Category Archives: Tech

Securing Safari for OSX

If you have a Mac, one of the reasons you either a) originally got your Mac, and/or b) really enjoy your Mac is because the much lower chance of being infected by a random virus, malware or Trojan.

While this is essentially true, Macs are vulnerable.

This article goes over ways to secure Safari (your web browser) under Mac OSX. It’s probably a good read for anyone that wants to take a few extra steps to ensure security.

To Cloud or Not To Cloud

I get a lot of questions about “the cloud.” Many of them are, basically, “Can I trust the cloud?”

My first response is always, “What do you think ‘the cloud’ is?”

I usually get some knitted brows and a shrug.

My customers know that the cloud has something to do with their computers and phones and tablets all being able to talk to each other. That’s a nice feature, I will admit.

First off, click here to see a picture of ‘the cloud.’

That’s right, the cloud is…just another computer. Usually several dozen to several hundred of them in a server room somewhere. It’s not magic. It’s, obviously, not LITERALLY a cloud.

To the question of “Can I trust the cloud?” my answer has been:

“Don’t put anything in the cloud you wouldn’t be 100% comfortable seeing published on the front page of the New York Times.”

Here’s the logic: While your password may be the most secure and complex password in the history of time itself, there are other ways into the cloud than directly through YOUR account.

Think of it like this: When you create a really safe, complex password that you’ve never used anywhere before, it’s like changing the locks on the front door of a house. You have the only key. But there are dozens of way into that house, and you can’t control them all. It’s possible that someone left the back door wide open, and so anyone can come in and take your stuff.

The Cloud is good for storing pictures, contacts, bookmarks, stuff like that.

It’s not good for storing things that you don’t want other people to know about. Like your bank password. Or other personal details.

Also, for professionals (attorneys, doctors, therapists, etc.) that are bound by certain industry privacy standards like HIPAA, few cloud-service providers have security that is considered up to those requirements.

About Us & a Mac/OSX Security Warning

This is the Security Updates and Tech Blog for Your Nerdy Friends. From time to time, I will be adding posts either about security warnings for my customers, and/or interesting tech updates. I will try to cover as many different topics as possible.

Apple users for years have enjoyed the “security through obscurity” protection of not being as popular as Windows Computers. While it’s true that the overwhelming majority of viruses and other malware are aimed strictly at Windows computers, Macs are vulnerable to virus and malware attacks.

A new one is making the rounds, disguised as a Microsoft Word attachment. The attachment contains Macros (small sections of executable programming) and if opened by an unsuspecting user, can immediately infect your computer.

Read more about it here.

Security Tip: Do not open attachments from an email sent by a person unknown to you. For any reason. Do not open unexpected attachments from people you do know. Attachments should always be suspect.

If you get an attachment, email the person who sent it in a separate email. DO NOT REPLY to the original email for several reasons.

As always, if you think you might have been affected by any kind of virus or malware, and need some help, please give us a call so we can help! Contact nerdy@sonic.net or call 707.478.9601!