mac related: iMacs, Mac laptops, iPhones, iPads, iPods, iCloud syncing, Photos organization, as well as Mac, Microsoft and Google applications. I also assist with wireless printers and other peripherals. I teach Apple technology classes to small and large groups and make Apple-related presentations to even larger groups.

Feel free to call or email me if you have questions: mig@migformac.com.