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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

How Safe Are Password Managers? by CHRIS HOFFMAN

A password manager stores all your passwords and automatically fills them in your web browser and mobile apps. But is trusting an app with your passwords and storing them all in one place a smart idea?
Yes, yes, it is. We recommend everyone use a password manager, which is far superior to other ways of keeping track of your passwords. Here’s why they’re a safe choice.
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Password Managers Are Safer Than the Alternative

A password manager stores your passwords in a secure vault, which you can unlock with a single master password—and, optionally, an extra two-factor authentication method to help keep everything extra secure.
Password managers let you use strong, unique passwords everywhere. This typically isn’t possible for most people—can you really remember unique, strong passwords for every website you use? Password managers can generate and remember passwords like E.wei3-uaF7TaW.vuJ_w.
If you don’t use a password manager to store your passwords, you probably can’t remember all the unique, strong passwords you would need to use. Most people end up reusing passwords on multiple websites—that’s the most dangerous thing, as a password database leak at once website means your accounts on another site are wide open. Someone just has to try signing in with the same email address and password combination from the breach.
You could try creating “unique” passwords yourself based on a pattern. For example, maybe your base password is _p@ssw0rd_. You could modify it based on the domain—for example, when signing into facebook, you could take the “f” and the “a” and make it fp@ssw0rda. Repeat this for each account you use, and you have unique passwords you can remember yourself, right? Well, not really—your passwords are now predictable. And what happens when a website doesn’t allow special characters or limits you to a specific number of digits and your method doesn’t work?
With a password manager, you just have to create one strong password and remember it.
While you do have to place some trust in whatever password manager you choose, using a password manager is more secure than the alternatives. The password managers we recommend have never had their passwords compromised, but many people have gotten in trouble through reusing passwords. Exploiting those reused passwords is often how attackers “hack” accounts these days.

How Password Managers Secure Your Passwords

Signing into 1Password X in Chrome.
We—and many other sites—recommend 1Password and LastPass as our top picks. Both protect your password vault with strong encryption (AES-256, specifically), even while it’s stored in the cloud. While the passwords are on your PC, phone, or tablet, they’re protected with a “master password” you know that makes them unreadable by anyone without that password. On modern devices, you can also unlock your vault with biometric authentication—like Face ID or Touch ID on iPhones.
Both services say the master password never leaves your device, and they couldn’t access your passwords if they want—they have “zero knowledge” of your passwords. They’ve undergone third-party audits and code reviews. Neither has ever suffered a serious breach, and both are up-front and transparent about how they protect your data. See the 1Password and LastPass websites for more details.
Prefer doing it yourself? Open-source password managers like Bitwarden and KeePass also exist. You can use these open-source applications to store your password on your own devices or servers. For example, you could set up your own sync server for Bitwarden or manually sync a KeePass database between your devices. It will likely be more complex and more work—and the apps aren’t as user-friendly—but if you prefer open-source software, options are available.

Can You Trust Password Manager Companies?

Signing into the LastPass browser extension in Chrome.
Ultimately, you are placing some trust in the password-manager companies here. Sure, the companies promise to keep your passwords safe, but they could update their software to capture your passwords, or a massive security hole could open your passwords to attack. The companies are audited for security, but what if they turned bad?
Sure, that’s a risk. You trust your password manager like any other application you use. The same is true for any application on your PC or most browser extensions: They could spy on you and phone home, reporting your passwords, credit card numbers, and communications to someone else.
But that hasn’t happened yet. These are reputable companies in the business of security. It’s probably more dangerous to install random browser extensions—many of which get full access to everything that happens in your browser and could phone home with those details—than store your passwords in a password manager.

We Use Password Managers and Recommend Them

We follow our own advice and use password managers like 1Password and LastPass here at How-To Geek, too. The password managers built into browsers like Chrome and Apple’s Safari are getting better, but they just aren’t as powerful or fully featured yet.
On top of the safety, password managers offer many convenience benefits. You can easily share your passwords with a friend, family member, or coworker. You can automatically fill those passwords on mobile without typing them in—even on an iPhone or iPad. Password managers like 1Password and LastPass provide alerts if any of the passwords you’re using have been breached in an attack and recommend passwords you should change. It’s a big improvement over trying to keep track of all your passwords without any help.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

How to Get Directions from the Calendar App on Your iPhone & iPad by iPhoneLife Magazine

Apple's Calendar app has long been one of the best free calendar apps out there for iPhone users. One of the most useful aspects of the Calendar app is the ability to get a map and directions to the locations of your appointments without ever leaving your Calendar. Let's get started learning how to find and use the map and directions feature in your iPhone's Calendar.

How to Get Directions to an Appointment Directly from the Calendar App

Accessing directions from the Calendar app begins with adding the event's location when creating and adding your Calendar entries. 
  1. Open the Calendar app.
  2. Tap the plus sign at the upper-right corner of your display.

    iphone calendar app

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    add an entry to calendar app
  3. Create your event as usual by giving it a name, date, and time, but also be sure to add a location.
  4. If this is a new destination, you'll need to type the address into the field provided. If you've entered the address of your appointment before, it will appear in a drop-down list, and you can tap to add it to your event.

    add location to calendar eventaddress provided by calendar app
  5. When you've finished entering all the necessary data, tap Done.
  6. Now, when you look at your Calendar entry, you'll see the directions below the name of the event; tap the address to get directions.

    tap done to complete calendar entrytap to get directions from calendar entry
  7. You'll see be taken to the Maps app, tap Directions to navigate to your appointment.

    tap to get directions from calendar entry
Top image credit: Flamingo Images /

Best MacBooks for 2019 by Wired Staff

AirPods Pro have replaceable components but aren't repairable by Georgina Torbet

Apple's AirPods Pro might sound better, but they're just as non-repairable as the regular AirPods. A teardown of the new buds performed by iFixit confirms that trying to repair them is "both impractical and uneconomical."
When compared with 2016's original AirPods and this year's refresh, the teardown showed the newer AirPods Pro have some differences in construction as well as the addition of new features like capacitive controls and active noise cancellation using an inward-facing microphone. The hardware for these features makes the new buds one third heavier than the previous generations, weighing in at 0.19 oz (5.4 g) each.
Another new piece of hardware is a button cell battery which sits in the main body of the buds, as opposed to the long, thin battery which was located in the stem in previous models. The watch-style button cell battery is similar to the one found by iFixit in the Samsung Galaxy Buds, but unlike the Samsungs, the AirPods battery isn't replaceable. That's due to a soldered cable tethering the battery in place.
The one user-replaceable part of the Pros is the silicone tips, but the buds aren't compatible with typical aftermarket tips. You'll need to purchase tips from Apple if you want to replace them.
That means the AirPods Pro are essentially disposable, with no improvements in repairability over previous generations. That's disappointing but not surprising. Wired's Lauren Goode got confirmation from Apple that the buds are not repairable due to the glue which holds them together.

The Final Verdict on Why People Prefer MacBooks Over Other Laptops by Anna Johansson

The Apple vs. Windows debate is endless. Each has a following of die-hard fans who swear their preference is superior. However, research has shown that more people prefer Mac even though many are still using Windows.
Still, there are people who prefer Windows, and for decades each side has failed to prove why their preferred operating system and device is the best. Even sound logic doesn’t seem to sway anybody to switch sides.
It’s impossible for preferences to be right or wrong, so let’s shift the conversation toward exploring why Apple fans love their MacBooks:

1. A Smooth and Interactive User Experience

A MacBook’s user experience is vastly different from any Windows computer, but it’s not just the software. All the components factor into the user experience.

The Keyboard

MacBook keyboards, including wireless keyboards, require minimal finger pressure and create a pleasant sound when the keys are struck. Interacting with the keyboard is a pleasant experience.
Decades ago, when keyboards had large, stiff keys, typing was difficult and noisy. Since then, manufacturers have released silent keyboards, which do have a small market. However, the MacBook user experience would be ruined with a silent keyboard. Keyboard feedback tells the user they’ve pressed the key, and the sound is almost hypnotic.

The Keyboard and Trackpad Setup

MacBook fans love the keyboard setup because everything is arranged to require minimal hand and finger movement while typing. The MacBook keyboard/trackpad setup is even preferred by desktop users. To satisfy this preference, a company called Bullet Train developed the Express Keyboard Platform to give desktop users their favorite MacBook keyboard/trackpad setup.

The Trackpad

The trackpad on a MacBook is pleasant to use. MacBook fans enjoy being able to tap the trackpad instead of clicking, but the Force Touch trackpad takes the user experience a step further by providing haptic feedback. This works by simulating the feel of a click, even when the user hasn’t pushed the trackpad.
When combined, all of the above features work together to create a pleasant typing, scrolling, and clicking experience for users.

2. Multiple Options for Taking a Screenshot

Capturing a screenshot on a MacBook is fast, easy, and doesn’t require opening any programs. Users can take a full screenshot, select a specific area, or capture only a specific window. Most MacBook users are aware of the first two screenshot options. The third isn’t widely known.
Say you want to grab a screenshot of your entire browser window, minus your desktop. You could press Shift + Command + 4 to bring up the crosshair and drag an outline around your browser, but there’s a better way to get a precise screenshot.
Once you’ve pressed Shift + Command + 4 and you see the crosshair, press the spacebar and you’ll see a camera icon appear. Move your cursor over the browser window you want to capture and click. A .png file will be automatically saved to your desktop.

3. Default Programs Have Important Features

MacBook lovers have an advantage over others when it comes to software. Standard programs offer many features most people need to pay for.

Signing PDF Documents

You can sign and annotate PDFs in Preview. Most people try to use Adobe Acrobat and realize they need to pay for an upgrade to access these features. That’s true for a Windows user, but not for MacBook users.

Batch Renaming

You can rename files in batches using nothing more than MacBook’s finder. This feature allows you to replace text, add text, or change the format by appending numbers to the filename.

Get Mail from Multiple Accounts

MacBooks also come with Apple’s Mail program, which users prefer to Outlook and similar programs. Mail comes with all the same features, but it’s easier to use. The toolbar is fully customizable, and you can set up rules that determine where certain emails will go.

Screen Recording

QuickTime can be used for screen recording. While the recording capabilities are limited compared to paid applications, it’s sufficient for many people. If you need to capture audio, just install Soundflower and you’re good to go.

4. MacBook Users Have Specific, Detailed Preferences

Just like people prefer certain cars for comfort and performance, MacBook users are captivated by the look, feel, and experience of their MacBook. Apple lovers want innovation and a smooth and easy user experience, which happens to be the company’s mission. Judging by the number of loyal fans, it’s safe to say they’re achieving their mission.

Apple's dumb Mail app update has users furious over deleted emails By James Gelinas,

When it comes to software, people tend to hate change. Since so many programs are used by people on a daily basis, radical redesigns can be intrusive and off-putting. As the saying goes, "If it aint broke, don't fix it."
But software developers don't always feel the same way. Some companies are notorious for changing software design and function on the fly. Whether it's actual innovation or not, the reception for sudden shifts is almost always negative. Click or tap to see this iOS change that frustrated users last year.
Now, Apple has another design blunder under its belt. The iOS 13 update included a change to a familiar and frequently used app: Mail. Two long-time icons have been moved for no apparent reason — and people are starting to get angry. If you made the jump to iOS 13, here's what you need to know.

Thousands of messages lost.

Apple users noticed an unusual change in iOS 13 that seems to have come out of nowhere. In the default Mail app, the positions of two critical icons — Trash and Reply — have been moved for unknown reasons. Now, the Trash icon occupies the spot on the screen where the Reply icon used to sit. This has unfortunately led to numerous cases of emails being deleted by accident.
As you can see in the image above, things no longer look as they used to. To the left we see how Mail appeared in iOS 12, and iOS 13's new design on the right. Several icons for flagging and organizing have been outright removed, and the Reply icon now sits in the far right corner of the display.
The new position of the Trash icon is dangerous for users who rely on muscle memory to compose email. iOS doesn't require extra confirmation to delete a message, so one tap of the Trash icon will send your message away.
Users across Twitter have already weighed in on the unusual placement of the icon and are calling on Apple to change things back in their next software update. Apple has yet to publicly respond to any tweets or requests for comment on the matter.

WHY did @Apple think it was a good idea to put the trash icon in the mail app where the reply button was in the old iOS? I have been deleting all my important emails.
19 people are talking about this

@Apple please rethink the placement of the trash icon.... I’ve deleted so many emails in the last few weeks lol.
View image on Twitter
18 people are talking about this

 I hate this change! What can I do to avoid it?

Unfortunately, if you're already on iOS 13, there isn't much to be done. People across the web are already submitting complaints to Apple regarding the change, and it remains to be seen whether the company does anything about it.
For now, you might want to seek out an email client for your iPhone that offers a more intuitive control scheme. If you use Gmail, Google's native GMail app is a fantastic addition to your phone and features some extra goodies like dynamic email that you won't get on the vanilla iPhone Mail app. Click or tap for more information on dynamic interactive mail in Gmail.
If you have an or email address through Apple, you're out of luck. Those email addresses are specifically designed to work within Apple's native mail app.
We'll keep our fingers crossed in hope of Apple coming to its senses by the time the next update rolls around. In the meantime, we'll leave you with this quote from Fox anchor John Roberts that sums up how we all feel about this:
Well said, John.

Don't update your iPhone yet! Buggy iOS 13 may put your phone at risk

iOS 13 made its official debut on Sept. 19 to an enthusiastic response from fans. But all that excitement came crashing down once users actually got a hold of the update. A number of bugs, slowdowns and crashes have left iPhone owners stumped, and a new security issue has even prompted the Department of Defense to advise their staff not to download. If you've been thinking about downloading the iOS 13 update, here's why you might want to hold off for now.