Stay Secure: Why and How to Go Paperless This Tax Season

About four years ago, I moved from France to the UK. Moving to another country is complex, and expensive; you need to cart a lot of stuff with you. Preparing for the move, I tried to slim down my possessions in many ways and examined the many items that filled my shelves. One thing stood out: I had about 10 linear feet of records for my business.

This pile of records were printouts of accounting documents, invoices and expense receipts, and printouts of tax forms. While this was only a drop in the bucket compared to all the stuff that would eventually fill a moving truck, it seemed like a good time to get rid of those documents and go paperless.

Going paperless is a good way to cut down on clutter, and it can help keep things more organized and more secure. As you can imagine, going from all or mostly paper to paperless can certainly appear as a daunting task–but with the right tools and know-how, it can be done! Are you ready to go paperless?

This post covers how you too can keep all your records in digital form, and outlines the advantages of going paperless and how to securely store and archive your documents.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

While you’re at it, you might want to check out Intego’s Mac Security software. Buy now and get 40% off with the coupon code KIRKVILLE40.

4 Types of Backup Hard Drives for Mac

Backups are a lot like insurance: it’s imperative to have it, and you hope you never have to use it. Likewise, if you need to use a backup hard drive to restore your data, it can save you hours of time, money and headaches. We often remind you how important it is to back up your files, but it’s not just the backup that matters. The media you use to store your data is critical!

There are different types of backup hard drives available for Mac. You can use external hard drives connected to your Mac, portable hard drives that you connect when needed, or network devices. You have lots of choice, but each of these devices works best in specific situations. So how can you tell which type of hard drive is best for you?

Choosing a hard drive to back up your data can be a quest in and of itself. This post highlights the different types of hard drives for Mac that you can use, and how to choose the best backup hardware for your needs.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

My Voice Is My Password

My bank here in the UK recently rolled out Voice ID, a system whereby you train their server with your voice, saying “My voice is my password” several times. I set this up yesterday for telephone banking, and went to try it out today.

It failed.

I instructed the bank to turn this off, and I won’t every bother to use it again. If a new technology fails the first time, there’s no reason to continue using it.

This is the problem with new technologies that don’t work optimally. My experience with Siri on iOS is so abysmal that I don’t even think of using it. My attempt to use Apple’s two-factor authentication led to much distress.

New, shiny technologies are cool, and look good in presentations, but they don’t always work in the real world. If they fail once, they’re dead forever for that user. You only get one try.

11 tips for protecting your privacy and digital security in the age of Trump – Freedom of the Press Foundation

As of January 20, Donald Trump is the president of the United States, which has prompted deep concerns from many over the constraints his administration may place on our ability to connect, express, and spread information safely.


Below, we present eleven digital security tips you can implement today to help you better protect yourself, your fellow journalists, and your sources when communicating on your phone or computer.

Some excellent tips in this article, which is written for journalists, but it’s missing the most important one. Turn off Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad. The authorities can forcefully apply your thumb or fingers to the device’s home button, but they can’t force you to enter your passcode. Choose a passcode at least six digits long, but you can also set a long passcode, using any characters (i.e., not just digits).


Source: 11 tips for protecting your privacy and digital security in the age of Trump

Beware Amazon “Thanks” Gift Card Scam

My partner got an email this morning from “” that looks like this:

Amazon scam

I guess if you really spend a lot on Amazon (she doesn’t; I order almost everything we buy), you might think that Amazon would reward you for your business.

Think again. This is just another one of those scams that tries to get you to give up your credentials. You can see this on a Mac by hovering your cursor over the link:

Amazon scam link

I’ve blurred the URL to not implicate the poor company whose website was compromised and is now being used to fleece people… But you can see that it’s not Amazon.

On an iOS device, tap and hold the link to see the URL:

Amazon scam link ios

This is an old technique, but at this time of year, you might fall for it. Be forewarned.

8 Things to Do Right Now if You’ve Been Hacked

You wake up in the morning and you read the news: Another major website or cloud service has been hacked. You yawn, make a cup of coffee, and then all of a sudden realize that you have an account there. Your email, photos, and personal data are now at risk. What do you do?

Unfortunately, data breaches are a common occurrence. From the recent revelation that 500 million Yahoo user accounts were hacked, to the illegal distribution of Jennifer Lawrence’s photos that had been stolen from her iCloud account, this sort of event is no longer a surprise.

In some cases, millions of people are hacked — sometimes, you may be a victim. So what do you do if this happens to you? Here are eight things you should do right away.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

iOS 10 Security and Privacy Features Explained

It’s September, and that means it’s time for an iOS update. Apple’s new iOS 10 comes with a whole range of new features to make your iPhone and iPad more efficient, more productive, and more fun. But don’t forget about your security and privacy: your iOS device contains your entire digital life, and you need to ensure that it’s protected.

iOS 10 is compatible with the following devices:

  • iPhone 5 through the new iPhone 7, including the iPhone SE.
  • iPad 4th generation, iPad Air and iPad Air 2, both iPad Pro models, and the iPad mini 2, 3, and 4.
  • iPod touch 6th generation.

If you’re getting ready to update, or even if you already updated, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes and have a look at the many security and privacy features iOS 10 offers. Some of these have been around for years, and some are brand new.

Read the rest of the articcle on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Securely Use Public School Computers

For students and teachers, it’s that time again. Time to head back to school and get back into that routine of classes, homework, and, perhaps some relaxation. School can be stressful, and it’s best to make sure that you don’t get bothered by little problems so you have time to focus on your studies.

As part of your schoolwork, you may use computers in your school’s or college’s library or computer lab. This means you won’t be the only one using any specific computer; anyone can sit down in front of it, log in, and start working on it. And if you’re not careful, the person who uses the computer just after you may be able to access some of your sensitive personal data. Here are some tips to securely use a computer at school.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Does dropping malicious USB sticks really work? Yes, worryingly well… – The State of Security

Good samaritans and skinflints beware!

Plugging in that USB stick you found lying around on the street outside your office could lead to a security breach.

This is no secret, of course. We have all (hopefully) been aware of the dangers of inserting an unknown USB device into our computers for some time. Heck, the technique has even made it into the Mr Robot TV series.

But what may not be widely known is just how successful the tactic can be for allowing hackers to compromise your computer systems.

You never know where that USB stick has been.

Source: Does dropping malicious USB sticks really work? Yes, worryingly well…