Archive for April, 2012

Flashback removal tool

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Last Thursday, Apple released the Java for OS X Lion 2012-003 update to kill the Flashback malware.  The update also configures the Java web plug-in to disable automatic executive of Java applets, which keeps Flashback from spreading.  This update works for all Mac users with Java installed.

For OS X Lion users WITHOUT Java installed, Apple has provided a download of a Flashback malware removal tool.  If Flashback malware is found, a dialog box will appear and let you know that the malware has been removed.

How to create a secure password

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

I know that all of us at Need Mac Help are constantly reminding our users about the importance of backing up, but I also wanted to write a little reminder on the importance of really strong passwords.

Passwords should be LONG — at least 10 characters.

Passwords should be a mix of upper case AND lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

And most importantly, use a UNIQUE password for each account.  For example, you should never use the password for your email that you use for your online banking.  Similarly, you shouldn’t use the same password for your online bank account and your online credit card account(s).

As far as storing all of these passwords, you want to make sure to never keep them in an obvious place, like a Microsoft Word document called “passwords” or something similar.  The Mac OS X has Keychain Access, where you can securely store all your passwords and notes regarding important log in names and other information.

There’s also 1Password, which is a password manager that also has a nifty password generator.  With 1Password, you create a master password under which you store all your other passwords and important information. There’s also an iOS version of 1Password that syncs safely and securely with the desktop version of the application.


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