Mac Heads

iOS Security: 3 Steps You Can Take Right Now

If hackers can break into Pippa Middleton’s iCloud account (sister to Kate Middleton, who is married to Prince William…Real talk, I had to look her up to find out who she was), you better believe they can get into yours. Sure, you may not think you’re important enough to hack, but sucks to be you if you’re hacked because you chose not to take these 3 simple steps for better iOS security.

Add a longer device Passcode

While it takes a ton of effort on a hacker’s part, it is now possible to crack the default 4-digit long passcode most of us use on our devices. To make it even harder for hackers, you can opt to use a 6-digit (or longer) passcode for added security:

Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Change Passcode

Update Your Apple ID Password

I’m almost positive that the company you work for requires you to change your system password every 90 days or so. If it doesn’t, the entire IT department needs to be fired. If you’re a small biz owner and you are your IT department, fire yourself.

Apple does not require you to change your Apple ID Password. So a good habit to pick up would be to change your Apple ID password when you’re required to change your work password:

Settings > iCloud > Click your account > Password & Security > Change Password

Add 2-Factor Authentication

The final and possibly best way to protect your Apple ID account would be to add 2-Factor Authentication. That way, if somebody gets your Apple ID and password, then tries to log in to your account from a device not already recognized by your account, they will also need access to your phone in order to enter the special code Apple sends via text message or iCloud message.

Settings > iCloud > Click your account > Password & Security > Set Up Two-Factor Authentication
Device sequences may vary depending on iOS version installed

All that to say It’s best to take the extra precaution now, versus trying to figure out why you’re spread eagle all over the interwebz.

Mac Heads Tips and Tricks

Recovery Mode To The Rescue

During the day, I’m a Mobile Device System Administrator. Every once in a while, I have to schedule the repair of damaged devices or resell/recycle old devices. I try and try…and try to remind my users that they need to remove their data and restore their devices back to factory settings before sending them back to me.

Most comply, but more often than I would like, I get a device from somebody who just packed them up and shipped them off. Since our mobile device policy forces users to add a passcode to their devices, well…let’s just say there’s a good chance that I will get a little surprise (read: do extra work) every time I power up a returned device.

Since I know some of you are the Mobile Device Managers for your friends/family/household, and may have “forgetful users” of your own to support, you can use this little trick to remove the passcode on your device by putting it in Recovery Mode:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer (PC or Mac. If you have a Chromebook, you just lost one) and connect your device.
  2. Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons until you see the “Connect to iTunes” symbol on your device.
  3. Follow the instructions on how to Restore your device in iTunes.

iPad in Recovery Mode

BE AWARE, going through the restore procedure WILL wipe all your data off the device, so be sure to have a back up #BackDatAssetUp. The positive is that doing this will keep certain settings intact…Like your Apple ID, so if your device is lost/stolen, it can’t just be completely reset and reused using this method.

Tip: Do not follow this procedure if you are trying to sell/recycle/donate your devices. Check out this Apple support link on the necessary steps to remove the Apple activation lock from your device.

Most importantly, you will now have access to you device. Recovery mode also works if you think you have completely messed up your device while doing things like installing iOS 10 Public beta, or attempting to jailbreak your device.

Mac Heads Tips and Tricks

Mac Tip: Customize Finder Toolbar

In a previous post, I showed you how to skip the Mac’s “Finder Window” altogether and use the built-in Spotlight tool to quickly find and open files, folders, apps, as well as complete a number of tasks.

If you’re one of those stubborn, can’t teach an old dog new tricks type folks people who have grown too accustomed to using your Mac’s Finder window to suddenly change your ways, here’s how you can customize the Finder toolbar to quickly access commonly used functions…and discover new ones.

  1. Access the Finder Window one of two ways:
    • Accessing the Finder Window “App” in your Mac’s toolbar
    • pressing the “command” + “F” keys (make sure your desktop is the current window)
  2. Right-click (or two-finger click if you’re using a track pad) In any blank space in the current Finder toolbar to reveal the finder options dropdown and select “Customize Toolbar”
  3. right_click_finder_toolbar

  4. Drag desired “buttons” to empty spaces in toolbar menu

Extra Tip: You can use this method to customize any window toolbar (apps, folders, etc).

I’ll be honest, customizing the Finder toolbar isn’t some “power user” tip, but in my travels as a Mac IT professional, I’ve come across many users who use their Mac as-is without any sort of tweaking or customization. So a little insight on something as simple as adding more buttons to the Finder toolbar may just uncover functions that could increase your productivity and overall Mac knowledge.

…And as expensive as these Mac’s are, I would think you’d want to squeeze as much functionality out of these jawns as possible.

You’re welcome

Speed up your Mac with CleanMyMac 2!

Mac Heads Tips and Tricks

How To Complete An iPhone 6 Preorder With Your iPhone

The Apple Store app keeps getting better and better. So much so that you can save yourself some headache and quickly place an iPhone 6 preorder in a matter of minutes…Here’s how.

Note: Pre-orders start 12am Pacific time. For folks on the east side with me, you will have to wait until 3am to place your order. Also, you’re going to want this process to go as quickly as possible because the Apple servers will crash (Never forget…the Apple event live stream), so make sure your billing, shipping, and credit card information is correct, so you don’t fumble on the 1 yard line.

Mac Heads Tips and Tricks

[How-To] Back-up Instagram Images to the Cloud with IFTTT for iOS

Instagram IFTTT backupI’m all about automating my digital life. IFTTT (If This, Then, That) is a easy-to-use but powerful tool that lets me do just that. If you’re not familiar, with IFTTT you can activate “channels” of frequent digital services you use to create “recipes” that are made up of triggers and actions that carry out certain tasks.

Honestly, the possibilites of IFTTT are endless. To make matters worse, IFTTT for iOS was recently released that lets you quickly create recipes and view current activity from your mobile device. So to wet your appetite, I thought I’d put together a little tutorial on creating a recipe to automate a task I suggest everyone do: Back-up Instagram images.

I’d like to think that I’m a pretty frequent Instagram user. Earlier this year, I’ve looked into having more control over my photos for two reasons:

1. As a result of the hub-bub that went down with Instagram’s ToS changes ealier this year in regards who can do what with my photos

2. Since I frequently use Instagram images elsewhere, but don’t like the Instagram search function for browsing my images (hint: There isn’t a search function for browsing my images).

I figured the best way would be to back-up all my Instagram photos, just in case I need to find a particular image, or if Facebook Instagram starts tripping about their photos again. Yeah, I know…Within Instagram there is an option to “Save Original Photos” to my camera roll. Honestly, I don’t want to jam up my phone with any more pics than I already have…and the search option on my phone sucks (hint: There isn’t a serch function for browsing my images).

All that to say, since I already have a ton of cloud storage space I’m not using, might as well re-puropose it as “online media backup space”. That’s where IFTTT comes in. I’ve created a recipe that essentially searches my public Instagram profile for new pictures and downloads them to my cloud storage account. Since the IFTTT for iOS makes it even to create recipes than on the web, I created this recipe as well as the entire tutorial on how to back-up Instagram photos to the web on my iPhone.

(Shout-out to Skitch for making it easy to mark-up screenshots, and Guidecentral for creating and embedding the tutorial)

How to back up Instagram images to the cloud with IFTTT by brothatech

Relax, if you don’t have an iPhone, you can create this same recipe by visiting IFTTT on the web. With IFTTT, you can do a kinds of cool little tricks. I use it to back up Facebook photos, to share all my new blog posts to Twitter and my Facebook page, to share my “tribe” posts, send package tracking updates to my Pebble watch…and some other stuff I can’t think of right now.

Be sure to try out IFTTT and let me know what kinds of recipes you can cook up.

Mac Heads

Instagram For iOS Adds Landscape Mode and Why You Should Care

A Babble Joint

In the latest update, Instagram for iOS fixed some bugs, added Cinema (stabilization) support for front-facing camera recording, yada, yada, yada. What really has me geeked about this update is the ability to shoot photos and record video in landcape mode.

Portrait Mode vs. Landscape Mode

It’s highly common to see video recorded on smartphones uploaded and shared everywhere on the web. Most of those videos I’ve seen are squeezed between black bars that seem to take up all the extra space to the left and right of the video. This is the case because people recorded those videos holding their phones vertically (portrait) versus rotating their phones horizontally (landscape mode) before recording.

When videos recoded in portrait mode are played back on slick widescreen TV’s, computers and other video devices, the dreaded black bars appear due to the difference between the format used to record the video and the device/platform used to playback the video. The simple solution is to rotate your smartphone so it’s horizontal to the ground before recording.

Why you should care?

Read my full post on