Use Windows Migration Assistant to import data from Windows to Mac

There are several ways to transfer data from a Windows PC to a Mac. You could save your files to an external hard drive, share them over your network, or sync them up to the cloud. There’s also Windows Migration Assistant, a special utility that Apple created to easily and seamlessly import data from Windows to Mac. Here’s how it works.

Preparing to migrate data

Both the PC and the Mac need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, or if you prefer, you can run an Ethernet cable between the ports on the PC and the Mac for a direct connection. Since newer Mac models do not have an Ethernet port, you may need to purchase an Ethernet adapter, such as the Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter or Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.

Next, you’ll want to make sure that your PC drive doesn’t have any issues. You can check for issues by following these steps.

  1. Type “Run” in the search bar. You can also press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run field.
  2. In the window that opens, type “cmd” and press Enter.
  3. In the command prompt, type “chkdsk” and press Enter.
  4. The check disk utility may report that it found problems. In that case, type “chkdsk drive: /F” and press Enter. Note that drive is the letter that represents your Windows startup disk, such as C: or D:.
  5. At the prompt that appears, press the Y key, then restart your PC.

This process might need to be repeated until the check disk utility reports no issues. If you can’t clear these issues, you may need to have your PC serviced before you migrate data to your Mac.

Migrating data from PC to Mac

You’ll need to download and install the Windows Migration Assistant on your PC based on the version of macOS on your Mac:

Once the Windows Migration Assistant is installed on your PC, you can start the migration process.

  1. Quit any open Windows apps.
  2. Launch Windows Migration Assistant.
  3. Click Continue to begin the process. If Windows updates are configured to install automatically on your PC, you may be asked to disable this feature. When you’re ready to proceed, click Continue.
  4. Start up your Mac, if it’s not already up and running. If it’s a brand new Mac and has never been booted up before, Setup Assistant automatically launches. If you’ve already set it up, go to Applications > Utilities and launch Migration Assistant.
  5. In Migration Assistant on the Mac, go through the on-screen prompts until you reach the prompt asking how you want to transfer your information. Select From a Windows PC, then click Continue.
  6. When prompted, enter the administrator name and password. Then, click Continue and all other open apps will be closed.
  7. In the migration window on the Mac, a list of available computers will appear. Select your PC from the list, then wait for the PC to display a passcode. That same passcode should show up on the Mac as well. Once it does, you can click Continue on both the Mac and PC.
  8. The Mac will scan the drives of the PC and create a list of information you may wish to migrate. When the scan is complete, select the data you want to transfer, then click Continue. If you’re transferring a large volume of data, the process might take several hours to finish.
  9. When the migration is complete, quit Windows Migration Assistant on the PC, then log in to the new user account on your Mac. You’ll be asked to set a password for your new Mac account.

What types of data can you transfer?

A surprising amount of the data on a PC can be transferred to a Mac. For many business PC users, it’s important to know that transfers from Outlook are only supported for 32-bit versions of the program, as Migration Assistant doesn’t support the 64-bit versions. Outlook users can also run the app on Mac (as part of Microsoft Office for Mac) and connect to the same servers for access to their contacts, calendar, and so on.

Photos show up in your Mac’s Home folder, which is the one in the Users folder with your name. A good way to import all of those photos is to launch the Photos app on your Mac, select File > Import, and then choose your Home folder. The Photos app scans that folder for all photo files and presents them for review before being imported.

If you use either Windows Live Mail or Windows Mail on your PC, both your IMAP and POP settings and messages move to the Mac Mail app. For Windows Mail, People moves to the Mac Contacts app.

Any bookmark you had saved for Internet Explorer, the old Safari for Windows, and Firefox on the PC is transferred to Safari on your Mac. iTunes content like music, movies, and other files stored in the Windows version of iTunes are transferred to iTunes on the Mac. Finally, some system settings from the PC — language and location settings, web browser home page, and custom desktop pictures — are also moved to System Preferences.

Changing hardware and operating systems, as well as updating applications, can be a burden, especially if you have hundreds of workstations to manage. These tasks, however, are vital for growing businesses. If done right, scaling hardware and software can be secure, efficient, and cost-effective. Consult with a certified IT support expert today.

This post was originally published on this site

Are Macs immune to malware?

Windows computers tend to deal with an assortment of malware, but many people fail to realize that even Apple computers face similar threats. As cybercriminals have become more adept at finding exploits and other vulnerabilities, more and more Macs have also fallen prey to malware. Here are some threats you need to look out for to keep your Mac safe.

What are the threats that can affect your Mac?

There are several forms of malware that hit Apple products, and their effects can range from ones that are merely annoying to downright destructive.

  1. Adware – These are unwanted programs that bombard users with pop-up advertisements. Some malicious adware piggyback spyware like keyloggers and keyboard sniffers onto their deployment protocols, allowing them to record your typing habits and monitor your browsing behavior.
  2. Sniffers – These are usually designed to detect certain words on a web page and in a person’s typing pattern in order to trigger the keylogger. For instance, when you type your password, sniffers can activate the keylogger to copy the information you type and steal your login details.
  3. Trojan horses – These can infect both Macs and PCs, and they are often deployed through fake software installers or unsecured updates. They parade as legitimate software that actually contain a nasty surprise once installed. A notorious Trojan horse for Macs is the MacDownloader, which attempts to steal personal data stored in iCloud Keychain.
  4. Macro viruses – These attack computers by running a code that can take screenshots, format hard drives, corrupt files, deliver more malware, and access webcams and microphones. They are triggered when a user opens an infected macros-enabled file, hence the name.
  5. Ransomware – Macs managed to hold off ransomware for a while, but nowadays, even they can be vulnerable to it. KeRanger was one of the first big ransomware outbreaks in Macs. After remotely encrypting the computer and hibernating for three days, KeRanger would issue a .txt file containing instructions for decryption in return for one bitcoin.

Telltale signs your Mac is infected

Now that you know what kinds of malware your Mac could be affected with, here are some ways to tell if your computer is infected with one:

  1. Pop-up ads – If you’re seeing more pop-ups on your computer than usual, your computer is probably infected. An unusual amount of banner ads and pop-ups may mean that your computer is due for an update and/or a virus scan.
  2. Slowness – Mac users fear one thing above all: the spinning wheel of death. This little rainbow-colored spinning cursor wheel indicates that the computer is having trouble processing at usual speeds. This slowness can often be caused by overwhelming requests from simultaneous processes — likely of dubious origin — running in the background.
  3. Browser issues – Viruses sometimes do weird things to Safari or Google Chrome such as change its homepage or redirect a preset landing page to a site you’ve never seen before. If your browser starts behaving oddly, crashes regularly, or is often unresponsive, your Mac might have a virus.

Computer security is a matter of importance no matter what operating system you use. Reach out to our experts for an assessment of your network today.

This post was originally published on this site

Think twice about selling or donating a Mac

Today’s computer users often forget or are unaware of how much sensitive information their devices store. The ability to save passwords, credit card numbers, and personal messages is undeniably convenient, but it’s also a huge liability. If you’re thinking about getting rid of your Mac, make sure to follow these steps first.

1. Back up your files

You don’t want the new owner of your Mac to find your private files, so you’ll want to reformat it first. However, you may have files you would like to keep. To save those files, back them up on iCloud or on an external hard drive or another Mac via Time Machine.

Backing up using iCloud

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to icloud.com, then sign in using your Apple ID. Fulfill multifactor authentication requirements if prompted.
  2. Check if your account has sufficient space remaining by clicking Settings > [your account name] > iCloud > Manage Storage. Free up storage space by deleting some files, or purchase more space if you must.
  3. To control what you’ll include in your backup sync, go to Settings > [your account name] > iCloud, then turn the toggle switches on or off for the applications you want or don’t want to sync.
  4. Once you’re happy with your selection, click Back up now.

Backing up using Time Machine

You can port your old files to an external drive or to another Mac. For the first option, follow these steps:

  1. Plug the external drive into your Mac and wait for its icon to appear on the screen.
  2. Go to System Preferences > Time Machine > Select Backup Disk. Select the drive you plugged in, then click Use Disk.
  3. You’ll be asked to erase the disk if it isn’t formatted to support Time Machine and Mac. The backup can proceed once you comply.

To back up your files from one Mac onto another Mac, make sure that both machines are on the same network first, Then, proceed as follows:

  1. On the Mac that’ll serve as the backup destination, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Tick the File Sharing box.
  3. Select Options. Select “Share files and folders using SMB” if it isn’t selected already, then click Done.
  4. At the bottom of the Shared Folders list, click Add.
  5. Find and choose the folder you want to utilize for sharing, then click Add.
  6. Control-click the folder’s name, then select Advanced Options.
  7. Click the “Share over” menu, then select SMB.
  8. Choose “Share as a Time Machine backup destination.”
  9. If you want, you can use “Limit backups to” to put a cap on the size of the backup to be created.
  10. Select OK.

2. Sign in to all your accounts on a new computer

Before you can ensure that your personal accounts are inaccessible on the Mac you’re getting rid of, you must be certain that you can access those accounts on another computer. If you need to recover a username or password, your options may be limited if the trusted computer has been wiped clean. Make sure to log in to these accounts on another device before moving forward:

  • Apple ID
  • iCloud
  • iMessage
  • iTunes

It’s also important that you remember account credentials that you’d saved on your web browser. If you use Safari, here are the steps to check all the accounts your browser has saved:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu directly next to the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  3. Click the Passwords menu.
  4. Comb through the list and confirm that you can access all those accounts on another computer.

3. Sign out of everything

Deleting everything on your hard drive does not automatically mean that all of your personal information will be completely erased. This is because your device may be linked to your Apple accounts, which means that if you’re still signed in on the Mac you’ve given away, the next user may have access to your accounts.

To prevent this from happening, deauthorize as many accounts as possible before formatting the storage disk by doing the following:

  1. Open the Apple Books app, Apple TV app, or Music/iTunes app.
  2. On the top menu bar, select Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.
  3. Use your Apple ID to sign in.
  4. Click Deauthorize.

Next, you’ll want to sign out of iCloud. If your machine is on macOS Catalina or later, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences > Apple ID.
  3. In the sidebar, choose Overview > Sign Out.

If your machine is on MacOS Mojave or earlier:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences > iCloud > Sign Out.

You’ll also want to sign out of iMessage:

  1. Open the iMessage app, click Messages > Preferences > Accounts.
  2. Select your account in the left sidebar and click the “Sign Out” button.

4. Remove the device from Apple Support

Another thing that people often forget to do is revoke their Apple Support registration (unless they want the new owner of their Mac to receive free assistance from Apple Geniuses). Visit support.apple.com/my-support, sign in with your Apple ID and remove any device you plan to get rid of or no longer own.

5. Do a factory reset

When all your files have been backed up and your accounts are accessible on other devices, you can wipe clean your Mac’s hard drive. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Enter recovery mode. Apple details separate instructions on how to do so on Intel-based Macs and Apple Silicon-based Macs.
  2. To proceed wiping the hard drive, go to Disk Utility.
  3. Under the Internal heading, choose the Macintosh HD drive and click Erase in the top toolbar. Retain Macintosh HD as its name and set its format to either Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or APFS.
  4. To wipe that drive, click Erase or Erase Volume Group (whichever button is shown), then repeat the process for all the other internal drives, if any. This ensures that all data on the Mac is completely erased and that errors during the reinstall process will be avoided.
  5. Close the Disk Utility window to return to the Recovery screen.
  6. Press Command-Q to shut down the Mac.

From here, you can let the person getting the machine install a clean version of macOS.

All in all, this entire process can take a couple of days. Small businesses can save a lot of time by hiring an IT provider with Apple experts to take care of mundane tasks like wiping an old computer’s hard drive. Give us a call today to learn more about what we do.

This post was originally published on this site

Think twice about selling or donating a Mac

Today’s computer users often forget or are unaware of how much sensitive information their devices store. The ability to save passwords, credit card numbers, and personal messages is undeniably convenient, but it’s also a huge liability. If you’re thinking about getting rid of your Mac, make sure to follow these steps first.

1. Back up your files

You don’t want the new owner of your Mac to find your private files, so you’ll want to reformat it first. However, you may have files you would like to keep. To save those files, back them up on iCloud or on an external hard drive or another Mac via Time Machine.

Backing up using iCloud

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to icloud.com, then sign in using your Apple ID. Fulfill multifactor authentication requirements if prompted.
  2. Check if your account has sufficient space remaining by clicking Settings > [your account name] > iCloud > Manage Storage. Free up storage space by deleting some files, or purchase more space if you must.
  3. To control what you’ll include in your backup sync, go to Settings > [your account name] > iCloud, then turn the toggle switches on or off for the applications you want or don’t want to sync.
  4. Once you’re happy with your selection, click Back up now.

Backing up using Time Machine

You can port your old files to an external drive or to another Mac. For the first option, follow these steps:

  1. Plug the external drive into your Mac and wait for its icon to appear on the screen.
  2. Go to System Preferences > Time Machine > Select Backup Disk. Select the drive you plugged in, then click Use Disk.
  3. You’ll be asked to erase the disk if it isn’t formatted to support Time Machine and Mac. The backup can proceed once you comply.

To back up your files from one Mac onto another Mac, make sure that both machines are on the same network first, Then, proceed as follows:

  1. On the Mac that’ll serve as the backup destination, click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Tick the File Sharing box.
  3. Select Options. Select “Share files and folders using SMB” if it isn’t selected already, then click Done.
  4. At the bottom of the Shared Folders list, click Add.
  5. Find and choose the folder you want to utilize for sharing, then click Add.
  6. Control-click the folder’s name, then select Advanced Options.
  7. Click the “Share over” menu, then select SMB.
  8. Choose “Share as a Time Machine backup destination.”
  9. If you want, you can use “Limit backups to” to put a cap on the size of the backup to be created.
  10. Select OK.

2. Sign in to all your accounts on a new computer

Before you can ensure that your personal accounts are inaccessible on the Mac you’re getting rid of, you must be certain that you can access those accounts on another computer. If you need to recover a username or password, your options may be limited if the trusted computer has been wiped clean. Make sure to log in to these accounts on another device before moving forward:

  • Apple ID
  • iCloud
  • iMessage
  • iTunes

It’s also important that you remember account credentials that you’d saved on your web browser. If you use Safari, here are the steps to check all the accounts your browser has saved:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu directly next to the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  3. Click the Passwords menu.
  4. Comb through the list and confirm that you can access all those accounts on another computer.

3. Sign out of everything

Deleting everything on your hard drive does not automatically mean that all of your personal information will be completely erased. This is because your device may be linked to your Apple accounts, which means that if you’re still signed in on the Mac you’ve given away, the next user may have access to your accounts.

To prevent this from happening, deauthorize as many accounts as possible before formatting the storage disk by doing the following:

  1. Open the Apple Books app, Apple TV app, or Music/iTunes app.
  2. On the top menu bar, select Account > Authorizations > Deauthorize This Computer.
  3. Use your Apple ID to sign in.
  4. Click Deauthorize.

Next, you’ll want to sign out of iCloud. If your machine is on macOS Catalina or later, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences > Apple ID.
  3. In the sidebar, choose Overview > Sign Out.

If your machine is on MacOS Mojave or earlier:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences > iCloud > Sign Out.

You’ll also want to sign out of iMessage:

  1. Open the iMessage app, click Messages > Preferences > Accounts.
  2. Select your account in the left sidebar and click the “Sign Out” button.

4. Remove the device from Apple Support

Another thing that people often forget to do is revoke their Apple Support registration (unless they want the new owner of their Mac to receive free assistance from Apple Geniuses). Visit support.apple.com/my-support, sign in with your Apple ID and remove any device you plan to get rid of or no longer own.

5. Do a factory reset

When all your files have been backed up and your accounts are accessible on other devices, you can wipe clean your Mac’s hard drive. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Enter recovery mode. Apple details separate instructions on how to do so on Intel-based Macs and Apple Silicon-based Macs.
  2. To proceed wiping the hard drive, go to Disk Utility.
  3. Under the Internal heading, choose the Macintosh HD drive and click Erase in the top toolbar. Retain Macintosh HD as its name and set its format to either Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or APFS.
  4. To wipe that drive, click Erase or Erase Volume Group (whichever button is shown), then repeat the process for all the other internal drives, if any. This ensures that all data on the Mac is completely erased and that errors during the reinstall process will be avoided.
  5. Close the Disk Utility window to return to the Recovery screen.
  6. Press Command-Q to shut down the Mac.

From here, you can let the person getting the machine install a clean version of macOS.

All in all, this entire process can take a couple of days. Small businesses can save a lot of time by hiring an IT provider with Apple experts to take care of mundane tasks like wiping an old computer’s hard drive. Give us a call today to learn more about what we do.

This post was originally published on this site

Is it time to replace your Mac?

If you’ve owned a Mac for quite some time, it’s probable that you’ve encountered a few problems with it. After a while, using it can be more of a hassle than a convenience. If you’re already experiencing some major problems, it may be time to replace your Mac. Here are some telltale signs that you should.

Your device can’t support the latest macOS version

Apple releases a new version of macOS every September or October. Typically, Mac models from the past several years are supported. So if your device can’t update to the latest version, it’s a sign that you need to have your Mac replaced.

The latest macOS version that’s currently in public beta is 12 Monterey. Here are the following Mac models that support the update:

  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • iMac (late 2015 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)

This means that devices made earlier than those in the list cannot install macOS Monterey. For instance, a 2010 Macbook Pro running Mac OS X Lion cannot support the upcoming version of macOS. Your device is likely obsolete, and while you can keep on using it as usual, you won’t get any new features and its slow performance may cause productivity issues.

You’ve run out of free space

File sizes are constantly growing, which means that they are bound to take up more space in computer hard drives. If your Mac only has 128 or 256 GB of storage space, you’ll find yourself freeing up space for new files often. You have the option to purchase flash drives or external hard drives, but these aren’t built into your system, so the chances of losing them are high.

It’s therefore more ideal to purchase a new Mac instead. Newer versions offer as much as 4TB of storage, which will allow you to store more files in the long run.

Your Mac has poor specs

If frozen screens, slow-loading apps, and poor battery life are already a part of your typical day while using your Mac, then it might be time to replace it.

For instance, the performance of a hard disk drive (HDD) slows down with age, which could cause your computer to load files and programs sluggishly. The same principle applies to your battery. You may experience short standby and usage times, or the device could suddenly turn off. There’s the option of plugging your device into an outlet while using it, but this sacrifices portability.

To mitigate these issues, you can add more random access memory (RAM), swap out the HDD, or replace the battery. It’s important to note that some components are soldered to the motherboard, so replacing them may not be an option. The money you would spend on upgrading your Mac would be better put toward a new machine, which will not only be faster, but also much more reliable.

Your Mac’s hardware is damaged

You need to replace your Mac if it has suffered serious physical damage. This could range from a broken display, damaged hard drives, missing keyboard keys, or nonfunctioning USB and charging ports.

It’s easy to have your device fixed, but it’s not the most financially sound decision to invest money in an obsolete machine when you can buy a new one that will last longer. Also, small issues can become major problems. Let’s say you’re using your Mac with a heavily cracked screen. The device might be usable for a while, but the display might stop functioning anytime, which is a major hindrance if you’re in the middle of something important.

If problems on your Mac are already affecting your productivity, consider replacing it with a newer version that performs much better and has no hardware damage.

You’re experiencing software issues

An outdated Mac can experience software problems such as unresponsive apps, visual glitches, and random shutdowns. If your Mac is running an older version of macOS, it might run into software compatibility issues. For instance, a program may refuse to run because your operating system is outdated.

You can usually fix these problems by freeing up your RAM or storage space. Reinstalling macOS is also a good option. If the problems persist, however, you should consider investing in a new Mac.

It’s important to have a Mac that not only performs well, but also helps you become more productive and efficient. If you want to learn more about replacing your Mac, drop our experts a line today and we’ll be in touch.

This post was originally published on this site

Is it time to replace your Mac?

If you’ve owned a Mac for quite some time, it’s probable that you’ve encountered a few problems with it. After a while, using it can be more of a hassle than a convenience. If you’re already experiencing some major problems, it may be time to replace your Mac. Here are some telltale signs that you should.

Your device can’t support the latest macOS version

Apple releases a new version of macOS every September or October. Typically, Mac models from the past several years are supported. So if your device can’t update to the latest version, it’s a sign that you need to have your Mac replaced.

The latest macOS version that’s currently in public beta is 12 Monterey. Here are the following Mac models that support the update:

  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • iMac (late 2015 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)

This means that devices made earlier than those in the list cannot install macOS Monterey. For instance, a 2010 Macbook Pro running Mac OS X Lion cannot support the upcoming version of macOS. Your device is likely obsolete, and while you can keep on using it as usual, you won’t get any new features and its slow performance may cause productivity issues.

You’ve run out of free space

File sizes are constantly growing, which means that they are bound to take up more space in computer hard drives. If your Mac only has 128 or 256 GB of storage space, you’ll find yourself freeing up space for new files often. You have the option to purchase flash drives or external hard drives, but these aren’t built into your system, so the chances of losing them are high.

It’s therefore more ideal to purchase a new Mac instead. Newer versions offer as much as 4TB of storage, which will allow you to store more files in the long run.

Your Mac has poor specs

If frozen screens, slow-loading apps, and poor battery life are already a part of your typical day while using your Mac, then it might be time to replace it.

For instance, the performance of a hard disk drive (HDD) slows down with age, which could cause your computer to load files and programs sluggishly. The same principle applies to your battery. You may experience short standby and usage times, or the device could suddenly turn off. There’s the option of plugging your device into an outlet while using it, but this sacrifices portability.

To mitigate these issues, you can add more random access memory (RAM), swap out the HDD, or replace the battery. It’s important to note that some components are soldered to the motherboard, so replacing them may not be an option. The money you would spend on upgrading your Mac would be better put toward a new machine, which will not only be faster, but also much more reliable.

Your Mac’s hardware is damaged

You need to replace your Mac if it has suffered serious physical damage. This could range from a broken display, damaged hard drives, missing keyboard keys, or nonfunctioning USB and charging ports.

It’s easy to have your device fixed, but it’s not the most financially sound decision to invest money in an obsolete machine when you can buy a new one that will last longer. Also, small issues can become major problems. Let’s say you’re using your Mac with a heavily cracked screen. The device might be usable for a while, but the display might stop functioning anytime, which is a major hindrance if you’re in the middle of something important.

If problems on your Mac are already affecting your productivity, consider replacing it with a newer version that performs much better and has no hardware damage.

You’re experiencing software issues

An outdated Mac can experience software problems such as unresponsive apps, visual glitches, and random shutdowns. If your Mac is running an older version of macOS, it might run into software compatibility issues. For instance, a program may refuse to run because your operating system is outdated.

You can usually fix these problems by freeing up your RAM or storage space. Reinstalling macOS is also a good option. If the problems persist, however, you should consider investing in a new Mac.

It’s important to have a Mac that not only performs well, but also helps you become more productive and efficient. If you want to learn more about replacing your Mac, drop our experts a line today and we’ll be in touch.

This post was originally published on this site

Follow these security tips to keep your Mac safe

Contrary to what you may believe, cyberthreats target not only Windows computers. Macs are also vulnerable to internet-based risks, and it’s critical that every Mac user protect their devices from such threats. Keep your Mac secure by following these steps.

Check your privacy settings

Make sure that your Mac settings are set up properly to keep your data safe. Manage the information your Mac makes available across the internet or on a network by going to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. From there, you can choose which information to share and with whom. For example, you can specify which apps are allowed to see personal information, such as your location, contacts, photos, or music.

Take advantage of the firewall

A firewall protects your Mac from unwanted contact initiated by other computers on a network or the internet. It protects your computer by allowing only authorized services and apps to communicate with your Mac, so be sure to enable macOS’s built-in firewall.

To do so, just go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy Then, click Firewall. If the padlock icon at the bottom left is locked, click it and key in your username and password. Enable the firewall by clicking Turn On Firewall.

To modify Firewall settings, click on Firewall Options… just below the “Turn Off Firewall” button. You will find a list of services and apps that are allowed to receive inbound connections. If you want to add an app or service to the list, just click the “+” button below the list itself. However, we recommend keeping this list as short as possible, as the apps listed can be exploited by cybercriminals.

Another useful feature to enable is stealth mode. This option will make your Mac more difficult to find, thus keeping hackers and malware at bay. For instance, if you are in a coffee shop and connected to its unsecured Wi-Fi, enabling stealth mode will make your Mac invisible on that public network. To turn on this feature, just tick the box next to “Enable stealth mode” in Firewall Options. A dialog box will pop up, and you can click on the “Enable Stealth Mode” button.

Set up a firmware password

Every new Mac today has the FileVault encryption automatically enabled. This means that your device already encrypts the hard drive by default, and the only way your data can be accessed is by logging in. Keep in mind, though, that this feature won’t necessarily save your account in case someone reinstalls the operating system or uses a memory stick to boot the Mac and remove all data from your hard disk.

To increase protection, set up a firmware password. Do this by restarting your computer, then pressing and holding down Cmd+R before the Apple logo shows up on the screen. You can let go of the keys once the progress bar pops up.

When the utilities window appears, click on Utilities in the menu bar, then choose Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility. Click on Turn On Firmware Password… and simply follow the succeeding instructions.

Finally, quit the utilities window, then choose Apple menu > Restart. Make sure to never forget or misplace your firmware password, because only Apple technicians can recover it.

Ensure that your confidential data remains private by performing minor tweaks on your Mac’s system settings. It takes only a few minutes to ensure lasting online protection. If setting up a firewall or firmware password sounds a little too advanced for you, or if you need to set up more advanced defenses, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

This post was originally published on this site

Follow these security tips to keep your Mac safe

Contrary to what you may believe, cyberthreats target not only Windows computers. Macs are also vulnerable to internet-based risks, and it’s critical that every Mac user protect their devices from such threats. Keep your Mac secure by following these steps.

Check your privacy settings

Make sure that your Mac settings are set up properly to keep your data safe. Manage the information your Mac makes available across the internet or on a network by going to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. From there, you can choose which information to share and with whom. For example, you can specify which apps are allowed to see personal information, such as your location, contacts, photos, or music.

Take advantage of the firewall

A firewall protects your Mac from unwanted contact initiated by other computers on a network or the internet. It protects your computer by allowing only authorized services and apps to communicate with your Mac, so be sure to enable macOS’s built-in firewall.

To do so, just go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy Then, click Firewall. If the padlock icon at the bottom left is locked, click it and key in your username and password. Enable the firewall by clicking Turn On Firewall.

To modify Firewall settings, click on Firewall Options… just below the “Turn Off Firewall” button. You will find a list of services and apps that are allowed to receive inbound connections. If you want to add an app or service to the list, just click the “+” button below the list itself. However, we recommend keeping this list as short as possible, as the apps listed can be exploited by cybercriminals.

Another useful feature to enable is stealth mode. This option will make your Mac more difficult to find, thus keeping hackers and malware at bay. For instance, if you are in a coffee shop and connected to its unsecured Wi-Fi, enabling stealth mode will make your Mac invisible on that public network. To turn on this feature, just tick the box next to “Enable stealth mode” in Firewall Options. A dialog box will pop up, and you can click on the “Enable Stealth Mode” button.

Set up a firmware password

Every new Mac today has the FileVault encryption automatically enabled. This means that your device already encrypts the hard drive by default, and the only way your data can be accessed is by logging in. Keep in mind, though, that this feature won’t necessarily save your account in case someone reinstalls the operating system or uses a memory stick to boot the Mac and remove all data from your hard disk.

To increase protection, set up a firmware password. Do this by restarting your computer, then pressing and holding down Cmd+R before the Apple logo shows up on the screen. You can let go of the keys once the progress bar pops up.

When the utilities window appears, click on Utilities in the menu bar, then choose Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility. Click on Turn On Firmware Password… and simply follow the succeeding instructions.

Finally, quit the utilities window, then choose Apple menu > Restart. Make sure to never forget or misplace your firmware password, because only Apple technicians can recover it.

Ensure that your confidential data remains private by performing minor tweaks on your Mac’s system settings. It takes only a few minutes to ensure lasting online protection. If setting up a firewall or firmware password sounds a little too advanced for you, or if you need to set up more advanced defenses, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

This post was originally published on this site

Boost Mac performance with an SSD upgrade

The latest Mac models are now built with solid state drives (SSDs), whereas older models have hard disk drives (HDDs), which are slower. Macs with SSDs are much faster than those with HDDs, but speed is not the only benefit of using SSDs for storage.

They’re more reliable

Most consumer SSDs use NAND flash memory, a type of nonvolatile storage technology that doesn’t require power to retain data. This technology eliminates the risk of losing or corrupting data in case the SSD is left unplugged. And if SSDs fail, your computer would still be able to read data, unless the actual memory chips are damaged.

Moreover, HDDs rely on magnetism to write data, so exposing your computer to a strong magnet could erase all information on your drive. This is an unlikely problem with SSDs, which do not contain parts with magnetic coatings that can be easily damaged when exposed to a magnetic field.

They’re faster

SSDs have the clear advantage over HDDs in terms of data access speed. To access data, a typical SSD takes about 35 to 100 microseconds, which is about 100 times faster than an HDD. This means your Mac boots up in less than a minute, programs launch and run more quickly, and files are transferred faster, letting you do data-intensive work without worrying that your computer will stall or freeze.

They’re quieter

In fact, SSDs don’t make any noise at all. Again, this has something to do with their non-mechanical nature. SSDs don’t have any of the moving parts that make mechanical HDDs, especially the faster ones, noisy. A Mac with an SSD is generally quieter, even when it’s performing intensive tasks.

They’re more durable and longer-lasting

Unlike HDDs, SSDs are less prone to damage due to shock and vibration. This is because SSDs do not have any of the moving parts like drive platters and read arms that HDDs do, so they won’t break if you drop, bump, or jostle your Mac.

They will fail over time, however, but it’s likely that your SSD will outlast your computer for many years. While consumer SSDs do have a limited number of reads and writes, under normal use, they can make it to at least 700 TB of writes before failing. To put this in perspective, you would have to write 40 GB of data every day for 50 years to get to 700 TB, which means you don’t have to worry that you’ll wear out your SSD from overuse anytime soon.

They’re more energy-efficient

Compared to HDDs, SSDs don’t need as much power to run. Even at full sprint, they use up at least 50% less power than HDDs. This also has to do with SSDs’ lack of moving parts that consume electricity to read, write, and access information. And because SSDs don’t have these parts, they produce less heat, which also contributes to a reduction in power consumption. Less power consumed also helps improve your Mac’s performance and extend its service life.

An SSD will definitely improve your Mac’s overall performance, which translates to a boost in your productivity and efficiency. If you’re ready to upgrade your Mac with an SSD or have any questions about storage drives, call us today.

This post was originally published on this site

Boost Mac performance with an SSD upgrade

The latest Mac models are now built with solid state drives (SSDs), whereas older models have hard disk drives (HDDs), which are slower. Macs with SSDs are much faster than those with HDDs, but speed is not the only benefit of using SSDs for storage.

They’re more reliable

Most consumer SSDs use NAND flash memory, a type of nonvolatile storage technology that doesn’t require power to retain data. This technology eliminates the risk of losing or corrupting data in case the SSD is left unplugged. And if SSDs fail, your computer would still be able to read data, unless the actual memory chips are damaged.

Moreover, HDDs rely on magnetism to write data, so exposing your computer to a strong magnet could erase all information on your drive. This is an unlikely problem with SSDs, which do not contain parts with magnetic coatings that can be easily damaged when exposed to a magnetic field.

They’re faster

SSDs have the clear advantage over HDDs in terms of data access speed. To access data, a typical SSD takes about 35 to 100 microseconds, which is about 100 times faster than an HDD. This means your Mac boots up in less than a minute, programs launch and run more quickly, and files are transferred faster, letting you do data-intensive work without worrying that your computer will stall or freeze.

They’re quieter

In fact, SSDs don’t make any noise at all. Again, this has something to do with their non-mechanical nature. SSDs don’t have any of the moving parts that make mechanical HDDs, especially the faster ones, noisy. A Mac with an SSD is generally quieter, even when it’s performing intensive tasks.

They’re more durable and longer-lasting

Unlike HDDs, SSDs are less prone to damage due to shock and vibration. This is because SSDs do not have any of the moving parts like drive platters and read arms that HDDs do, so they won’t break if you drop, bump, or jostle your Mac.

They will fail over time, however, but it’s likely that your SSD will outlast your computer for many years. While consumer SSDs do have a limited number of reads and writes, under normal use, they can make it to at least 700 TB of writes before failing. To put this in perspective, you would have to write 40 GB of data every day for 50 years to get to 700 TB, which means you don’t have to worry that you’ll wear out your SSD from overuse anytime soon.

They’re more energy-efficient

Compared to HDDs, SSDs don’t need as much power to run. Even at full sprint, they use up at least 50% less power than HDDs. This also has to do with SSDs’ lack of moving parts that consume electricity to read, write, and access information. And because SSDs don’t have these parts, they produce less heat, which also contributes to a reduction in power consumption. Less power consumed also helps improve your Mac’s performance and extend its service life.

An SSD will definitely improve your Mac’s overall performance, which translates to a boost in your productivity and efficiency. If you’re ready to upgrade your Mac with an SSD or have any questions about storage drives, call us today.

This post was originally published on this site