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Protecting Against Ransomware

Ransomware is malware that disables your computer data until you pay a fee. This is done by encrypting the files so they are unreadable. There is no way to access your files without the “key” held by the hacker. Obviously this is serious as it has the potential to render all user data useless. There is now ransomware targeting the Mac.

Paying the ransom is a bad idea. There is no guarantee the data will be unlocked and you encourage this behavior. MacLab’s cloud backup cannot be encrypted by ransomware and is excellent protection. Another recommended level of protection is to have a firewall with advanced threat detection such as Kerio Control. Lastly, be sure routine maintenance is performed to keep up with security patches.

Learning to Adapt

When you buy a new MacBook or MacBook Pro, be prepared with adapters for connecting devices. Apple has given a single type of connection, the USB-C port.

Here’s what you may need:

Many adapters you can get from Apple, MacLab, or elsewhere but beware low quality products that can damage your new computer. Here’s an article picking some specific adapters that might be helpful. If you have MacLab source the computer purchase we can work with you to ensure you have everything you need.

adapter

Spills and Thrills

We get a number of customers that come in to MacLab with permanent damage to laptops due to spills. Apple doesn’t cover liquid damage under warranty or even under Applecare. Laptops can be protected from splashes and small spills by a good keyboard cover. KB Covers are thin and difficult to detect they’re even present. A keyboard cover could save you thousands. These covers also protect against wear and tear. Ask us for one for you MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air.

Get a free KB Cover with any new Mac laptop you purchase through Maclab with configuration/installation until September 30.

KBkeyboardcover

Refurbish Your MacBook Pro

Your MacBook Pro might seem to be dragging with all the updates Apple has released in the last few years. There are two upgrades that will make a huge difference—installing a solid state drive (SSD) and adding RAM. These upgrades can make your laptop super speedy and ready to take on the latest Mac OS. The cost is lower than ever and much lower than a new computer. MacLab can do the job quickly including transferring all your data to the new drive.

It’s important to identify other sources of slowdown such as malware and failing hardware. Our free monitoring service can alert us of problems before they become serious. Ask us for more information.

Postbox Tip: Composition Goals

Do you spend too much time writing email? Here’s something I love about Postbox, my favorite email app for the Mac.

Postbox displays a timer at the bottom corner of a new message showing the length of time you’ve spent. After a pre-defined limit, the time will turn red to let you know you’ve past your goal. The default is 5 minutes, which I find perfect. Of course you can keep on typing and pondering since it is just a guide. The timer is smart and pauses if you click to another message or application.

In the other corner is a word or character count (your choice). People tend to read shorter messages so keeping your email succinct has advantages.

For instructions on how to enable and use Postbox composition goals, use this link.

Browser Tech Alert Scam

MacLab has been receiving daily calls and emails from customers who have fallen prey in some degree to browser alert scams. These alerts pop up on your screen and tell you something is terribly wrong with your computer and to call “A Certified Live Technician” or “Apple Support.” The error message may be difficult or seemingly impossible to dismiss. Most importantly, do not call the number. The person on the other end will ask to take remote control of your computer in order to “fix” the problem. Once this unknown person has gained control of your computer, your identity and finances are at risk.

We’ve had customers report that the “tech” opened password files and asked for birthdates. At the same time they are asking the customer to pay to have the computer repaired.

Safari may appear to be stuck and not useable after this, the result of the malware. Until you can get it truly resolved, try Firefox.

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