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Blog

Grab macOS Sierra While you Can!

Paul Whitlock

Assuming Apple continues its previous practices, once macOS 10.13 High Sierra comes on September 25th, it will become impossible to download 10.12 Sierra for the first time. That could be awkward if you want to upgrade an older Mac to Sierra at any point after High Sierra ships, since you won’t be able to get Sierra then.

We also recommend that our small business customers wait until several bug fix releases are out before moving production systems to the new OS. In tis case waiting until 10.13.3 (or later) makes a lot of sense for people who just want to get their work done. The decision on timing is totally up to you, but it is worth considering.

To ensure that you can snag a copy of Sierra in the future, open the App Store app on your Mac, type Sierra in the Search field, and click the Get button for macOS Sierra (it’s about 5 GB in size). It downloads to your Applications folder, and the installer launches automatically. If you don’t want to install Sierra right away, choose Install macOS > Quit Install macOS to quit the installer. What’s important is that Sierra is now registered to your Mac App Store account, and you can get it again from the App Store’s Purchased screen at any time on any of your Macs.

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Apple Upgrade Resources

Paul Whitlock

The main purpose of this brief blog post is to emphasize the importance of doing a complete backup, or two, prior to actually doing the upgrade.  

Over 99% of the time the upgrade will go absolutely fine. But once in a while that's not the case and things will go horribly wrong. That is when you will be glad that you took the time to make those backups. There is nothing worse than being called in after something like that happens and explaining that someones pictures of their kids really are gone forever.

Even if your backup goes just fine, having a current backup can save you from other incidents like a lost or stolen computer. 

So in the article below when Apple calmly says, "Before you upgrade, we recommend that you back up your Mac." Take it to heart and make it happen. Using an external drive and time machine is probably the easiest but there are cloud solutions like Crashplan as well. Personally, I do both.

Upgrade to macOS Sierra.

Here is Apple's article on how to upgrade macOS with a lot of good information like which models of Mac are supported and which features require newer hardware.

https://www.apple.com/macos/how-to-upgrade/

Update iOS software on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

The same thing about backups applies to upgrading iOS. Make sure you are either backing up to the cloud or to iTunes on your computer.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht204204

Update the software on your Apple Watch

Backing up your watch isn't really something that you need to do if the other parts of your system, the iPhone and your computer are backed up.  But here is the Apple article 

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204641

 

The Password is "Cubs16WorldSeries"

Angie Schiltz

Anyone recall the 60's Game Show "Password"? Contestants would offer clues in the hopes their partner would successfully guess the password so they could win big. 50 years later, hackers around the world try to hit the jackpot and infiltrate computers decoding our poorly crafted Passwords. Tarilon can help you ward off these attacks with a few painless steps to beef up your password security. 

I recently heard from a customer who watched a sophisticated phishing attack play out within their Outlook Inbox. Phishing is a form of fraud where the attacker tries to learn individual login or account information by masquerading as a reputable company or person in email, instant messaging or other communication channels. This client sought our opinion on improving his password security and we recommended a few steps to craft impenetrable Passwords and a plan for a company wide password protocol.  

Top 3 password considerations that clients should implement:

1)      Use robust passwords that are at least 10 characters long with upper, lower and at least a digit. Mine is 15 characters long. An example: Cake16Drive (weren’t we all anxious to eat our Cake & Drive at age 16?)

2)      Stop re-using passwords across multiple sites and accounts. Yahoo just revealed they were hit several years ago and 500,000,000 of their customers data was exposed. If you use the same password at Yahoo as any other site you are now seriously at risk. Integrating a tool like "1Password" to your arsenal is the answer to not re-using passwords.  https://1password.com/  It will securely store all your passwords, PIN codes, credit cards and more. It will alert you to change weak or duplicate passwords to improve your online security and saves time by signing into accounts with a single click.

3)      The ultimate defense against phishing attacks is two factor authentication. With “two factor”, or some services call it “two step verification” you have to enter your password, but you also have to have another device, like a phone, that sends you a one time use code. There is some ongoing overhead to logging in by this extra step, but it is very very unlikely that it will be cracked by a malicious imposter.

Frequency of password changes isn’t as important, in my book, if the above are in place. That said, 1Password will do a mini-audit and show you how old your passwords are. It will also show you duplicates and weak passwords. There is, of course, no harm in changing passwords at regular intervals as long as they are recorded securely with a tool like 1Password.

I think our biggest exposure for criminals is using passwords which are too short, easily guessed and often reused.