Security

How to open apps from an unidentified developer in Yosemite

Mac OS X has a couple of great safeguards in place to prevent you from accidentally running malicious applications that might infect or otherwise damage your computer. But that can occasionally also prevent perfectly legitimate applications from running.

Here's how to keep your computer safe and also have the option to open certain software on a case-by-case basis.

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Apple entering era of security fear-mongering... from security vendors

Apple is "entering a whack-a-mole era" when it comes to enterprise security, according to Marble Security, a company that — wait for it! — wants to sell enterprise on additional security products. Sadly, their marketing-masquerading-as-threat-assessment is being passed along as reporting, and that does a profound disservice to people who need to be informed and empowered, not manipulated and scared. So, what's really going on with Apple and security?

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How Apple keeps AirDrop files private and secure

AirDrop, part of Apple's Continuity features, makes it easy to share files between your iPhone, iPad, and/or Mac. It's especially useful for files that are larger than Messages or Mail can comfortably handle, and for situations where you want to transfer directly, without any information going over the internet. You have to be within range of Bluetooth Low Energy (BT LE), and have Wi-Fi enabled to handle the actual data, but when you do, AirDrop makes it simple and easy to share any file from OS X, and almost anything that can call up a Share Sheet on iOS. Best of all, AirDrop keeps your files private and secure.

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How Apple keeps your SMS/MMS and call relays private and secure

With Continuity you can relay your SMS/MMS and calls from your iPhone to your iPad or Mac. That means, if your iPhone isn't close by, you don't have to go running for it just to take or make a text or call. As long as you have an iPhone and are logged into the same Apple ID on all your devices, you can do both right from your iPad and iPad. It's not only easy to do, it's private and secure.

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No, Apple doesn't need to 'open up' to malware fear-mongers

Earlier this week the CEO of an anti-virus company wrote a "guest editorial" on a popular technology website, saying it was time for Apple to "open up" and — wait for it — allow anti-virus software on the iPhone and iPad. The premise is self-serving and the headline spit-take inducing, and it's absolutely not worth rewarding negative attention seeking with attention. However, it is important to address the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) the "guest editorial" is trying to spread.

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How to stop iCloud Keychain from storing passwords or credit cards in Safari

iCloud Keychain lets you store passwords and credit cards for all your different logins rather easily. While you can always disable iCloud keychain altogether, you can also disable password and credit card saving not only individually, but on a per-device basis, and only for Safari. Perhaps you have an iPad that's used by other people in your home. You may want iCloud Keychain access but don't want Safari saving every single password or credit card number entered on that specific device. Luckily, you can pretty easily do just that!

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How Apple keeps your Handoff data private and secure

Handoff is part of Continuity, which is designed to make iPhones, iPads, and Macs work together more quickly, easily, and seamlessly than ever before. Rather than putting the same interface across all their devices, or making the web the center of the universe, Handoff is keeping things personal. Devices have to be logged into your Apple ID. You have to be within Bluetooth Low Energy (BT LE) proximity. And instead of automatically pushing your data out, Handoff waits for you to elect to use it. That all makes it private, but what makes it secure?

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Tech giants rally together to curb NSA spying

A number of big-name tech companies are teaming up to lobby the Senate to pass legislation that would limit the reach of the NSA's spying activities, Bloomberg reported today. The coalition of tech giants includes the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft, among others.

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'Masque attack': Don't panic but do pay attention

"Masque Attack" is the new name—given by security firm FireEye—to an old trick intended to fool you into installing malicious apps on your iPhone or iPad. Most recently detailed by security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski, tricks like Masque Attack won't affect most people, but it's worth understanding how it works and, in the event you are targeted, how to avoid it.

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Apple is working on a fix for Rootpipe, but here's why most of us aren't at risk anyway

Apple has confirmed to iMore that they're working on a fix for Rootpipe, an OS X exploit that's gotten a lot of attention recently. Rootpipe doesn't seem much different than other security bugs that are routinely discovered, disclosed, and dealt with during the normal course of Mac updates. So, what's going on?

A privilege escalation bug, Rootpipe can allow someone to gain 'root' access to your Mac. In other words, almost unlimited power over everything and anything on the computer.

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