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Security

Even if you don’t have a portable Mac, you should be aware that stuff happens, and even if you think that it’s never going to happen to you, thefts are not as unusual as you might think. I’ve been there, and I can tell you it feels awful having no way to access your computer at all after it’s been stolen, not even to say “hello” to its new owner.

There have been some theft-recovery apps floating around for a few years now, but it wasn’t until recently that Apple made its own service of the kind available. It’s called Find My Mac (or Find My iPad/iPhone), and today we’re going to be reviewing it along with a Mac client for the service called Sosumi.

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Security is something that Macs do well even out of the box. Most users never have to bother much with adjusting their settings to keep their Mac safe and that is one of the reasons Macs are especially appealing to those who can’t wrap their brains around complex security measures.

That luxury, though, often makes people forget that even the simplest measures can already do a lot of good, for example locking the screen of your Mac when you’re not using it. While the standard tools of Mac OS do a good job at that, you can tune the simple command up with Lock Your Screen. We’ll take a look at what the app can do for you.

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Our laptops are valuable devices. They connect us. Inform and entertain us. And yes, sometimes distract us. Dealing with a lost or stolen laptop is not typically a thought we ponder in our busy lives. The good news, there are some powerful tools out there to assist us in the recovery of a missing laptop. The better news, today we’ll take a look at Prey – a free, open-source laptop recovery system that you can begin using immediately.

The developers at preyproject.com make the claim that Prey just works. Let’s take a look at how Prey gets the job done.

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I remember from when I used a Windows machine how annoying the anti-virus apps used to be. It was kind of a “can’t live with them, or without them” relationship. If you ran a Windows machine, you had to have an anti-virus app if you wanted it to remain functional. But it was kind of like trading one thing for another, as most of the anti-virus apps were always annoying and slowed down my computer a lot (it almost felt like installing a virus that would keep away even worse viruses away from my computer).

When I made the switch to Mac, one of the big factors that influenced my decision were all the people telling me that Mac OS is safe out of the box, and that I didn’t need an anti-virus. This is kind of a difficult topic, though, and still many people don’t feel safe running their Mac without an anti-virus installed. Today we are reviewing a free alternative to the popular paid anti-virus Mac apps. It’s called ClamXav, let’s take a look!

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Whether it’s at Starbucks, the mall or Motel 6, free WiFi hotspots are popping up everywhere. While you’re using those hotspots, you might unknowingly be giving away some seriously personal information to an opportunistic hacker or two, including your social network, email, and even your online banking account login credentials.

With personal information like that at risk, you might be tempted to stop using those free hotspots altogether, but an app called Cloak by Bourgeois Bits hopes to alleviate those risks by providing Mac users with a corporate grade VPN service built into a consumer level app. Read on to see if Cloak really is the perfect companion to public WiFi.

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Think fast, how many web app accounts do you have? Now, how many software licenses? What about bank accounts or email addresses? I’d wager at least several dozen. That’s a lot of user names, passwords and numbers to remember. To help Mac users keep track of their myriad digital profiles, a number of apps have been developed to store and organize all your personal and private information.

I’ve been an avid 1Password user for almost a year now, and I’d be useless without it. However, at $40, it’s not the most affordable option available, and major competitor Wallet is still a bit steep at $20. MyWallet is a newer app offering the basic functionality of a password manager at the much more palatable price of $2.99. Read on to find out if you can still enjoy the benefits of password management without shelling out the cash.

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Let’s face it, passwords are a hassle. Everyone advises against using the same ones over and over again, but it’s just so very convenient only having to memorize a couple of them. Recently, a lot of apps have come out that promise to get rid of this problem by helping you remember all of your passwords, but most of them aren’t very convenient to use.

The app that we are reviewing today, Concealer, isn’t very different from the competition, but it does add a few unique features. Check them out after the jump!

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I believe in preparing for the uneventful. Because if you’re not, technology can be unforgiving. Hardware failure or human carelessness can easily cause you to lose files that are important to you. Even while writing this article, I managed to rid myself of the screenshots I had just gathered!

That instant, when you realize you’ve lost something dear, is absolutely horrifying. And yet everyone – yes, every single one of you – makes these kind of mistakes.

You throw away an old folder without checking its contents, or prematurely decide you won’t be needing a certain file anymore. That’s why you should consider using an application like Disk Drill; to protect you against yourself and the fancies of technology.

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There’s a good chance that you’ve made a significant investment in the applications on your Mac – if not in their purchase cost, certainly in the time you’ve invested making sure you’ve got the right apps to suit the way you work.

What would happen if you had to reinstall OS X or just switch to a new computer? Could you easily find your software registration serial numbers and reinstall your favorite collection of apps?

AppShelf aims to help you answer those questions with a ‘yes’ by keeping a list of all your software registration information in a central place, with the serial numbers or license files you need to reinstall if the worst happens.

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My work requires me to keep confidential notes. I hunted around for some time to find the best way of doing this on my Mac, and tried several different options. What I used for a long time was password-protected entries in either Yojimbo, VoodooPad or Together. Unfortunately, in each case I felt something was missing.

I also tried Espionage. What I liked about this solution was the simplicity of making my notes in plain text files and dropping them into folders, which were then securely encrypted as a whole. I found, though, that I was prompted far too often to supply passwords to unlock the archives it creates so that online backups or other apps could interact with them. What I discovered instead was another app that did a similar job but required far less interaction: Knox.

Knox was already a well-established app when, back in May, it was acquired by Agile Web Solutions, the folks who brought us the excellent (and I would say essential) 1Password. After the jump we’ll walk through Knox’s main features so you can see if it matches your way of working.

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