Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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Mighty Mouse as Application Switcher

Looking for an easier way to switch between multiple applications? Within Keyboard and Mouse Preferences under System Preferences, you can configure the scroll wheel to act as an Application Switcher. Press the scroll button to bring up Application Switcher, scroll to toggle to the application you want, and hit the scroll button again to switch. You can also double-click the scroll button to quickly switch to the previously active application.

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Opener's Existence Encourages Password Care

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Opener's Existence Encourages Password Care -- Over the last few days, news of a malicious shell script known as "Opener" has appeared on MacInTouch, and several news organizations picking up the report have incorrectly started calling it a virus. It's not a virus, and frankly, it's not even that big of a concern. Opener is a shell script that, if installed and activated on a Mac, turns on file sharing and remote login, disables the firewall, extracts passwords, creates an admin-level user, installs a password sniffer, and more. That sounds bad, but Opener can't do any of these things unless someone with an administrator password or physical access to the Mac installs and runs it. More to the point, if someone has your administrator password or physical access to your Mac, Opener is just one of many possible worries.

<http://www.macintouch.com/opener.html>

So, unpleasant though it is, Opener doesn't really change much about maintaining a secure Mac. Make sure to install Apple's security updates as they're released, since some plug holes that could allow the necessary root access for a cracker. Be sure your administrator password can't be guessed easily. And most important, never enter your administrator password when prompted unless you know why it is being requested and trust the source of the request (a Trojan Horse carrying Opener could be extremely dangerous). In my mind, this is Apple's largest mistake with security; I'm prompted for my administrator password so often that it's easy to enter it reflexively, without considering who's asking and why. [ACE]

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>