Little Flocker reincarnates as Xfence, a free beta from F-Secure

When security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski took a job at Apple a few weeks ago, I heard from many people concerned about the future of his macOS app, Little Flocker, a tool that restricts apps and system processes access to files without permission. He was unable to talk details, but recently F-Secure, a leading security developer and analysis … [Read more...]

How to selectively migrate files from Time Machine

David Camp has mostly moved his work from an old MacBook Pro that’s failing to a new one. However, he still has some files on the old machine that he’s also backed up via Time Machine to a Time Capsule. The old machine is definitely showing signs of impending death, so I’m wondering if I can move its files onto my new machine via the Time Machine … [Read more...]

Aukey Multiport USB-C Hub review: Packed with features, including VGA output

Business travelers used to rolling up into an unfamiliar conference room or presentation venue need to be able to plug in to whatever video option is available. The Aukey Multiport USB-C Hub ($100 on Amazon) brings VGA to a robust compact dock solution.It comes with a seemingly hefty price tag, but by offering a choice between HDMI and VGA while … [Read more...]

Satechi Multi-Port USB Desktop Charging Station review: Hub packs in six USB-C and Type-A ports

Everybody I know needs a better home-charging station. Wherever I go, in homes and businesses, adapters, and chargers fill up wall outlets and sprawl across power strips. While you have plenty of options for AC adapters with multiple USB plugs, Satechi’s new Multi-Port USB Desktop Charging Station ($30; available on Amazon) is the first to combine … [Read more...]

Antivirus software won’t save your Mac from future malware

A long-running debate between Mac owners and those folks who use other platforms is whether or not malware exists for macOS. It does! Mac owners tend to be very defensive (and, sadly, sometimes offensive) about macOS, because of years of slights when Windows was in the ascendance and virus ridden.These days, most malware that attacks computers and … [Read more...]

iHome iSP6 and iSP8 SmartPlug reviews: An easy entree into the smart home

The iHome SP6 and iSP8 SmartPlugs push a lot of the right buttons. First off, their horizontal oblong form factor allows another plug to fit in above or below in a conventional two-outlet fixture. You can even plug two SmartPlug units into the same fixture without a squeeze.Second, while it has its own account-based remote access and management, … [Read more...]

How to fix a persistent iCloud approval request on your iPhone

Mary Gascho has a persistent pest. After upgrading her iPhone, “I am constantly getting an ‘approval request sent’ popup.” The message tells her that if she wants to keep using iCloud, she needs to approve that from another device that is using the same iCloud account. This appears to be related to iCloud Keychain based on reports from other people … [Read more...]

What you can do if you forget your password on a FileVault-protected Mac

Several readers have asked recently about what to do with systems they’ve purchased, inherited, or were given to them that were protected by FileVault and the original owner can’t recall or provide the password. FileVault protects in two parts: You know the first, which is that while a Mac is at rest (that is, powered down), its startup drive … [Read more...]

How to make a lasting copy of a Photos Library before cleaning it out

A bulging Photos Library that consumes 30GB of iCloud storage has led Sante Kotturi to want to offload all their current images and videos, and start fresh. But Sante wants to store the existing media securely and for a long time. I thought of just copying the Photos Library file in User/[me]/Pictures onto an external drive, but this runs into a … [Read more...]

Keybase offers encrypted chat where you control all the pieces


The gold standard of secure private messaging requires end-to-end encryption between the parties involved with no way for the messaging service to obtain the keys used to scramble the message. Open Whisper Systems’ Signal Protocol and Signal apps implement seemingly the best version of that. But there’s a small problem: the Signal apps are tied to … [Read more...]

How to find all photos on your Mac


Steve Thomas is trying to clean things up across two Macs: I’m finding that there are photos EVERYWHERE on these two machines—Photos library, iPhoto library, Photo Booth library, multiple file folders on dozens of different levels and in countless locations. He already owns PhotoSweeper, an app that handles de-duplication, but he’s frustrated at … [Read more...]

How to find your saved Smart Folders in the Finder

Smart Folders are a terrifically powerful and underused tool in the Finder. Select File > New Smart Folder, and you can create a set of criteria that produce the results right in the window for actions that include selection and deletion.However, when you save a Smart Folder if you opt to leave it out of the Finder sidebar, it’s dropped by … [Read more...]

The backdoor that never was, and how to improve your security with WhatsApp

The headline in the Guardian last week was certainly eye-catching: “WhatsApp vulnerability allows snooping on encrypted messages.” The allegation was that a newly discovered flaw could allow messages you’d sent to a known and confirmed party through a highly secure method could be replayed, or sent again to other parties that could insert … [Read more...]

How to protect your online conversations with Signal’s end-to-end encryption

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know that it’s not paranoia when I say that the Internet is a nest of snakes. Malicious parties are constantly probing and monitoring, mostly automatically, allowing the slighest weakness to be exploited. The best way to avoid the venom of vipers is to wear a fang-proof suit: end-to-end encryption that … [Read more...]

How to delete images from Photos for macOS without getting rid of them

Othman Al Serri writes in with a deliciously existential question: I have been using iPhoto for the past 8 years. Using it is like a breeze, and it is so flexible with organizing my photos. When deleting photos they just remain in the deleted folder forever, which is perfect so I can always go back and look or recover whichever photo I want. With … [Read more...]

How to connect another building on your property to your house over Wi-Fi

Mary Schroeder writes in with a common query about extending Wi-Fi: We have a workshop on our property as well as our house, and are trying to get the Wi-Fi signal to the workshop. The workshop is about 200 feet away from the house—we have pine trees all around us. We have two Apple routers. We have tried to figure out if a different router would … [Read more...]

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