When upgrading to a new version of macOS, we err on the side of caution, at least in our recommendations. (We’ve been using macOS 13 Ventura for some time now and often install beta releases on secondary machines for testing purposes.) Upgrading is easy, but if you upgrade too soon, the new macOS version could make key apps inoperable, create workflow interruptions, or cause other negative consequences. On the other hand, waiting too long can cause problems—it’s important to stay in sight of the cutting edge for security reasons and to take advantage of Apple’s advances. Upgrading is not an if question; it’s a when question.Read More
When you search using Spotlight on the Mac, it provides a decent amount of information about each result, including name and other metadata. But what if you want to see what’s behind the search result? In macOS 13 Ventura, Apple added Quick Look support to Spotlight so you can easily preview the search results. Do a search, click or use the arrow keys to select a search result, and then press the Space bar to open it in a Quick Look window. It even renders websites!
(Featured image based on an original by iStock.com/Nastco)
Apple makes it easy to share contact cards on the iPhone or iPad—just scroll down in a contact and tap Share Contact. But what if you don’t want to share every piece of data on that card? To avoid oversharing in iOS 16 or iPadOS 16, tap Filter Fields at the top of the Share sheet and deselect the private items. If the card has a lot of data and you want to share only a few items, tap Deselect All Fields at the bottom of the sheet and select only what you want to share. Unfortunately, your selections aren’t remembered if you share the same card again later, so be sure to reset your selections each time you share.
(Featured image by iStock.com/diane39)
Every year at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, Apple previews planned features in the upcoming versions of macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. However, not all of those features are necessarily ready for the initial releases of those operating systems. In part, that’s because iOS must ship in sync with the latest iPhone models that Apple releases in September, whereas iPadOS and macOS often come out later. Even then, some of Apple’s promised features may not be ready for public consumption until the .1 or .2 updates.
Just before the holidays, Apple released a full set of updates, including iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, macOS 13.1 Ventura, watchOS 9.2, and tvOS 16.2. Between those updates and the ones immediately preceding them, Apple has now delivered on all of its 2022 promises.Read More
Password management company LastPass has announced that it suffered a security breach in which attackers stole both encrypted customer account data (which is bad) and customer vaults containing encrypted usernames and passwords (which is much, much worse). On the positive side, the data of users who abided by LastPass’s defaults and created master passwords of at least 12 characters in length will likely resist cracking attempts.
For those who don’t use LastPass, we also discuss ways your organization can improve its online security by learning from LastPass’s mistakes and misfortunes.
According to LastPass, the breach started in August 2022 when an attacker compromised a developer’s account. The attacker then leveraged information and credentials from that initial breach to target another LastPass employee’s account, where they were able to steal data from cloud-based storage that LastPass used for backup.
The main lesson here is that a dedicated attacker will probe all points of access into a company’s digital infrastructure—everyone must be mindful of security at all times. It also seems that LastPass may have been paying more attention to its on-premises production systems than its cloud-based backup storage. Any organization can learn from that error—if backups contain sensitive data, they should be equally protected.Read More
We aren’t quite ready to recommend that everyone upgrade to macOS 13 Ventura, but if you use Microsoft Office with macOS 10.15 Catalina, you should start planning for an upgrade. Microsoft has announced that current versions of its productivity suite—Office for Mac 2019, Office for Mac 2021, and Microsoft 365—will receive updates only if your Mac is running macOS 11 Big Sur, macOS 12 Monterey, or macOS 13 Ventura. If you keep using Catalina, your Office apps will continue to work, but they won’t receive enhancements, bug fixes, or security updates past October’s 16.66 updates. Contact us if you have questions about appropriate upgrade paths.
(Featured image based on an original by iStock.com/jewhyte)
We’ve recently worked with a few clients who were paying too much for their Internet or mobile service. Internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile carriers occasionally adjust their service plans to account for new technologies, economies of scale, changing competitive landscapes, and marketing efforts. Sometimes they’ll increase speeds or capabilities across the board, but more often, when they debut new plans, current customers are grandfathered into their existing plans, often without notification. Upgrading to a new, better plan is usually simple—first, check the plan details on your ISP’s or mobile carrier’s website. Then, if they look better or cheaper—or if you don’t remember what service levels you should be getting—call the company’s support line and ask if switching plans would be beneficial. Beware that they may try to upsell you on a more expensive plan, so agree to switch only if you’ll end up paying less or getting significantly more. Remember, more speed isn’t necessarily worthwhile—most people won’t notice the difference between 250 Mbps and 1 Gbps, for instance. Also be careful of the length of contract you are signing up to. Most ISP’s are locking you into 24 month contact. As a Zen Internet Partner we help our customers get the best deal that suits their actual needs.
(Featured image by Adam Engst)
Spam remains one of the scourges of the Internet, although spam filters do a pretty good job of keeping most of it out of email inboxes. However, those spam filters can cause deliverability problems for organisations that send email for marketing or customer outreach. One way that happens is if the IP address—the unique numeric address of every computer on the Internet—of the server that sends your organisation’s email lands on a blocklist.Read More
We’ve had decades to get used to organising computer files, but it’s still hard for many people. Part of the problem is imagining how you—or your colleagues, if you’re in a workgroup—will need to find the files in the future. Another part of the problem is mustering enthusiasm for renaming and reorganising existing files to match an improved approach. Let’s see if we can help!Read More
Back in 2017, when Apple added the notch to the iPhone X for Face ID, the resulting loss of usable screen real estate caused the company to remove the battery percentage indicator from the status area. Since then, you’ve only been able to estimate how much battery life you had left from the icon; you had to open Control Center to see the numeric percentage. In iOS 16, however, Apple has revived the battery percentage indicator for Face ID iPhones, building it into the battery icon itself so it doesn’t occupy more of the status bar. Unfortunately, it’s not available on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini, or iPhone 13 mini, perhaps due to a lack of sufficient screen resolution. Everyone else can enable it in Settings > Battery.
(Featured image by Adam Engst)