Archive for June 8, 2017

Apple To Force Users To Two Factor Authentication & Away From Two Step Verification

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 8, 2017 by itnerd

Later this year when iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra hits the streets, you may notice one significant change the second you install those operating systems. You will likely be moved away from Two Step Verification and be forced to use the more secure Two Factor Authentication. This surfaced in the World Wide Developer conference this past week and is documented here.

Now you’re likely wondering what the difference is. I’ll quote the article that I linked to for the key differences:

There are a couple of differences between Apple’s two-step verification and its 2FA system. The main difference is that with the older service, users are given a recovery key that they need to keep in case they have to reset their password. That’s not required for 2FA.

“Because your password alone is no longer enough to access your account, two-factor authentication dramatically improves the security of your Apple ID and all the personal information you store with Apple,” the company’s explanation says.

“Once signed in, you won’t be asked for a verification code on that device again unless you sign out completely, erase the device, or need to change your password for security reasons. When you sign in on the web, you can choose to trust your browser, so you won’t be asked for a verification code the next time you sign in from that computer.”

So, how do you know which one you have? If you log into an Apple service, say iCloud for example, and you get a notification or text message with a code for you to enter, you have Two Step Verification. If however you get a pop up informing you that someone from a specific location is trying to access an Apple service with your Apple ID, then you have Two Factor Authentication. You want to be on the latter. But if you’re on the former, here’s how you can switch over now. First you need to turn off Two Step Verification:

  1. Go to applied.apple.com
  2. Type in your Apple ID and password and log in.
  3. Click Edit at the far-right of the Security section.
  4. Click on Turn off two-step verification.

Now turning on Two Factor Authentication is a bit more involved. Apple has a very good guide that will walk you through the process. Even though you’ll be automatically upgraded to Two Factor Authentication when you install iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, I’d upgrade now to ensure that you are as secure as possible with your existing operating systems on your whatever Apple devices that you have.

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Review: Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA

Posted in Products with tags on June 8, 2017 by itnerd

Not everyone needs a Windows tablet or laptop. For some would be best served with a Google Chromebook. The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA is an example of such a Chromebook, and it has a fair amount going for it.

Now for a very long time, Chromebooks were largely used in education. Pardon the pun, but the Asus Chromebook Flip is going to flip the script on that. First of all, it’s quick by Chromebook standards. Nothing I did could bring it to its knees and you can thank an Intel processor and 4GB of RAM for that. In terms of storage, you get 64GB of storage which doesn’t sound like a lot. But it is by Chromebook standards.

Second, it’s all bundled up in a very classy and good looking package. For starters, all of this Chromebook goodness is in a thin aluminum body that feels solid and of high quality. In fact, it almost feels like something from 1 Infinite Loop. There’s a 12.5 inch screen with a max resolution of 2400 x 1350. My mid 40’s eyes found that to be too high a resolution, but you may not find it so bad. Regardless, the screen is sharp. Though I will note that it does get washed out when you’re outside in bright sunlight and sometimes in bright indoor lighting situations. You also get a full sized keyboard which is excellent to type on because it has long key travel. It’s also backlit and has a decent sized trackpad. Connectivity comes in the form of a pair of USB-C ports (which of course do double duty for charging purposes) and there’s a MicroSD card in the mix as well. A headphone jack is also included and you’ll need them as the speakers aren’t exactly the loudest. Battery life is good. Ten hours is what I managed to get out of this Chromebook which is what I look for in any portable device of this type.

The one thing that the Asus Chromebook Flip has going for it is that you can “flip” it and turn it into a tablet. To get to that mode, you just rotate the screen on its hinges. There’s also a magnet to make sure that it stays in tablet mode. It’s a cool and well designed feature that sets it apart from its competition.

Now in terms of pricing, the unit that I had goes for about $700 dollars Canadian. But Asus has models that start at under $600. If you’re in the market for a Chromebook, take a good look at the Asus Chromebook Flip.

 

 

MacSales.com Announces OWC Memory Upgrade Kits For 2017 iMac 27″ Models

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 8, 2017 by itnerd
MacSales.comhas announced the availability of new OWC Memory Upgrade Kits, with up to 64GB of memory for the 2017 Apple iMac 27” with Retina 5K display introduced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose. OWC 2400Mhz DDR4 memory, compatible with the new iMac, is available now at www.macsales.com and will begin shipping to customers immediately. The new iMac delivers visual effects and 3D graphics allowing the editing of multi-cam projects in Final Cut Pro X, with up to five streams of 4K video. Macsales.com offers the memory that allows the iMac to be utilized to maximum potential.

New iMac owners seeking to upgrade their RAM can select the 32GB OWC memory upgrade from MacSales.com and save $320 over factory cost.  Owners can max-out their RAM with the 64GB OWC memory upgrade and save an incredible $820 over factory cost. For further savings, iMac with Retina 5K display owners can trade-in their factory memory modules.

Easy Upgrades for Your iMac

As with the original iMac model, a memory access panel on the rear of the newly announced iMac ejects via a simple push button located above the power input. Adding more memory is fast and simply, and involves installing new modules into the memory slots and reinstalling the access panel. Mac performance experts recommend selecting the least amount of factory installed RAM when ordering any user-upgradeable iMac, taking advantage of significant cost savings by choosing OWC memory.  A wide selection of helpful FREE installation videos can be found at https://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/.

Memory Upgrade Options for 2017 27″ iMac 

All OWC Memory Options include a Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty:

  • 4GB Module – OWC2400DDR4S4GB $49.99
  • 8GB Module – OWC2400DDR4S8GB $79.99
  • 16GB Module – OWC2400DDR4S16G $149.99
  • 8GB Kit (4GB x 2 Matched Pair/Set) OWC2400DDR4S08P $79.99
    • Add to factory 8GB for 16GB Total, Save $120 (58%) vs. factory 8GB option ($200 to go from 8GB to 16GB)
  • 16GB Kit (8GB x 2 Matched Pair/Set) OWC2400DDR4S16P $149.99
    • Add to Factory 8GB for 24GB total, Get 50% More Memory + still save $50 (25%) vs. factory 16GB option
  • 32GB Kit (8GB x 4 Matched Pair/Set) OWC2400DDR4S32S $279.99
    • Save $320 (over 53%) vs. factory option ($600 to go from 8GB to 32GB)
    • Keep or trade in factory 8GB for additional savings
  • 32GB Kit (16GB x 2 Matched Pair/Set) OWC2400DDR4S32P $299.99
    • Add to factory 8GB for 40GB total
    • Maximize memory value and capacity
  • 64GB Kit (16GB x 4 Matched Pair/Set) OWC2400DDR4S64S $579.99
    • Save $820 (over 58%) vs. factory option ($1,400 to go from 8GB to 64GB)
    • Keep or trade in factory 8GB for additional savings

See all memory options available for all Apple iMac models in the iMac Memory Guide.

New Study Reveals Vacationers Just Can’t Unplug: McAfee

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 8, 2017 by itnerd
With summer vacations approaching, savvy cybercriminals have learned how to capitalize on unsuspecting travellers trying to relax and still check on loved ones back at home. For peace of mind and to protect your personal data, consumers need to understand how to identify potential security risks and stay secure while on summer travel.
A new study by McAfee, Digital Detox: Unwind, Relax and Unplug , reveals the digital behaviours of travellers that may open them up to security risks. The survey found that despite the benefits experienced from unplugging, most individuals prefer to stay connected.

Tips for staying secure while travelling:
  • Install security software to stay clear of viruses and malware.
  • Keep your devices updated. The first line of defense for your devices is you.
  • Browse securely. Avoid public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
‘Key findings’ or ‘survey highlights’:
  • Only 43 per cent of survey respondents went on vacation in the last year with the intent to unplug.
  • 52 per cent indicated they spend at least an hour a day on vacation using their connected devices.
  • Despite their willingness to unplug, 52 per cent of individuals in their 20s reported they experienced anxiety because of unplugging compared to 37 per cent of people in their 40s.
  • 58 per cent of respondents know how to check if a Wi-Fi network is secured and safe to use; despite this knowledge less than half (49 per cent) take the time to ensure their connection is secured.

For more information on tips for vacationers to stay secure while on the road, check out the blog post here from Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist.

Linksys Announces New AC4000 Wireless Router

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 8, 2017 by itnerd

Linksys has announced, it is shipping its new 802.11ac Tri-Band MU-MIMO Router. The Linksys Max-Stream EA9300 is an AC4000 MU-MIMO Tri-Band router delivering wireless speeds up to 4Gbps for simultaneous downloading, streaming, gaming and surfing. Offering MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output), the next generation Wi-Fi 802.11ac Wave 2 technology, helps improve overall performance and efficiency of a Wi-Fi network while providing dedicated bandwidth to MU-MIMO capable client devices as if they have their own dedicated router.

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Linksys Max-Stream AC4000 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Router (EA9300)

The Linksys Max-Stream AC4000 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Router is outfitted with Next Gen AC Wi-Fi technologies such as Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) and Tri-Band that work in concert to deliver powerful Wi-Fi at the same time and same speed to multiple connected devices including TVs, gaming consoles, wireless printers, laptops plus others at combined speeds up to 4 Gbps. The Linksys Max-Stream AC4000 provides easy setup options to get a home office up and running quickly along with the exclusive Linksys app that provides added control of the EA9300 Wi-Fi Router from anywhere at any time using a mobile device. The Max-Stream EA9300 Wi-Fi Router also features a robust set of advanced offerings:

  • Tri-Band AC4000 (3x3x3) – Up to 4 Gbps Max combined – 2x 1625 Gbps (5GHz) + 750 Mbps (2.4GHz)
  • MU-MIMO 802.11AC Wave 2 technology for simultaneous 4K Streaming on multiple devices at the same time
  • Quad-Core 1.8GHz CPU with three offload processors provide the fastest processing speed
  • Airtime Fairness – Allows faster devices to have more airtime than slower devices
  • Auto Firmware Updates – Linksys automatically pushes the software update to the router overnight and seamlessly brings the latest features and security to a home network
  • Amazon Alexa support – Three new skills including turning guest access on and off, obtaining guest Wi-Fi credentials, as well as getting main network credentials read back to the user.
  • Linksys App lets users monitor and control their home Wi-Fi from anywhere on their mobile device
  • SmartConnect Band Steering – Band steering balances your 5GHz Wi-Fi connections and intelligently choose the best radio band for your devices for the best Wi-Fi performance on your network
  • Seamless Roaming± – Technology provides Room-to-Room Wi-Fi with one network name when paired with a Max-Stream Range Extender (RE7000)
  • Active Antennas – Six active high performance antennas with 9x High Power Amplifiers help to provide optimal coverage and maximum signal strength
  • Gigabit Ports – Five Gigabit Ethernet ports (4 LAN + 1 WAN)
  • USB 3.0 Port – Connect shared network storage devices and printers
  • Network Security – SPI Firewall and DoS Protection provide the best in class network security

Upcoming features (via automatic firmware update)

  • Dual WAN – Dual WAN can aggregate the bandwidths of two WAN connections to achieve a higher Internet bandwidth greater than 1Gbps
  • Link Aggregation – Supports up to 2Gbps for file transfer
  • Advanced Band Steering – Auto select the most appropriate band between 2.4 and 5Ghz for client devices to achieve the best Wi-Fi performance
  • DFS Channels Support – DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) will provide up to four times more channels within the 5GHz band helping to improve the internet speed with less traffic congestion. This feature can help users  achieve true lag free 4K content streaming
  • OpenVPN Server– VPN feature allows users too remotely and securely access resources shared within their home local area network

The Linksys AC4000 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Router (EA9300) is available immediately at select retailers nationwide for an MSRP of $379.99 CAD.

BlackBerry Uses Tech To Protect Vulnerable Persons

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 8, 2017 by itnerd

BlackBerry COO Marty Beard has a blog post that everyone, but specifically Canadians  should read. It discusses the company’s new Vulnerable Persons Project. In short, BlackBerry joined the Vulnerable Persons Project and worked with the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) and with enterprise partners such as Forrest Green to implement the technology required for both socioeconomic growth and the protection of vulnerable people within Indigenous communities. It’s a very eye opening read and one that is worth your time and attention.

The blog post can be found here and there’s also a podcast available at the link that is also worth your time and attention.