Bad guys listening in? Take steps to avoid public Wi-Fi snooping

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader H. Thomas Staton would like his laptop to be as secure as possible while he’s on the road. He writes:

What is the best way to secure my MacBook Pro from hackers when I’m logged into public Wi-Fi?

There are a few measures you can take. Let’s start with over-sharing.

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Stop that ringing! How to prevent the iPhone from forwarding calls

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Graham Lee’s iPhone is making its presence a little too well known. He writes:

I’m running iOS 8 on my iPhone along with a couple of iPads and an iPod touch. I also have Yosemite on my Mac. At first I was impressed by the feature that lets my iPhone ring through to my other devices, but now when I receive a call, the whole house fills with ringtones and my work is interrupted when it happens. Is there anything I can do to shut up some of these devices?

Certainly. If you want to stop forwarding entirely, you can do so by tapping Settings on your iPhone, tapping FaceTime, and then flicking the iPhone Cellular Calls switch to off. You can always enable it again later if you want the feature back.

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The case of the mysteriously sleeping MacBook

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader John Greeves believes he has a stumper in regard to a mysteriously sleeping laptop. He writes:

This is a weird one but I’ve run out of ideas. My MacBook Air works perfectly until I put it on the subwoofer that sits next to my desk. When I do that, the screen blacks out and I can’t start it again. But if I lift it off the speaker and press a key, the screen lights up. This doesn’t happen anywhere else I put the computer. Do you have any idea what’s going on?

I think I do. Like all the best things in life, it’s done with magnets. A little background:

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How to restore a missing recovery partition

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Kai Peterson installed a copy of Yosemite but seems to be missing something. He writes:

I installed a clean copy of Yosemite on an external hard drive, which I cloned to another Mac using the demo of Carbon Copy Cloner. When trying to troubleshoot something on that Mac I discovered that it had no recovery partition. Is there any way I can create one?

There is. Before I walk through it I should tell you that this is expected behavior. When Carbon Copy Cloner 4 clones a bootable drive to another drive, it doesn’t create a recovery partition in the same way that the OS X installer does. Instead, it creates an archive of it and places the archive here: /Library/Application Support/com.bombich.ccc.

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Finder labels too subtle? Create garish folder icons instead

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Ingrid Sorenson finds some elements of OS X a little too subtle. She writes:

In the past I used to assign labels to folders so that I could more easily find them in long list views and on the desktop. Now that OS X uses colored dots instead of coloring entire folders I have a lot of trouble finding labeled items. Is there anything you can think of that will help my folders stand out?

Yes. I’d suggest changing the icon on the folders that you want to easily identify. Like so.

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Photo Stream how-to: Delete once, remove all copies

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Reader Bengt Hamsten needs a little extra help understanding the whys and wherefores of Photo Stream. He writes:

When I take a picture with my new iPhone 6, a copy immediately lands on my other iPhone 5, my iPad, my MacBook Pro, and my iMac. But if I want to delete that picture, I must delete it separately on all five devices. How can I delete a picture on all devices with one action?

The short answer: Be patient.

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'IT's locked me out!' Dealing with mandated password change

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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A reader who wishes to remain anonymous has a bone to pick with corporate IT. He writes:

My company forces us to change our email password every three months. I suppose this makes us more secure but it’s really inconvenient for me because sometimes I forget to change the password on one of my devices, that device tries to get my work email, the company’s system locks me out when it receives too many instances of the wrong password, and then I have to reset my password and start all over again. Can you recommend a technique that will prevent this from happening?

Depending on how open your IT department is to new ideas, you might forward them a copy of Microsoft’s So Long, And No Thanks for the Externalities: The Rational Rejection of Security Advice by Users. It and other security studies suggest that the “best practice” of changing passwords every couple of months has outlived its usefulness. Not only are attacks more varied and swift than when these policies were put in place, but it often causes users the kind of frustration that leads to greater security lapses (taping their new password to the monitor or simply creating a single-character variation from the old password, for example).

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