News: Apple and Hacks

iOS8 and youEven if you don't have or want an iPhone, Apple's announcement of new iPhones and the Apple Watch may affect you. Why? Because the new phones include a major update to Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 8, and that new version will be available in a few days on SOME (not all) older iPhones and iPads.  (Click here to find out if your device is included; the list is at the bottom of the page.)

If you are eligible, you will see a notification on your Apple device, like this:

But as with any major update, I strongly encourage you to WAIT a couple of weeks before you install it.  Let other people deal with the first wave of bugs, and install only when you have enough time to get comfortable with changes and new features.  And be sure to back up first.

As for the new iPhones: two thumbs up.  Apple more than fulfilled expectations with the larger screen, better battery life, integrated payments, and improvements under the hood.
 The Apple Watch, though intriguing, remains a question mark until we know more (especially its battery life). 
%$*@! Hackers AgainTwo quick notes on news you've probably seen this week.

The public release of several million Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail addresses and passwords is not what it seems: it's both less and more dangerous, because:
  • you're probably not on the list (you can check here, but for safety, substitute an asterisk for one or two of the characters in your email address, like this: J*
  • even if you are, the password that was published is unlikely to be your email password.

If it's not your email password, though, it's a password you used for SOMETHING, and if you are one of the many people who uses the same password repeatedly, you're really asking for trouble.  (Sorry to nag, but please be smart about your passwords).
**Note: Google allows you to check on the security of your account very easily here.**
Of much more concern is the hacking of Home Depot's credit card system. If you have used a credit card at Home Depot in the past six months, at the very least keep a sharp eye on your charges (don't just wait for the bill at the end of the month), and perhaps even consider changing the card number. *Sigh*. 
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