OS X Bash Update Available

A few weeks ago Apple released an update which addresses the bash security vulnerability found in OS X during the last week of September 2014. The security vulnerability was nicknamed shellshock or the bash bug and reportedly affects all versions of OS X as well as many versions of Linux and Unix released over the past 25 years.

Apple’s update is only available for OS X version 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), and 10.9 (Mavericks). OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) which was released in mid-October has the update built in. Apparently, Apple has no plans to release bash updates for versions of OS X older than 10.7, so if your Mac is running an older version of OS X you should make sure that Remote Login is not enabled in the Sharing System Preference area or you should upgrade your Mac to OS X 10.7 or higher. Section 2 of this article gives you instructions to disable Remote Login.

For reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me Apple doesn’t make this bash update available via Software Update. Instead, users need to manually download and install it. To download it go to Apple’s Software Downloads web site and get the bash update for your version of OS X (Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks). After downloading it you’ll typically find it in your Downloads folder. Then you’ll need to manually install it. In order to install it, you’ll need to first make sure that you’re running the most current version of Lion (OS X 10.7.5), Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.5), or Mavericks (OS X 10.9.5). You can click on the Apple menu and select About this Mac to see which version you have installed and click the Software Update button to get an update if you need it.

Entering your SMTP Password in Apple Mail

When you reset or change your email account password, you have to enter the new password two places in your email account configurations in Mail to continue receiving email with the application. The first place is in the incoming mail settings. The second place is in the outgoing (SMTP) mail settings. Locating these outgoing settings is not obvious, so I’m frequently asked how to change SMTP settings. Here are instructions for changing your password in the outgoing settings if you use Apple’s Mail application on your Mac, iPhone or iPad.  Read More

Restarting Fixes A Variety Of Problems

Restarting fixes a variety of problems. It’s true! You might have heard the adage, When in doubt, restart or if you’ve ever called for computer support you’ve likely been asked Have you tried restarting yet? I know I ask my clients this question almost daily. If you’re having a problem with a device, please restart it. This is true for computers, iPhones, printers, wireless routers, as well as other devices. When you’re having a problem, restart any or all of your associated devices. Restarting almost never causes problems and it commonly fixes them. Restarting can also be used as a way to prevent problems.

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Limit The Number Of Messages In Your Inbox and Sent Folders

Do you have thousands of email messages in your Inbox or Sent folder? If so, read on to learn how this can cause problems as well as better ways to organize your messages. Recently, I’ve had a string of users who have been negatively impacted since they’ve had over 10,000 messages in either their Inbox or Sent mail folder. Read More

Avoid Apps Like MacKeeper, TuneUpMyMac and MacBooster

This Tech Tip is a cautionary tale. As a general rule, I recommend that you avoid installing apps that claim to tune-up or optimize your Mac. Last week, I worked on two Macs whose performance was negatively impacted by MacKeeper, MacBooster and TuneUpMyMac. A third Mac’s web browsing had been hijacked by Conduit Search. It’s not clear if any of these applications are actually malware, but I consider them all annoy-ware at a minimum. Read More