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HOWTO: Re-Index the Spotlight Index on a Mac

Image of Spotlight search tool

The file search tool Spotlight on Macs is a fast flexible way to find files, except when it isn't.  Occasionally Spotlight does not find files I know are on my Mac and the index needs to be repaired.  

To force Spotlight to delete an old index and create a new one:

  1. Click the Privacy tab.
  2. Drag the folder or disk that you want to index again to the list of locations that Spotlight is prevented from searching. Or click the Add (+) button and select the folder or disk to add.
  3. Choose Apple menu () > System Preferences, then click Spotlight.
  4. To add an item to the Privacy tab, you must have ownership permissions for that item. To learn about permissions, choose Help from the Finder menu bar, then search for “permissions.”
  5. From the same list of locations, select the folder or disk that you just added. Then click the Remove (–) button to remove it from the list.
  6. Quit System Preferences. Spotlight will reindex the contents of the folder or disk.  This can take a long time.
 

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How to Free Up Space Used By Time Machine’s Local Backups on Your Mac

Time Machine doesn’t just back up to external drives. Enable Time Machine on your MacBook and it will create “local snapshots,” too — potentially taking up over 100 GB of disk space on its internal storage.
 
These local snapshots appear as “Backups” when you look at the visual overview of storage in the About Your Mac window.CHRIS HOFFMAN has written a good article about  how you can free up that space and get more room on your Mac.
 

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Daniel's Mac Security Guide

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Last update March 11, 2016

Mac / OS/X Security Recomendations

  • Keep your software up to date.
    • Always update your Apple software from the Updates section of the Apple App Store.  Click the Apple icon on the top left of the display, select "About this Mac" and click on Software Update.  Never update by way of a link on a webpage or an email.
    • Update non-Apple software from within the application or from the company's web site.  Beware of ectra or bonus software downloads during updates.  Oracle's Java updates are notorious for installing unnecessary toolbars.  Less scrupulous companies are often the source of unwanted add-ons that can steal data or show unwanted ads.
  • Make Time Machine backups
    • Select the option to encrypt backups.
    • Keep at least two backups each at a different location and at least one disconnected.  See my article on The Dangers of Cloud Sync.
  • Install anti-virus software.
    • I use Sophos Home, a free AV program for Macs.  Sophos.com
    • Install anti-malware software
      • I use Malwarebytes from Malwarebytes.org.  
  • Set a login password for your Mac
  • Keep your Mac behind a good firewall.

Protecting Macs from Viruses and Malware

March 11, 2016

For many years, computer viruses and malware were mostly the concern of Windows users.  Mac users faced very few threats. This has been atributed to the Mac's sibgle digit market share and, some have argued, a more secure product.  One common misconception was that Macs were somehow imune from viruses and malware.  While the number of threats may pale in comparrisln to Windows, Macs are indeed suseptible to attack and more and more are appearing.  The time has come for Mac users to make secutity a priority.   

In the last few weeks, researchers have found the first Mac Ransomware malware in circulation.  Ransomware is software that encrypts the files on a computer making them unuseable to the owner.  The person controllling the malware then demnads a ransom to unencrypt the files.  In most cases, the victim has only 72 hours to pay or the ransom or the malware author threatens to eraswe the key that is needed to restore the files.  Regardless of the size of your business, the loss of data can be davastatiung.  

Add these new threats to hardware failures and theft and the need for a well thought out and executed computer protection plan is more important then ever.

You can find my Mac security recomendations here.

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Identifying Back Doors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices by Jonathan Zdziarski

Slides from the talk Identifying Back Doors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS by Jonathan Zdziarski at the 2014 Hope X conference in New York. 
 

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Mac Rumors Apple Product Cycles

This page provides a product summary for each Apple model. The intent is to provide the site's best recommendations regarding current product cycles, and to provide a summary of currently available rumors for each model.

This page is based on rumors and speculation.  Useful data about average update cycle and days since last update.

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