Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Your Mac is no longer immune to malware attacks.

Check Point researchers have discovered an email-phishing campaign in Europe that is specifically targeting Mac users. The trojan is the first of its kind for Apple computers, and “it phishes for credentials by displaying full-screen alerts that claim there’s an urgent OS X update waiting to be installed.” Dok then accesses the victim’s system and grants administrator privileges to the cybercriminals so that they can install malware without being noticed. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

Gone are the days of PC-only virus attacks.  Now malicious hackers are going after Apple devices too, so don’t think you’re safe just because you’re in an Apple environment.

2 — Apple Pay transactions have been growing astronomically.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook recently announced that the tech giant’s mobile payment service has become more popular with consumers than ever before. In fact, Cook said that Apple Pay transactions in the most recent quarter rose “450% from the same period a year ago.” Apple Pay has expanded to international markets in the past year, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia, Australia and Canada, which has helped it to become more accepted and widespread across the world. (Source: Fortune Magazine)

Why this is important for your business:

Apple is fully committed to their payment platform, and it is paying off. If you’re in retail or regularly accept credit cards, you need to make sure you’re also set up to take payments via Apple Pay…or you could potentially lose business.

3 — PayPal has new tools that will make it easier to start an online business.

PayPal has announced a new feature called “Business in a Box” that will provide small businesses with an easy way to access its curated partners, including WooCommerce and Xero, as well as the company’s own working capital. Amit Mathradas, PayPal’s head of small business for North America, said, "There is an ecosystem that we play in, and we should be helping to curate it, to help merchants get set up quickly, to start an online business or to take an offline business and move it online.” (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

Apple Pay is certainly not the only game in town. I’m a big fan of PayPal and its deep roots in small business, particularly with merchants. Given these new tools, PayPal may be an even better payment option for your business to use so that you can provide the best payment choices for your customers.

4 — A new startup plans to use science to make work a more positive experience.

Humu hopes to improve people’s jobs by using machine learning and science to “ensure that employees always have good days at work.” The company’s founder has said of the new startup that people should “be constantly learning and growing, and surrounded by people who are doing the same. We all have good days and bad days, but what would work be like if every day were like our best days? Imagine what we could achieve.” (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

Though still in their infancy, machine learning apps from companies like Humu will soon be widely used to track employee behaviors and will guide you on how to help them be more productive and happy. Keep an eye on this trend.

5 —  Here’s another bank that's merging technology with finance.

Capital One has launched “We Work As One,” a program that connects small businesses with local Capital One cyber-cafés for “a series of opportunities by educating café customers on industry trends, engaging consumers and the community in new ways, and addressing unique obstacles and challenges that small business owners face.” Capital One is a Marks Group client. (Source: Capital One)

Why this is important for your business:

Banks are continuing to use a combination of technology and education to attract new customers. Your business may want to do the same.

Gene Marks owns The Marks Group,  a 10-person technology consulting firm and is also a small business expert, speaker and columnist at other major outlets.

Source : This article was published in forbes.com By Gene Marks

Categorized in Business Research

It used to be that Mac users didn’t really have to worry about malware. But we live in a brave new world with easy internet access and a bunch of jerks, so the good ‘ole days are over. A new strain of Mac malware uses a familiar method to gain entry to your computer, but it’s the way it takes over that makes it particularly nasty.

The initial malware package is loaded by a standard phishing attack. The hackers send an email saying that there’s issues with your tax return, with details in a .zip file attached. When you try to open the .zip folder, the malware package instead installs a small executable named AppStore.

That program then runs every time you boot the computer up, until the full malware package has been installed. Once that happens, users will see a fake macOS update page which looks decently close to the real thing. The “update” page sits on top of every other window, and prevents you from using your computer until you hit update.

Once you hit update, you’re prompted to enter your password. That’s where the really nasty stuff starts. Using the administrator privileges just granted, the malware installs dark-web surfing program Tor, and changes your web settings using a developer certificate, so all your web traffic gets routed through a third-party proxy server.

With all that established, the attacker can see and modify all your web browsing behavior, including any data sent over encrypted web links that would normally be secure. With that kind of access and a little time, the attacker will be able to steal most people’s login info for every site, online banking details, and anything else you can really think of.

As per usual, the best defence isn’t antivirus software: it’s strong account security and a healthy skepticism of any email attachments. Not opening attachments unless they’re from a well-trusted source is a good start; using two-factor authentication on all your accounts, particularly important emails and online banking, will mitigate the potential damage from a hack.

This article was  published on bgr.com by Chris Mills

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Those innocent-looking apps in your smartphone can secretly spy on your communications or could allow hackers to do so.

Hard to believe, but it's true.

Recently, Trustwave's SpiderLabs analysts discovered a hidden backdoor in Skype for Apple's macOS and Mac OS X operating systems that could be used to spy on users' communications without their knowledge.

The backdoor actually resides in the desktop Application Programming Interface (API) that allows third-party plugins and apps to communicate with Microsoft-owned Skype — the popular video chat and messaging service.

Appeared to have been around since at least 2010, the backdoor could allow any malicious third-party app to bypass authentication procedure and provide nearly complete access to Skype on Mac OS X.

How an Attacker can Take Complete Control of Your Skype

attacker

The malicious app could bypass authentication process if they "identified themselves as the program responsible for interfacing with the Desktop API on behalf of the Skype Dashboard widget program."

Accessing this backdoor is incredibly easy. All hackers need to do is change a text string in apps to this value → "Skype Dashbd Wdgt Plugin," and the desktop API would provide access to sensitive features of Skype.

An attacker or any malicious program abusing this hidden backdoor could perform the following actions:

  • Read notifications of incoming messages (and their contents)
  • Intercept, read and modify messages
  • Log and record Skype call audio
  • Create chat sessions
  • Retrieve user contact information

The researchers have also provided proof-of-concept Objective-C code that initiates the connection process without asking the user for permission for the process to attach to Skype:

The backdoor believes to have been created by a developer at Skype before Microsoft acquired the company and likely exposed more than 30 Million Mac OS X users.

Update Your Skype Installation Now!

Trustwave notified Microsoft of the vulnerability in October, and the company has patched the issue in Skype 7.37 and later versions.

Here's what a Microsoft spokesperson said about the backdoor:

"We do not build backdoors into our products, but we do continuously improve the product experience [and] product security and encourage customers to always upgrade to the latest version."

Trustwave also speculated that the backdoor believed to have been accidently left in Skype "during the process of implementing the dashboard plugin," as the Skype dashboard widget does not appear to utilize it.

All versions of Skype for Mac OS and Mac OS X, including 7.35 version, are vulnerable. So users are strongly recommended to update their Skype installation as soon as possible.

 

Author: Swati Khandelwal
Source: http://thehackernews.com/2016/12/hacking-skype.html

Categorized in Science & Tech

2016 was a rough year for those of us who love Apple’s desktops. For the past year (and in some cases much longer), Apple’s iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro have remained largely untouched. The Pro and mini especially have seen some serious neglect, with the current mini being over two years old and the now ancient Mac Pro just having passed the three year mark. In a recent internal memo to Apple employees, Tim Cook sought to offer reassurance that Apple was committed to desktops, but it’s had the opposite effect.

Cook’s memo addressed a number of different topics, but the top of the list was Apple’s perceived lack of interest in desktops. His comments are as follows, via TechCrunch:

We had a big MacBook Pro launch in October and a powerful upgrade to the MacBook back in the spring. Are Mac desktops strategic for us?The desktop is very strategic for us. It’s unique compared to the notebook because you can pack a lot more performance in a desktop — the largest screens, the most memory and storage, a greater variety of I/O, and fastest performance. So there are many different reasons why desktops are really important, and in some cases critical, to people.The current generation iMac is the best desktop we have ever made and its beautiful Retina 5K display is the best desktop display in the world. Some folks in the media have raised the question about whether we’re committed to desktops. If there’s any doubt about that with our teams, let me be very clear: we have great desktops in our roadmap. Nobody should worry about that.

It sounds like a good pick-me-up for desktop doubters, but Cook’s words are seemingly falling on deaf ears. The major issue with Cook’s comments seems to be that when it comes to desktops, the iMac is the golden child, and the rest are just kind of there. Developer and former CTO of Tumblr, Marco Arment, is even going so far as to predict that the Mac Pro is essentially dead in the water.

Reading between the lines: the Mac Pro is very likely dead. To Tim Cook, the iMac is the desktop, period. https://t.co/yaVj0aPvrn pic.twitter.com/gWNDlY2tgL— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) December 20, 2016

The same, of course, could be said of the Mac mini, which has been left out of the update cycle nearly as long as the Pro. Could Apple kill off one or even both of its not-iMac desktops?

Well, it’s difficult to imagine Apple sending both computers out to pasture at the same time, especially since that would mean there would be literally no option for buying any Mac without already screen attached, but Apple’s treatment (or lack thereof) of the Pro and mini are certainly cause for concern.

Like most companies, Apple doesn’t make a big show out of ending the life of any of its products. When Apple decides a device has reached the end of its life, it simply moves on eventually that product disappears from Apple’s online store.

However, the length of time the Pro in particular has remained on Apple’s shelves without an update may actually be an encouraging sign that the company isn’t ready to do away with it. Whatever the case, both the Pro and mini are far overdue for updates, and it’s about time Apple either breathes some much needed new life into them or sends them packing.

Author:  Mike Wehner

Source:  https://www.yahoo.com/tech/people-worried-apple-going-quietly-kill-off-mac-202155944.html

Categorized in Science & Tech

When I was a kid in the late 1990s, most everyone I knew had a Windows 95 PC — myself included.

But I had this one friend whose family owned a Mac, one of those multicolored iMacs that were the company's first big product launch after Steve Jobs returned to the company.

I loved video games, and he loved video games, but he especially loved games on his Mac. Well, one game in particular: "Marathon," a first-person shooter, which was only for the Mac.

We got into fierce, weeklong arguments about it, in the way that only 10-year-olds can. He said the Mac may have less software, but what was there was simply better. I said the Windows PC was way more versatile. Each of us begrudged the other everything.

Apple stoked the flames with its famous "Get a Mac" ads circa the late 2000s, in which actors John Hodgman and Justin Long played a PC and a Mac, respectively, showing how the PC was old and stodgy but the Mac was young and hip. It was a big part of Apple's turnaround story — the iMac brought the company back from the brink of disaster, paving the way for the massive success of the iPod and then the iPhone, which turned Apple into the most valuable company in the world. Sometimes, it feels as though those days never ended.

People are still crazy protective of the computers and phones they use. When Business Insider published a piece a little while back saying that Microsoft's Surface Book laptop might be abetter buy for most people than the newest MacBook Pro models, we got some hate mail from the Apple crowd.

surface book review 0786Microsoft Surface Book. Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Well, guess what? The world has moved on. And it's less of a "choice" than ever before.

Because so much of what we do these days is based in the browser and in the cloud, Mac versus PC is no longer a lifestyle decision like it was back when boxed software ruled all.

It's just a matter of taste. Even Microsoft knows it.

And in the exact same way, because of the rise of the App Store model, iPhone versus Android is barely a thing anymore to most people. That's why analysts now believe that iPhone versus Android is "stable" — nobody cares anymore.

The operating system wars are over

After many years of being a Mac faithful, I've been using Windows 10 for the past year and a half or so. I found a lot to like (touch screens, Cortana, window management) and a lot that was annoying (random crashes, peculiar device issues).

Every so often, like today, I switch back to the Mac just to make sure I stay familiar with both sides. And I'm rediscovering that there's a lot to like (performance, stability, iPhone-related superpowers like iMessage) and a lot that's annoying (no touch screen, no Cortana).

They both fill a niche. And they're both successful for their parent companies in their own ways. Macs are highly profitable for Apple, which is still primarily a hardware company. Windows is everywhere, from cheap laptops to premium machines like the Surface Studio, and that's good for Microsoft, which is still mainly a software company.

cortana movie gameCortana on Windows 10. Matt Weinberger

They can both win. Windows and Apple have their die-hard fans, sure, but they can happily coexist.

The same goes for the mobile platforms, too.

Apple and Google both won. Apple's iPhone is ridiculously profitable, while Android dominates with something like 87% of the market. Each of them got exactly what it wanted from the smartphone business. Apple is selling a lot of profitable iPhones; Google gets its web services and search engine in front of more people.

So while iPhones and Androids may have few features that set them apart, they are still, by and large, running the same major apps, connecting to the same big services. Each phone operating system has its pluses and minuses, but each is pretty much as useful to a vast majority of people as the other.

Maybe you like Instagram on iPhone better than Instagram on Android, but Instagram is still Instagram.

It's all about the service

Indeed, it's service that's going to make the difference going forward.

Switching between a PC and Mac was simple because even my handwritten notes from the Windows 10 computer were stored in Microsoft's Office 365 cloud service. I didn't need to worry about syncing my music between computers because I use the Spotify service on my Mac and PC and iPhone.

This is why Microsoft is making sure Office apps and services are available for the iPhone and Android. It's why Apple is going to bring its new Apple Music service to Android. It's why Google invests so much in the Chrome browser, which runs on both Windows and macOS and in web services like Google Photos.

When the operating system doesn't matter, users are free to choose whatever service suits them, at any time.

iphone vs pixelAntonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

It also means that picking a computer or a phone is no longer like getting sorted into a house at Hogwarts. Go where you want, do what you want.

So relax, and remember that you don't owe the big tech companies anything. Let them serve you, in the way that you want.

Author : Matt Weinberger

Source : http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-mac-vs-microsoft-windows-pc-is-over-2016-12

Categorized in Science & Tech

 

The promoted pins in Google Maps are being tested on Android devices.

Google is continuing to test its new promoted pin ads — now formally dubbed Promoted Places — in Google Maps with a small group of retailers. The pilot is running in the Google Maps app on Android devices.

First announced publicly in March, Promoted Places ads can appear in the Google Maps app when users are looking at maps of the surrounding area; users don’t need to have searched for the retailer. Promoted pins appear with the retailer’s logo on the map instead of a general category icon.

Clicks on a branded pin pull up a banner at the bottom of the screen showing an “Ad” icon next to promotional text and an image. Users can click again to view the business’s place page. 
maps-ads-promoted-places

In addition to Walgreens, which was a launch partner, MAC Cosmetics and Starbuck are among the retailers participating in the pilot.

MAC is testing the ads to promote new products, according to Laura Elkins, SVP of global marketing. Walgreens is using Promoted Places promote the drug store as a destination for small gifts during the holiday season, said Andrea Kaduk, Walgreens director of SEM and social.

Jamie McQuary, senior marketing manager at Starbucks told Google, “Having our logo on the map helps our locations jump out and promoting our favourite menu items gives people a reason to choose us.“

Author : Ginny Marvin

Source : http://searchengineland.com/promoted-pins-google-maps-beta-265559

 

Categorized in Search Engine

The Security preference pane allows you to control the security level of the user accounts on your Mac. In addition, the Security preference pane is where you configure your Mac's firewall, as well as turn data encryption on or off for your user account.

The Security preference pane is divided into three sections.

General: Controls password usage, specifically, whether passwords are required for certain activities. Controls automatic log-out of a user account. Lets you specify whether location-based services have access to your Mac's location data.

FileVault: Controls data encryption for your home folder, and all of your user data.

Firewall: Allows you to enable or disable your Mac's built-in firewall, as well as configure the various firewall settings.

Let's get started with configuring the security settings for your Mac.

Launch the Security Preference Pane

Click the System Preferences icon in the Dock or select 'System Preferences' from the Apple menu.

Click the Security icon in the Personal section of the System Preferences window.

Proceed to the next page to learn about the General configuration options.

2 Using the Mac Security Preference Pane - General Mac Security Settings

Using the Mac Security Preference Pane - General Mac Security Settings

The Mac Security preference pane has three tabs along the top of the window. Select the General tab to get started with configuring your Mac's general security settings.

The General section of the Security preference pane controls a number of basic but important security settings for your Mac. In this guide, we will show you what each setting does, and how to make changes to the settings. You can then decide if you need the security enhancements available from the Security preference pane.

If you share your Mac with others, or your Mac is located in a place where others can easily gain access to it, you may wish to make some changes to these settings.

General Mac Security Settings

Before you can begin making changes, you must first authenticate your identity with your Mac.

Click the lock icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the Security preference pane.

You will be prompted for an administrator username and password. Provide the requested information, and then click OK.

The lock icon will change to an unlocked state. You're now ready to make any changes you wish.

Require password: If you place a check mark here, then you (or anyone who attempts to use your Mac) will be required to provide the password for the currently account in order to exit sleep or an active screen saver. This is a good basic security measure that can keep prying eyes from seeing what you're currently working on, or accessing your user account data.

If you select this option, you can then use the dropdown menu to select a time interval before the password is required. I suggest selecting an interval long enough that you can exit a sleep or screen saver session that starts unexpectedly, without needing to provide a password. Five seconds or 1 minute are good choices.

Disable automatic login: This option requires users to authenticate their identity with their password any time they log on.

Require a password to unlock each System Preferences pane: With this option selected, users must provide their account ID and password any time they attempt to make a change to any secure system preference. Normally, the first authentication unlocks all secure system preferences.

Log out after xx minutes of inactivity: This option lets you select a set amount of idle time after which the currently logged-in account will be automatically logged out.

Use secure virtual memory: Selecting this option will force any RAM data written to your hard drive to be first encrypted. This applies to both virtual memory usage and Sleep mode, when the contents of RAM are written to your hard drive.

Disable Location Services: Selecting this option will prevent your Mac from providing location data to any application that requests the information.

Click the Reset Warnings button to remove location data already in use by applications.

Disable remote control infrared receiver: If your Mac is equipped with an IR receiver, this option will turn the receiver off, preventing any IR device from sending commands to your Mac.

3  Using the Mac Security Preference Pane - FileVault Settings

Using the Mac Security Preference Pane - FileVault Settings

FileVault uses a 128-bit (AES-128) encryption scheme to protect your user data from prying eyes. Encrypting your home folder makes it nearly impossible for anyone to access any user data on your Mac without your account name and password.

FileVault can be very handy for those with portable Macs who are concerned about loss or theft. When FileVault is enabled, your home folder becomes an encrypted disk image that is mounted for access after you log in. When you log off, shut down, or sleep, the home folder image is unmounted and is no longer available.

When you first enable FileVault, you may find the encryption process can take a very long time. Your Mac is converting all of your home folder data into the encrypted disk image. Once the encryption process is complete, your Mac will encrypt and decrypt individual files as needed, on the fly. This results in only a very slight performance penalty, one that you will rarely notice except when accessing very large files.

To change FileVault's settings, select the FileVault tab in the Security Preferences pane.

Configuring FileVault

Before you can begin making changes, you must first authenticate your identity with your Mac.

Click the lock icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the Security preference pane.

You will be prompted for an administrator username and password. Provide the requested information, and then click OK.

The lock icon will change to an unlocked state. You're now ready to make any changes you wish.

Set Master Password: The master password is a fail-safe. It allows you to reset your user password in the event you forget your login information. However, if you forget both your user account password and the master password, you will not be able to access your user data.

Turn On FileVault: This will enable the FileVault encryption system for your user account. You will be asked for your account password and then given the following options:

Use secure erase: This option overwrites the data when you empty the trash. This ensures that the trashed data is not easily recoverable.

Use secure virtual memory: Selecting this option will force any RAM data written to your hard drive to be first encrypted.

When you turn FileVault on, you will be logged out while your Mac encrypts your home folder's data. This can take quite a while, depending on the size of your home folder.

Once the encryption process is complete, your Mac will display the login screen, where you can provide your account password to log in.

4  Using the Mac Security Preference Pane - Configuring Your Mac's Firewall

Using the Mac Security Preference Pane - Configuring Your Macs Firewall

Your Mac includes a personal firewall you can use to prevent network or Internet connections. The Mac's firewall is based on a standard UNIX firewall called ipfw. This is a good, though basic, packet-filtering firewall. To this basic firewall Apple adds a socket-filtering system, also known as an application firewall. The application firewall makes it easier to configure the firewall settings. Instead of needing to know which ports and protocols are necessary, you can just specify which applications have the right to make incoming or outgoing connections.

To begin, select the Firewall tab in the Security preference pane.

Configuring the Mac's Firewall

Before you can begin making changes, you must first authenticate your identity with your Mac.

Click the lock icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the Security preference pane.

You will be prompted for an administrator username and password. Provide the requested information, and then click OK.

The lock icon will change to an unlocked state. You're now ready to make any changes you wish.

Start: This button will start the Mac's firewall. Once the firewall has been started, the Start button will change to a Stop button.

Advanced: Clicking this button will allow you to set the options for the Mac's firewall. The Advanced button is only enabled when the firewall is turned on.

Advanced Options

Block all incoming connections: Selecting this option will cause the firewall to prevent any incoming connections to non-essential services. Essential services as defined by Apple are:

Configd: Allows DHCP and other network configuration services to occur.

mDNSResponder: Allows the Bonjour protocol to function.

raccoon: Allows IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) to function.

If you choose to block all incoming connections, then most file, screen, and print sharing services will no longer function.

Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections: When selected, this option will automatically add securely signed software applications to the list of applications that are allowed to accept connections from an external network, including the Internet.

You can manually add applications to the firewall's application filter list using the plus (+) button. Likewise, you can remove applications from the list using the minus (-) button.

Enable stealth mode: When enabled, this setting will prevent your Mac from responding to traffic queries from the network. This will make your Mac appear to be non-existent on a network.

Author:  Tom Nelson

Source:  https://www.lifewire.com

Categorized in Online Research

Onyx from Titanium Software aids Mac users by providing a simple method to access hidden system functions, run maintenance scripts, automate repetitive system tasks, and access many of the secret parameters that can enable and disable hidden features.

 

Onyx has been performing these services for the Mac ever since OS X Jaguar (10.2)first appeared, and the developer recently released a new version specifically for macOS Sierra.

Pro

  • Easy access to many hidden Mac features.
  • User interface is easy to use.
  • Convenient help files tied to each page of Onyx.

 

Con

  • Only a single automation process supported.
  • Always asking to verify startup drive.

 

Onyx is a Mac utility that provides an easy way to perform many routine Mac maintenance tasks, as well as access hidden features of OS X and macOS.

 

Using Onyx

 

When you first run Onyx, it will want to verify the structure of your Mac's startup disk. Not a bad thing to do; it won’t cause any problems on its own, but it does force you to wait a bit before you start using Onyx. Thankfully, you don’t need to do this every time you want to use Onyx; you can simply cancel the verify option. If you find a need to verify your startup drive at a later date, you can do so from within Onyx, or use Disk Utility to perform the verification.

 

 

 

 

By the way, that's an ongoing theme in Onyx, as well as many of Onyx's competitors; many of the functions available in this system utility are present in other apps or system services.

 

Onyx's real service to the end user is bringing them all together in one app.

 

Once you move past the startup drive verification, you'll find that Onyx is a single-window app with a toolbar across the top for selecting various Onyx functions. The toolbar contains buttons for Maintenance, Cleaning, Automation, Utilities, Parameters, Info, and Logs.

Info and Logs

 

I'm going to start with Info and Logs, because we can quickly get them out of the way due to their somewhat basic functions. I don’t see many people using either function more than a few times, mainly when they're first exploring the app.

 

Info provides information equivalent to the "About This Mac" Apple Menu item. It goes a few steps further by giving you easy access to the list of malware that the Mac's built-in XProtect malware detection system is able to protect your Mac from. It doesn't provide information detailing whether the XProtect system ever caught any malware being downloaded or installed; only the list of malware types your Mac is protected from.

 

Still, it's handy to know what your Mac is protected from, and when the last update to the protection system was performed.

 

The Log button brings up a time-based log showing every action performed by Onyx.

 

Maintenance

 

The Maintenance button provides access to common system maintenance tasks, such as verifying the Mac's startup drive, running maintenance scripts, rebuilding services and cache files, and, a bit of a surprise, repairing file permissions.

 

Permissions repair used to be a standard troubleshooting tool with OS X, but ever since OS X El Capitan, Apple removed the permissions repair service from Disk Utility as being a service no longer needed.

When I tested the file permissions repair feature in Onyx, it worked just like the old Disk Utility permissions repair system worked. I'm not sure if the repair permissions function is actually needed, since Apple started protecting system file permissionsin El Capitan and later, but it doesn't seem to have any detrimental effect.

 

Cleaning

 

The Cleaning button allows you to delete system cache files, which can sometimes become corrupt or unusually large. Either issue can cause problems with your Mac's performance. Removing cache files can sometimes correct problems, such as an SPOD (Spinning Pinwheel of Death) and other minor annoyances.

 

Cleaning also provides a way to remove large log files, and erase trash or specific files securely.

 

 

 

Automation

 

This is a handy feature that lets you automate routine tasks you may use Onyx for. For example, if you always verify the startup drive, repair permissions, and rebuild the LaunchServices database, you can use Automation to perform those tasks for you instead of performing them one at a time.

 

Unfortunately, you can’t create multiple automation tasks; just a single one containing all the tasks you wish to have executed together.

 

Utilities

 

I mentioned that Onyx brings together features from many different apps so you can access those features from a single app. Onyx also provides access to many of the hidden apps that are already present on your Mac, just stashed away within the recesses of the system folder.

 

You can access the Terminal's man(ual) pages without having to open the Terminal app, change file and disk visibility, and generate checksums for a file (helpful when sending files to others). Finally, you can easily access hidden Mac apps, such as Screen SharingWireless Diagnostics, Color Picker, and more.

 

Parameters

 

The Parameters button gives you access to many of the hidden features of the system as well as individual apps. Some of the features you can control are already present in the system preferences, such as showing graphics effects when opening a window. Others are parameters you usually need Terminal to set, such as the graphics format used to capture screen shots. For those of you who like to hack the Dock, there are some interesting options, including having the Dock only show icons for active apps.

 

Parameters is probably the most fun part of Onyx, as it gives you control over many of the GUI elements of your Mac, letting you alter the look of the Mac, and add a more personalized interface.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Onyx and related system utilities sometimes get a bum rap from advanced Mac users. Many complain they can cause problems by deleting files or turning off features actually needed. The other frequent complaint is that these utilities really don’t do anything you can’t already do with Terminal, or other apps already present on your Mac.

 

To those individuals, I say, you're right, and so wrong. There's nothing wrong with using a utility, such as Onyx, to perform a task usually performed in Terminal. Terminal requires you to remember sometimes complex command lines that, if entered incorrectly, can either fail to work or perform some task you didn't mean to have happen. Onyx removes both the barrier of remembering commands, and the unfortunate side effects possible by executing a command incorrectly.

 

As for Onyx being able to cause problems on its own, well, that's possible, but not all that likely. Besides, that's what a good backup is for; something everyone should have in place.

 

Onyx provides easy access to many key system features and services. It also provides some basic troubleshooting services that can help you get your Mac working again, or provide increased performance.

 

All in all, I like Onyx, and I'm thankful to the developers for spending their time producing such a useful tool.

 

One Final Thought

 

Onyx is designed for specific versions of the Mac OS; make sure you download the correct one for the version of OS X or macOS you're using on your Mac.

 

Onyx is free.

 

 

Author:  Tom Nelson

Source:  https://www.lifewire.com

Categorized in Others

When it comes to safeguarding your Internet security, installing an antivirus software or running a Secure Linux OS on your system does not mean you are safe enough from all kinds of cyber-threats.

Today majority of Internet users are vulnerable to cyber attacks, not because they aren't using any best antivirus software or other security measures, but because they are using weak passwords to secure their online accounts.

Passwords are your last lines of defense against online threats. Just look back to some recent data breaches and cyber attacks, including high-profile data breach at OPM (United States Office of Personnel Management) and the extra-marital affair site Ashley Madison, that led to the exposure of hundreds of millions of records online.

Although you can not control data breaches, it is still important to create strong passwords that can withstand dictionary and brute-force attacks.

You see, the longer and more complex your password is, the much harder it is crack.

How to Stay Secure Online?

Security researchers have always advised online users to create long, complex and different passwords for their various online accounts. So, if one site is breached, your other accounts on other websites are secure enough from being hacked.
 

Ideally, your strong password should be at least 16 characters long, should contain a combination of digits, symbols, uppercase letters and lowercase letters and most importantly the most secure password is one you don't even know.

The password should be free of repetition and not contain any dictionary word, pronoun, your username or ID, and any other predefined letter or number sequences.

I know this is a real pain to memorize such complex password strings and unless we are human supercomputers, remembering different passwords for several online accounts is not an easy task.

The issue is that today people subscribe to a lot of online sites and services, and it's usually hard to create and remember different passwords for every single account.

But, Luckily to make this whole process easy, there's a growing market for password managers for PCs and phones that can significantly reduce your password memorizing problem, along with the cure for your bad habit of setting weak passwords.

What is Password Manager?

best-password-manager-software

Password Manager software has come a very long way in the past few years and is an excellent system that both allows you to create complex passwords for different sites and remember them.

A password manager is just software that creates, stores and organizes all your passwords for your computers, websites, applications and networks.

Password managers that generate passwords and double as a form filler are also available in the market, which has the ability to enter your username and password automatically into login forms on websites.

So, if you want super secure passwords for your multiple online accounts, but you do not want to memorize them all, Password Manager is the way to go.

How does a Password Manager work?

Typically, Password Manager software works by generating long, complex, and, most importantly, unique password strings for you, and then stores them in encrypted form to protect the confidential data from hackers with physical access to your PC or mobile device.

The encrypted file is accessible only through a master password. So, all you need to do is remember just one master password to open your password manager or vault and unlock all your other passwords.?

However, you need to make sure your master password is extra-secure of at least 16 characters long.

Which is the Best Password Manager? How to Choose?

I've long recommended password managers, but most of our readers always ask:

  • Which password manager is best?
  • Which password manager is the most secure? Help!

So, today I'm introducing you some of the best Password Manager currently available in the market for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS and Enterprise.

Before choosing a good password manager for your devices, you should check these following features:

  • Cross-Platform Application
  • Works with zero-knowledge model
  • Offers two-factor authentication (multi-factor authentication)

Note: Once adopted, start relying on your password manager because if you are still using weak passwords for your important online accounts, nobody can save you from malicious hackers.

Best Password Managers for Windows

Best-Password-Manager-for-Windows

Windows users are most vulnerable to cyber attacks because Windows operating system has always been the favorite target of hackers. So, it is important for Windows users to make use of a good password manager.

Some other best password manager for windows: Keeper, Password Safe, LockCrypt, 1Password, and Dashlane.

1. Keeper Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

keeper-Password-Manager-for-mac-os-x

Keeper is a secure, easy-to-use and robust password manager for your Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices.

Using military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, Keeper password manager keeps your data safe from prying eyes.

It has a secure digital vault for protecting and managing your passwords, as well as other secret information. Keeper password manager application supports Two-factor authentication and available for every major operating system.

There is also an important security feature, called Self-destruct, which if enabled, will delete all records from your device if the incorrect master password is entered more than five times incorrectly.

But you don't need worry, as this action will not delete the backup records stored on Keeper's Cloud Security Vault.

Download Keeper Password Manager: Windows, Linux and Mac | iOS | Android | Kindle

2. Dashlane Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

Dashlane-Password-Manager-for-Android

DashLane Password Manager software is a little newer, but it offers great features for almost every platform.

DashLane password manager works by encrypting your personal info and accounts' passwords with AES-256 encryption on a local machine, and then syncs your details with its online server, so that you can access your accounts database from anywhere.

The best part of DashLane is that it has an automatic password changer that can change your accounts' passwords for you without having to deal with it yourself.

DashLane Password Manager app for Android gives you the secure password management tools right to your Android phone: your password vault and form auto-filler for online stores and other sites.

DashLane Password Manager app for Android is completely free to use on a single device and for accessing multiple devices, you can buy a premium version of the app.

Download DashLane Password Manager: Windows and Mac | iOS | Android

3. LastPass Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

LastPass-Password-Manager-for-Windows

LastPass is one of the best Password Manager for Windows users, though it comes with the extension, mobile app, and even desktop app support for all the browsers and operating systems.

LastPass is an incredibly powerful cloud-based password manager software that encrypts your personal info and accounts' passwords with AES-256 bit encryption and even offers a variety of two-factor authentication options in order to ensure no one else can log into your password vault.

LastPass Password Manager comes for free as well as a premium with a fingerprint reader support.

Download LastPass Password Manager: Windows, Mac, and Linux | iOS | Android

Best Password Manager for Mac OS X

Best-Password-Manager-for-mac-os-x

People often say that Mac computers are more secure than Windows and that "Macs don't get viruses," but it is not entirely correct.

As proof, you can read our previous articles on cyber attacks against Mac and iOs users, and then decide yourself that you need a password manager or not.

Some other best password manager for Mac OS X:  1Password, Dashlane, LastPass, OneSafe, PwSafe.

1. LogMeOnce Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

LogMeOnce-Password-Manager-for-Mac-os-x

LogMeOnce Password Management Suite is one of the best password manager for Mac OS X, as well as syncs your passwords across Windows, iOS, and Android devices.

LogMeOnce is one of the best Premium and Enterprise Password Management Software that offers a wide variety of features and options, including Mugshot feature.

If your phone is ever stolen, LogMeOnce Mugshot feature tracks the location of the thief and also secretly takes a photo of the intruder when trying to gain access to your account without permission.

LogmeOnce protects your passwords with military-grade AES-256 encryption technology and offers Two-factor authentication to ensure that even with the master password in hand, a thief hacks your account.

Download LogMeOnce Password Manager: Windows and Mac | iOS | Android

2. KeePass Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

Keepass-Password-Manager-for-Windows

Although LastPass is one of the best password manager, some people are not comfortable with a cloud-based password manager.

KeePass is a popular password manager application for Windows, but there are browser extensions and mobile apps for KeePass as well.

KeePass password manager for Windows stores your accounts' passwords on your PC, so you remain in control of them, and also on Dropbox, so you can access it using multiple devices.

KeePass encrypts your passwords and login info using the most secure encryption algorithms currently known: AES 256-bit encryption by default, or optional, Twofish 256-bit encryption.

KeePass is not just free, but it is also open source, which means its code and integrity can be examined by anyone, adding a degree of confidence.

Download KeePass Password Manager: Windows and Linux | Mac | iOS | Android

3. Apple iCloud Keychain

Apple-iCloud-Keychain-Security

Apple introduced the iCloud Keychain password management system as a convenient way to store and automatically sync all your login credentials, Wi-Fi passwords, and credit card numbers securely across your approved Apple devices, including Mac OS X, iPhone, and iPad.

Your Secret Data in Keychain is encrypted with 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and secured with elliptic curve asymmetric cryptography and key wrapping.

Also, iCloud Keychain generates new, unique and strong passwords for you to use to protect your computer and accounts.

Major limitation: Keychain doesn't work with other browsers other than Apple Safari.

Also Read: How to Setup iCloud Keychain?

Best Password Manager for Linux

best-Password-Manager-for-linux

No doubt, some Linux distributions are the safest operating systems exist on the earth, but as I said above that adopting Linux doesn't completely protect your online accounts from hackers.

There are a number of cross-platform password managers available that sync all your accounts' passwords across all your devices, such as LastPass, KeePass, RoboForm password managers.

Here below I have listed two popular and secure open source password managers for Linux:

1. SpiderOak Encryptr Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

SpiderOak-Encryptr-Password-Manager-for-linux

SpiderOak's Encryptr Password Manager is a zero-knowledge cloud-based password manager that encrypts protect your passwords using Crypton JavaScript framework, developed by SpiderOak and recommended by Edward Snowden.

It is a cross-platform, open-Source and free password manager that uses end-to-end encryption and works perfectly for Ubuntu, Debian Linux Mint, and other Linux distributions.

Encryptr Password Manager application itself is very simple and comes with some basic features.

Encryptr software lets you encrypt three types of files: Passwords, Credit Card numbers and general any text/keys.

Download Encryptr Password Manager: Windows, Linux and Mac | iOS | Android

2. EnPass Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

EnPass-Password-Manager-for-Linux

Enpass is an excellent security oriented Linux password manager that works perfectly with other platforms too. Enpass offers you to backup and restores stored passwords with third-party cloud services, including Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or OwnCloud.

It makes sure to provide the high levels of security and protects your data by a master password and encrypted it with 256-bit AES using open-source encryption engine SQLCipher, before uploading backup onto the cloud.

"We do not host your Enpass data on our servers. So, no signup is required for us. Your data is only stored on your device," EnPass says.

Additionally, by default, Enpass locks itself every minute when you leave your computer unattended and clears clipboard memory every 30 seconds to prevent your passwords from being stolen by any other malicious software.

Download EnPass Password Manager: WindowsLinux | Mac | iOS | Android

3. RoboForm Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

Roboform-Password-Manager-for-Windows

You can easily find good password managers for Windows OS, but RoboForm Free Password Manager software goes a step further.

Besides creating complex passwords and remembering them for you, RoboForm also offers a smart form filler feature to save your time while browsing the Web.

RoboForm encrypts your login info and accounts' passwords using military grade AES encryption with the key that is obtained from your RoboForm Master Password.

RoboForm is available for browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox as well as mobile platforms with apps available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Download RoboForm Password Manager: Windows and Mac | Linux | iOS | Android

Best Password Manager for Android

best-Password-Manager-for-android

More than half of the world's population today is using Android devices, so it becomes necessary for Android users to secure their online accounts from hackers who are always seeking access to these devices.

Some of the best Password Manager apps for Android include 1Password, Keeper, DashLane, EnPass, OneSafe, mSecure and SplashID Safe.

1. 1Password Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

1password-Password-Manager-for-android

1Password Password Manager app for Android is one of the best apps for managing all your accounts' passwords.

1Password password manager app creates strong, unique and secure passwords for every account, remembers them all for you, and logs you in with just a single tap.

1Password password manager software secures your logins and passwords with AES-256 bit encryption, and syncs them to all of your devices via your Dropbox account or stores locally for any other application to sync if you choose.

Recently, the Android version of 1Password password manager app has added Fingerprint support for unlocking all of your passwords instead of using your master password.

Download 1Password Password Manager: Windows and Mac | iOS | Android

2. mSecure Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

mSecure-password-manager-for-android

Like other popular password manager solutions, mSecure Password Manager for Android automatically generates secure passwords for you and stores them using 256-bit Blowfish encryption.

The catchy and unique feature mSecure Password Manager software provides its ability to self-destruct database after 5, 10, or 20 failed attempts (as per your preference) to input the right password.

You can also sync all of your devices with Dropbox, or via a private Wi-Fi network. In either case, all your data is transmitted safely and securely between devices regardless of the security of your cloud account.

Download mSecure Password Manager software: Windows and Mac | iOS | Android

Best Password Manager for iOS

best-Password-Manager-for-ios-iphone

As I said, Apple's iOS is also prone to cyber attacks, so you can use some of the best password manager apps for iOS to secure your online accounts, including Keeper, OneSafe, Enpass, mSecure, LastPass, RoboForm, SplashID Safe and LoginBox Pro.

1. OneSafe Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

onesafe-password-manager-for-ios

OneSafe is one of the best Password Manager apps for iOS devices that lets you store not only your accounts' passwords but also sensitive documents, credit card details, photos, and more.

OneSafe password manager app for iOS encrypts your data behind a master password, with AES-256 encryption — the highest level available on mobile — and Touch ID. There is also an option for additional passwords for given folders.

OneSafe password manager for iOS also offers an in-app browser that supports autofill of logins, so that you don't need to enter your login details every time.

Besides this, OneSafe also provides advanced security for your accounts' passwords with features like auto-lock, intrusion detection, self-destruct mode, decoy safe and double protection.

Download OneSafe Password Manager: iOS | Mac | Android | Windows

2. SplashID Safe Password Manager (Cross-Platform)

SplashID-Safe-password-manager-for-ios

SplashID Safe is one of the oldest and best password manager tools for iOS that allows users to securely store their login data and other sensitive information in an encrypted record.

All your information, including website logins, credit card and social security data, photos and file attachments, are protected with 256-bit encryption.

SplashID Safe Password Manager app for iOS also provides web autofill option, meaning you will not have to bother copy-pasting your passwords in login.

The free version of SplashID Safe app comes with basic record storage functionality, though you can opt for premium subscriptions that provide cross-device syncing among other premium features.

Download SplashID Safe Password Manager: Windows and Mac | iOS | Android

3. LoginBox Pro Password Manager

LoginBox-Pro-Password-Manager-for-ios

LoginBox Pro is another great password manager app for iOS devices. The app provides a single tap login to any website you visit, making the password manager app as the safest and fastest way to sign in to password-protected internet sites.

LoginBox Password Manager app for iOS combines a password manager as well as a browser.

From the moment you download it, all your login actions, including entering information, tapping buttons, checking boxes, or answering security questions, automatically completes by the LoginBox Password Manager app.

For security, LoginBox Password Manager app uses hardware-accelerated AES encryption and passcode to encrypt your data and save it on your device itself.

Download LoginBox Password Manager: iOS | Android

Best Online Password Managers

Using an online password manager tool is the easiest way to keep your personal and private information safe and secure from hackers and people with malicious intents.

Here I have listed some of the best online password managers that you can rely on to keep yourself safe online:

1. Google Online Password Manager

google-online-password-manager

Did you know Google has its homebrew dedicated password manager?

Google Chrome has a built-in password manager tool that offers you an option to save your password whenever you sign in to a website or web service using Chrome.

All of your stored accounts' passwords are synced with your Google Account, making them available across all of your devices using the same Google Account.

Chrome password manager lets you manage all your accounts' passwords from the Web.

So, if you prefer using a different browser, like Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 or Safari on iPhone, just visit passwords.google.com, and you'll see a list of all your passwords you have saved with Chrome. Google's two-factor authentication protects this list.

2. Clipperz Online Password Manager

Clipperz-Online-Password-Manager

Clipperz is a free, cross-platform best online password manager that does not require you to download any software. Clipperz online password manager uses a bookmarklet or sidebar to create and use direct logins.

Clipperz also offers an offline password manager version of its software that allows you to download your passwords to an encrypted disk or a USB drive so you can take them with you while traveling and access your accounts' passwords when you are offline.

Some features of Clipperz online password manager also includes password strength indicator, application locking, SSL secure connection, one-time password and a password generator.

Clipperz online password manager can work on any computer that runs a browser with a JavaScript browser.

3. Passpack Online Password Manager

Passpack-Free-Online-Password-Manager

Passpack is an excellent online password manager with a competitive collection of features that creates, stores and manages passwords for your different online accounts.

PassPack online password manager also allows you to share your passwords safely with your family or coworkers for managing multiple projects, team members, clients, and employees easily.

Your usernames and passwords for different accounts are encrypted with AES-256 Encryption on PassPack's servers that even hackers access to its server can not read your login information.

Download the PassPack online password manager toolbar to your web browser and navigate the web normally. Whenever you log into any password-protected site, PassPack saves your login data so that you do not have to save your username and password manually on its site.

Best Enterprise Password Manager

Over the course of last 12 months, we've seen some of the biggest data breaches in the history of the Internet and year-over-year the growth is heating up.

According to statistics, a majority of employees even don't know how to protect themselves online, which led company’s business at risk.

To keep password sharing mechanism secure in an organization, there exist some password management tools specially designed for enterprises use, such as Vaultier, CommonKey, Meldium, PassWork, and Zoho Vault.

1. Meldium Enterprise Password Manager Software

Meldium-Enterprise-Password-Manager

LogMeIn's Meldium password management tool comes with a one-click single sign-on solution that helps businesses access to web apps securely and quickly.

It automatically logs users into apps and websites without typing usernames and passwords and also tracks password usage within your organization.

Meldium password manager is perfect for sharing accounts within your team member without sharing the actual password, which helps organizations to protect themselves from phishing attacks.

2. Zoho Vault Password Management Software
Zoho Vault Password Management Software

Zoho Vault is one of the best Password Manager for Enterprise users that helps your team share passwords and other sensitive information fast and securely while monitoring each user's usage.

All your team members need to download is the Zoho browser extension. Zoho Vault password manager will automatically fill passwords from your team's shared vault.

Zoho Vault also provides features that let you monitor your team's password usage and security level so that you can know who is using which login.

The Zoho Vault enterprise-level package even alerts you whenever a password is changed or accessed.

For Extra Security, Use 2-Factor Authentication

two-factor-authentication-password-security

No matter how strong your password is, there still remains a possibility for hackers to find some or the other way to hack into your account.

Two-factor authentication is designed to fight this issue. Instead of just one password, it requires you to enter the second passcode which is sent either to your mobile number via an SMS or to your email address via an email.

So, I recommend you to enable two-factor authentication now along with using a password manager software to secure your online accounts and sensitive information from hackers.

Author:  Swati Khandelwal

Source:  http://thehackernews.com/

Categorized in Science & Tech
So you’ve got a new Mac and you’re looking to make the most of the robust application environment on MacOS Sierra? Well, we’ve got you covered. There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS in Apple’s App Store – not to mention the thousands more that are scattered across the web. Below, we’ve compiled some of the best Mac apps available. Since there are so many apps, we pared it down to only include programs that are most likely to be useful to the average Mac user, whether you’re looking to quickly access an abundance of RSS feeds or automatically upload your photos to the proverbial cloud.

Interface

Alfred 2

Alfred 2 App
Think of Alfred as Spotlight with a dash of Siri. It’s an application launcher, but it can do a lot more than just that. With Alfred, you can quickly perform calculations, execute web searches, and quickly find word definitions, among many other functions. It fills the gap between Siri and your Spotlight search, by allowing you to automate tasks and perform advanced functions that, frankly, Siri should be able to handle without voice input.
 

Bartender 2 ($15)

Bartender 2 Mac App
Bartender 2 is an app made for when you’re utilizing too many apps. It’s a subtle tool that’s specifically designed with organization in mind, and as such, it lets you better organize various aspects of your interface. With Bartender 2, you choose which apps appear in the menu bar and rearrange their position to your liking. You can also search for specific items, or move them into the optional Bartender Bar if you’re in dire need of more space.

Caffeine

Caffeine Mac App
 
 
Always a favorite, this one keeps your computer from going into sleep mode, starting the screensaver, or performing the auto-dim function. It’s ideal for reading long documents, or any other activity in which you don’t touch the keyboard or mouse for extended periods of time. Just give it a click.

Dropzone ($10)

Dropzone 3 App Thumb
Once installed, Dropzone 3 truly feels like an integral part of MacOS Sierra. The bare-bones application functions as a shortcut tool, meaning you can use it to quickly copy and move files, launch applications, and share content through popular services such as Facebook and Flickr. You can also upload files via FTP and Amazon S3, or shorten URLs using the newly-added Goo.glshortener. It’s all housed within a tiny icon that sits in the menu bar.

f.lux

Flux App Thumb
 
F.lux is a tiny little utility that makes the color of your display adapt to more accurately mimic outside light. If you stare at a bright computer screen late into the evening, all that blue light from your screen can screw with the melatonin levels in your brain and can make it hard to fall asleep. Flux helps fix that problem.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome Mac App
Safari will never boast the kind of intuitive integration afforded by Google’s browser. It’s arguably the fastest browser available for desktop platforms, one that also features the ability to automatically sync all your information — bookmarks, open tabs, recent searches, etc. — across multiple computers and mobile devices. That, combined with its robust customization and instant search capabilities, make it worthwhile.

Magnet ($2)

Magnet App Thumb
It’s not always easy to view multiple windows side by side, at least, not without Magnet. The app is made for the multitasker inside all of us, and thus presents a quick way to drag and arrange on your desktop. With Magnet, you can drag and snap windows to the edges and corners of your screen, which will then lock into place. It’s a terrific tool, complete with predefined keyboard shortcuts, if you want copy content from one app to another.

Unclutter ($6)

Unclutter Mac App
Unclutter is a basic piece of software that suits its name. The app is accessible with a quick swipe from the top of your screen, and, better yet, functions as a convenient place for storing quick notes, recent files, and clipboard information. Recent updates also allow for a light or dark theme, and include an option for dragging cards on top of other desktop windows. Files and notes even automatically sync across your devices via Dropbox, a suitable addition that adds to the app’s appeal.

PRODUCTIVITY

Evernote

Evernote Mac App
 
Evernote is the undisputed king of note taking apps, and for good reason. It’s simple, organized in a highly intuitive way, and syncs with just about any Web service you can imagine. Since it’s one of the most popular apps in existence, there’s a veritable boatload of browser extensions and add-ons available for it as well.

Day One 2 Journal ($30)

Day One 2 Journal Mac App
Journals are an age-old tradition — just ask Benjamin Franklin. That said, the aptly-titled Day One 2 Journal serves a digital companion for those looking to capture life’s little moments. Aside from text, the app also incorporates photos, reminders, and tags, the latter of which helps tremendously with organization. The best part? Password protection keeps potential, prying eyes at bay.

Fantastical 2 ($50)

Fantastical 2 Mac App
Fantastical 2 is the only calendar app you’ll ever need, so long as you’re willing to shell out a cool $50 for it. The steep price grants you access to a powerful set of tools, however, as well as a full-screen calendar window that’s as beautiful as it is practical. The true hallmark of Fantastical 2 is in the way you create reminders; just type in that you have “Dinner with Alexa on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.” and watch the app schedule it with a reminder.

Pixelmator ($30)

Pixelmator App Thumb
Mac users have an incredibly vast selection of excellent photo editing programs, but even against thousands of competitors, Pixelmator stands out as one of the best. It’s got a massive list of powerful features, and is probably the fastest program of its type that we’ve ever used.
 

Pocket

Pocket Mack App
As the name might imply, Pocket is a tool that lets you “pocket” articles, videos, and webpages for later viewing. It essentially consolidates all the content in a simple, easy-to-use interface that’s also accessible offline. The app is perfect for sharing your favorite stuff among friends or for stowing interesting articles you might encounter on your evening commute — which you can then pull up on the big screen with their accompanying text, pictures, and links when you get home.

PDF Expert ($60)

PDF Expert Mac App
Having to work with PDF files is a fact of life, and PDF Expert makes that fact a little easier. Not only does the minimalist desktop software allow you to fill out forms and merge PDFs, but it also grants you a host of tools for editing, annotating, and signing files on the fly. Moreover, it’s compatible with Apple’s Continuity and Handoff features, so you can swap devices while in the middle of a document without fear of losing your work.

REEDER 3 ($10)

Reeder 3 Mac App
Google Reader may be dead and gone, but a proper RSS reader is still a must. Thankfully, Reeder 3 is one of the best around. The desktop application sports a gorgeous finish that perfectly compliments MacOS Sierra’s semi-transparent panes, along with shared extensions, a private browsing mode, and support for most RSS services (Feedly, Feedbin, Fever, etc.). Themes, gesture controls, and a host of customization also come standard.
 

Text Wrangler

TextWrangler App Thumb
With so many free text editors out there for Mac users, it’s tough to choose just one. Some lean toward minimalism and strip away advanced features, but Text Wrangler isn’t one of those. This program is the Cadillac of free text editors. It has every bell, whistle, and advanced formatting option you’ll ever need. It’s not a replacement for a good word processor, sure, but it’s a great choice for editing code and other plain text files.

Wunderlist

Wunderlist Mac App
Don’t let Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Wunderlist fool you — it’s still a phenomenal tool for MacOS, even without the premium feature set. The sleek application helps with creating to-do lists, each of which comes complete with customized due dates, reminders, and everything else you need to stay on schedule. The software also allows for collaborative lists, syncs your content across devices, and features the ability to save webpages and other content for later viewing (a la Pocket).

ENTERTAINMENT AND SOCIAL

Spotify

Spotify Mac App
Apple Music isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, Spotify’s official desktop app represents the perfect alternative for those looking to branch outside the Apple ecosystem. The Mac app gives you access to the entire Spotify catalog much like its mobile counterpart, letting you search and listen to nearly any track, artist, or album free of charge. You can also use it to build custom playlists, or capitalize on personal recommendations that span jazz, hip-hop, rock, and everything in between.
 

HandBrake

Handbrake App ThumbYes, DVD ripping is still a thing in the age of digital distribution. That said, HandBrake shines when it comes to converting media files and encoding videos, especially when you factor in how quick and effortless the open-source software makes the process. The software also comes with a plethora of video-editing tools designed for splicing, adjusting framerate, and adding subtitles among a laundry list of other useful actions that come second to its optimization presets.

Parcel

Parcel App Thumb
Honestly, who still shops in brick-and-mortar stores anymore? Parcel is aimed at the online shopping aficionado, rendering it ideal for anyone who’s constantly expecting a package at their doorstep. The tracking app works with more than 250 services — including mainstays such as UPS, USPS, FedEx — allowing you to see where your packages are at a glance with little more than a tracking number. Push notifications and Spotlight integration is just a bonus.

Transmission

Transmission MacOS
Solid BitTorrent clients are few and far between, but Transmission ranks among the best. The lightweight app excels when it comes to download speed and blends seamlessly with MacOS. It’s not the most fully-featured Torrent client, but it’s easily the best choice for MacOS on account of its reliability and no-nonsense approach to Torrent downloads. It’s fast, light, and makes life a little easier by just getting out of your way. Transmission did have a security breach a while back, however, so make sure you only download the most recent version (2.92 or above) directly from the Transmission Project.
 

VLC

VLC Media Player Thumb App
VLC media player is better than Quicktime in nearly every facet that matters, most notably speed and file compatibility. The open-source software also supports nearly every media file you can muster, from AAC to Theora, while offering speedy video conversion, extensive subtitle support, and a host of video filters that let crop, de-lace, and general customize playback. The intuitive interface isn’t half bad, either.

Adium

Adium App Thumb
Adium is a multi-protocol instant messaging client that can bundle all of your accounts into one simple application. Just tell it which services you use — AIM, MSN, Google Talk, Facebook, etc. — and it’ll pull all of your contacts and organize them into a unified space with a clean UI.

Slack

Slack Mac App
Google Hangouts is second to Slack, a messaging client that’s recently taken office productivity and discussion to new levels. The service’s attractive desktop app pairs features all the tools available in the browser-based version of Slack — i.e. private channels, Giphy integration, themes  — along with better control over notifications and increased support for multiple teams.
 

Tweetbot

Tweetbot Mac App
Tweetbot 2 is for the power user who’d rather skip the outdated, official Twitter app for Mac in favor of something more capable. Like the last-gen version of the software, the newest iteration presents you with multiple columns and windows, along with tools to mute users, hashtags, and specific keywords. It supports third-party apps such as bitly and Paper, and showcases a streamlined interface that pair perfectly with the redesigned look of El Capitan.

1Password ($65)

1Password Mac App

Hate trying to remember every single password for every account you have? 1Password is a fantastic password manager that secures them in a fully-encrypted vault, which you then access by using your master password.

Little Snitch 3 ($35)

Little Snitch 3 Mac App
Little Snitch 3 is a permissions blocker that lets you control all of your incoming and outgoing connections. If you’ve got a program that you don’t want connecting to the Internet, the software can block it for you. You can set it to block things just once, until you quit, or forever. It’s really nice for control freaks like us who prefer to know everything our Mac is doing.
 
Chances are that you know the merits of Google Drive, however, you might not be aware that you can work on your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations offline when you can’t access the Internet. The desktop app gives you quick access to all your files and folders much like the software’s mobile counterpart, providing you with a dedicated folder where you can sync up 15GB worth of content — assuming you haven’t paid for extra storage.

Dropbox

Dropbox App Thumb 5
Dropbox makes syncing files across all your devices quick and painless. The desktop app works much like the software’s Web and mobile counterparts, giving you access to your files and folders while offering you the ability to upload photos, videos, and various documents directly from you desktop. You’ll receive 2GB of free storage just for signing up, too, and can earn more if you invite your friends or connect to Dropbox through the usual social media channels.
 
The native apps in MacOS can’t do it all, especially when it comes to compressed or archived files. Thankfully, the Unarchiver can handle nearly any format you can throw at it, whether you’re working with RAR files or older formats such as StuffIt, ARC, or Tar. The software also doesn’t require you to open a separate application, so you can access your files with a simple click in Finder.
 
Source:  digitaltrends.com
Categorized in Science & Tech
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