Up Your Media Apple Web and Tech Blog

Parksville / Qualicum Beach's only Apple Certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT) and Apple Support Professional, Dan LaRocque, posts semi-regular tips and blogs about his day-to-day experiences with Macintosh computer technology, social media, web marketing & design and other technology related developments.

Apple Quick Tips Newsletter Volume VII

logoEmail Webpage Link Or Contents

As with anything Apple, there's always more than one way to skin a cat, or in this case, to email a Safari webpage to a friend. With the webpage open, go to your File menu and choose either the Mail Contents, or Mail Link To This Page. Advanced users might prefer to use the keyboard shortcuts. Alternately, you can customize your Safari Toolbar to show the email toolbar icon

Add Auto-Responder To Your Emails

You can add an auto-responder to your email, so that all incoming emails are automatically responded to with an instant and consistent message. This can be handy when on holiday, or for many other reasons. Go to your Preferences menu in your Mail program and navigate to the Rules panel. Choose 'Add Rule' and give your new rule a name. Select a parameter from the list (ie., sender in address book, subject includes, etc.) choose to reply to message and type in your chosen reply. Apply rule.

Delete Previous Recipients

Your email program will auto-fill the address of any recipient you may have emailed in the past. To edit or delete a previous recipient, navigate to the 'window' menu in your top menu bar, select 'previous recipients' and clean up any addresses you no longer wish to autofill.

mobileChange Email Signature on iPad / iPhone

Your emails don't have to go out with the same old default signature 'Sent from my iPhone'. To customize this line, go the settings icon on your IOS device home screen, choose 'mail, contacts and calendars' and navigate to the signatures tab. Swipe the arrow to the right and input the signature of your choice.

Add Find My iPhone

Every iPhone or iPad user should install and deploy this free app from the App store. Launch the app and sign in using your Apple ID. If you should ever misplace your iPhone, or have it stolen, you can login to iCloud from any other computer and find your device on a map. You can also play a sound on the iPhone to help you locate it, you can lock it and you can even erase it. Keep in mind that the power has to be on for this feature to work, a smarter thief may be able to power the device down to avoid detection.

Add Desktop Shortcut From Your Favourite Website And Change Icon

It's easy to add a shortcut to your favourite website to your desktop, simply open the website in Safari, grab the favicon to the left of the website address in the toolbar, and drag it to your desktop. To change the icon, copy an image you'd like to replace it with, click the icon in your desktop, choose Get Info, and paste the new image onto the old one.

blog4-img3Change Email Profile Picture

Your email goes out with your account profile picture in the top right corner. To change the picture displayed in your mail, go to your Address Book and find your User Card, indicated by the icon shown. Double click on the photo or image displayed, then click Choose to navigate to your iPhoto library and choose a new photo, or through your folders to find another image. You can also use the camera to take a photo using your iSight camera.

Up Your Media Quick Mac Tips Newsletter Volume VI

Manage iPhoto Duplicates with Duplicate Cleaner for iPhoto

This 3rd party application, available for free at your App store, actually works to locate and delete exact iPhoto duplicates. Free up a little disk space and trim down those annoying duplicates.

Create PDFs with the print function.

The easiest way to create a PDF (portable document format - the best format for sharing documents across multiple platforms), open your document in the application where you created it, (safari, pages, word, mail) click print, in the lower left corner of the dialogue box, open the 'pdf' drop-down box and choose 'save as PDF'.

Merge multi-page PDFs with Preview.

Now that you've created your PDF with either the print function, or with your scanner, you can merge multiple one page documents into single documents with multiple pages. Use preview to open both documents, choose the View menu and select 'show sidebar'. Drag the document's icon from the sidebar directly over top of the second document's icon and save the new multiple page document.

Email link from Safari

This one's easy. When browsing in Safari, you can mail the contents of your page by going to your file menu and choosing 'mail contents of this page.' or 'mail link to this page'.

Capitalize with Pages

You can transform your Pages documents to All Caps, Small Caps or none, using the Format > Font > Capitalization feature in the Format drop down menu.

Passwords and Security for Macs and for Mail

It’s a common perception that Macintosh computers are immune to viruses and malware, but technically, that’s not quite true. Despite Apple’s more secure UNIX based operating system, any computer is susceptible to attacks from unscrupulous programmers. However, in 20 years of using Macs online on a daily professional basis, I’ve yet to hear first hand of any successful, debilitating mass attack. To this day, the only reason I have an antivirus software on my computer, is because I was asked by a client to test it. I check it every 2 weeks or so, with no reported attacks.

Email is another issue that can be problematic from a security standpoint, particularly webmail services, such as Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail. Hotmail is probably one of the most hacked email services out there, and you’ve probably gotten emails in the past year from ‘friends’ whose accounts have been compromised, and who have unwittingly spammed their entire contacts list. Your best defense against such potentially harmful hacking is to change your password to something more secure, and change it again every few months.

When I say a more ‘secure’ password, that means that it should not be a common word, or string of numbers. According to the New York Times, the most common passwords out there are ‘12345’, followed (logically) by ‘123456’, and then, if you can believe it, ‘password’. And if you’re one of the 70% of people I meet whose password is the name of their pet, or their children, don’t worry, there’s help for you.

One trick I use when creating a new password is to substitute certain letters for numerals, ie., if the word contains an ‘O’, I’ll use zero. If it has an ‘E’, I’ll use the number three, and if there’s an ‘I’, I’ll substitute a one. Also, any letter in the word that falls on the top row of the qwerty keyboard, I will capitalize, thus making the password far harder to hack by any online robot. Visually it will look similar to the word I find easy to remember, but it’s far more secure against hackers. For instance, if one of my favourite authors is Farley Mowat, I might have a password that looks like faRl3Y. If my pet’s name is Luther, my password mght look like lUTh3r. It might.

Passwords are probably the most problematic issue for casual users. If I had a nickel for every time I asked a client for their computer, email, Skype, Apple ID or wifi password, only to be greeted with a blank stare, I’d be a wealthy man. As discussed in the last installment, the Keychain access utility on your Mac will remember your lesser passwords for you, and allow you to retrieve them if need be, but you will need to know your computer user password to access them.

You can get away with not having your Apple computer’s password for a short period of time, but any software updates or installs will require that you remember it eventually. Luckily you can change the user password by booting from your system disk, included in the box at purchase time. To do so, insert the disk, click restart and hold down the ‘C’ key until you see the grey screen and spinning gear. Once it’s up and running, there will be a list of utilities in a drop-down box. Choose ‘reset password’ and input a password that you will remember, according to some of the previous hints. If you’re running Lion or Mountain Lion, hold the Option key on startup and choose the Recovery HD icon. That will bring up a similar set of options.

When it comes to passwords, my suggestion is to use one or two straightforward passwords for inconsequential websites, like Facebook or Skype, and another one or two more secure passwords for more sensitive uses, such as email or online banking. And it wouldn’t kill you to write them down somewhere and store them somewhere not far away, because your main security threat is not the person who breaks into your home to steal your valuables, but some professional in an office in Russia, or his mom’s basement in Dakron, sniffing around for trouble.

Protect yourself with strong passwords.

Testimonials

  • Just a quick note to thank you again for coming by……this is working ever so much better. See you next month.
    Maggie
  • Dan retrieved the iPhoto library I had deleted from my boyfriend's computer from a Time Machine backup I didn't even know we had. Thank you Dan, you saved my bacon!

    Kerry
  • Hi Dan,

    I picked up quite a few useful things in class even without a laptop, and enjoyed the course. Do please let me know if you decide to offer an intermediate level follow up. Thanks,

    Paula

  • Hi Dan,

    It was great to meet you and thanks for your help, I love the dual screen and upgrades. I seem to have forgotten how to access the iphoto shots from the original iphoto and can only find the few new ones, can you re direct me.

    Melanie

  • Just got home. plugged the router and computer in and its working!!!  Go figuure. You must have done something right.

    Thanks,

    Al Z

  • Your expeditious replacement of my hard drive is very much appreciated. I had a little trouble restoring the system, but it's now working perfectly (and it seems to be a little faster).In my excitement I forgot to ask about warranty. What do I do?Thank You again

     Trevor W Jackson

  • Hi Dan,What a difference!  My MacBook is working much faster now, and not getting hung up.  The newer OS and more memory really helped.Thank you.

    Yvonne

  • Hi Dan, thanks for the January newsletter. I added my vote to you for "outstanding customer service".

    Ambrose

  • Hi Dan:

    Thank you so much for helping out with my urgent problem the other day, so promptly – and from the arena! I really did appreciate it (and was so impressed!).

    Ann

  • Whoa .....fabulous ...wonderful ...fantastic ...beautiful......OMG ...thank you so much. I will look into the photos and see what I can do  ....touble is I don't actually know much about Marilyns life! I will make something up .....!!  wow Wonderful to what you have created...

    AJ