Security

Apple Pay and security: What you need to know

Yesterday Apple announced Apple Pay, a payment mechanism that will be available on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch. While the convenience of such a feature is tempting, how do we know if we can trust it? To answer this, let's take a look at what we know about Apple Pay's security so far.

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The future of personal security

Apple is responding to security concerns raised by many this past week as a result of massive release of stolen celebrity photos. While this is a good move by Apple that will increase security for users, it's important to understand what these changes do and don't mean for us.

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iCloud security and personal responsibility

iCloud may not have been hacked but iCloud accounts are hackable. So are other online accounts. Why? Security is at constant war with convenience. Absolute security makes our data inaccessible to everyone, including us. Absolute convenience makes our data easily available to everyone, including those who would use it to harm us. The key to a workable system is balance, where a range of options are afforded and we choose and use them in a way that's best for us. That includes Apple giving us the options we need and making them as understandable as possible, and it includes us taking the time to understand them and implement them as best as we can. So what can we all do better?

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Tim Cook says Apple will bolster security alerts, broaden 2-step verification, increase awareness

Following last weekend's celebrity photo data theft, Apple's CEO, Tim Cook has spoken out about what can be done to better increase the security and protect the privacy of their customers. The steps include sending notifications for account changes, backup restores, and new device logins; broadening the deployment of two-step verification; and to ramp up efforts to educate customers about the dangers of social engineering and phishing attacks, and the importance of strong passwords. The latter of those steps was emphasized when Cook reaffirmed that iCloud servers hadn't been hacked, the individual accounts were hacked.

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Best password manager apps for iPhone and iPad

The best password manager apps for iPhone and iPad to help you create strong passwords, keep them secure, and use them when you need them!

On the hunt for the best iPhone apps and best iPad apps to help you create, store, and manage all your passwords and logins? Passwords are what keep our stuff safe, from our iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads, and Macs, to the iCloud, Google, Dropbox, Facebook, and Twitter accounts we use on them. Long, strong, unique passwords are absolutely necessary these days to protect ourselves from data theft. However, they're impossible for the human mind to remember. That's why we need password managers. With a password manager you can generate, save, and fill long, strong, unique password for every site and service you use.

You can also use them to fill "security question" fields with additional strong, unique passwords so your security isn't compromised by easy-to-guess answers, and even generate email addresses that aren't easily guessable.

And coming soon, with iOS 8 and the Touch ID API, you'll even be able to enter them with the press of a finger.

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Apple 'actively investigating' alleged celebrity iCloud account hacks

Yesterday a massive theft of photo data from celebrities made its way onto the internet. iCloud was named as the source of the data, though no information was provided as to how it was exploited. Regardless, it made headlines. Apple is aware and investigating.

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Massive celebrity nude photo theft and how you can protect yourself

Last night a massive amount of nude celebrity photos were posted onto the internet. To be clear, these weren't "leaks". These were crimes. They were thefts and illegal distributions and worse — violations of privacy and dignity. Dispassionately, it should absolutely be treated like credit card or banking or any other information being stolen. Passionately, we only need to imagine they were photos of us or our loved ones to put it in the proper human context. So, what happened, who can we trust, and how can we protect ourselves?

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How to better protect your iPhone and iPad against hacks and other security and privacy risks

Security and convenience are perpetually at war. There will always be errors, compromises, and oversights that put our privacy at risk. Old ones will get fixed but new ones will get discovered. So what can we do? Luckily, while some of the conveniences of iOS and OS X make our devices easier to use, there are also ways to remove those conveniences and make our devices even more secure. If your privacy is worth more to you than ease of use, here's how you can better lock down your iPhone and/or iPad, and any Mac it might connect to.

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How to make sure iTunes and the App Store always ask for a password with parental controls for iPhone and iPad

Parental Controls, also known as Restrictions, let you manage which features, apps, and content your kids can and can't access on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. That includes changing the default 15-minute window for password requests on the App Store and iTunes Store. Originally intended as a convenience for adults who wanted to buy several apps, games, songs, movies, or TV shows at once, the window also let kids buy extra apps and in-app purchases after their parents entered the password. So, Apple now lets you change the password interval to immediate, so each and every in-store and in-app purchase requires it before it'll start the download.

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Facebook acquires PrivateCore, aims to better secure your data on its servers

Facebook, the world's biggest social network, is buying online security company PrivateCore for an undisclosed amount of money. It's almost certainly not Instagram or Oculus levels of cash, never mind the tens of billions thrown at Whatsapp, but it will, apparently, help Facebook secure all of the data — the personal, private social data that all of us who use Facebook choose to share with them — on its servers.

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