This week we’ll talk about some sad news from the makers of my beloved Clarify, then I’ll do a crazy deep dive into the National Institute of Standards and Technology about two-factor authentication. I do this to help you understand what your bank needs to know about using SMS or email or a phone call for authentication (spoiler, they shouldn’t). Then I’ll tell you about how much fun Sandy Foster and I had figuring out how to rip a (non-copy-protected) DVD in a modern version of macOS. In the last segment we’ll have fun with geometry as I try to figure out which screen is physically bigger, iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus.
This week starts with a rant about how “interesting” it was to try to set up the Apple Watch to unlock a Mac, otherwise known as an adventure in changing two-step verification into two-factor authentication. Then we take a break and listen to George from Tulsa tell us about how ChromeOS now supports Android apps and gives his thoughts on how well this works. We get back into two-factor authentication when I explain the impact this had on my Apple TVs. The good news is it all works out in the end. Bart Busschots joins us with another installment of Security Bits.
This post has been dramatically edited (and improved) since it’s first publish date, thanks to alert readers Mike C and Giles Croft. Spoiler alert – you CAN use two-factor authentication on an Apple TV 2 or 3! If you’ve already read this post, jump down to the heading “Breaking News”.
A little while ago I told you about how we were finally able to get our Apple TV to work on Hotel WiFi. As you probably recall, since the Apple TV can’t show a web browser popup, there’s no way to answer the prompt for the WiFi password. The trick was to get the hotel to tell you the phone number for the service provider of their WiFi. From there you can get the provider to provision the MAC address of the Apple TV to connect.
This week we went to see Forbes again (Lindsay and Nolan too) and stayed in a different hotel. We plugged in our Apple TV 3, connected to the network and as expected it didn’t work. After a few calls to the front desk, we eventually found someone to give us the number for their provider, Wandering WiFi. The guy I got was excellent, immediately knew what to do with my request and I hung up while we waited for the Apple TV to connect. But it didn’t work. Continue reading “You May Not Want to Turn on Two-Factor Authentication If You Have an Apple TV 2 or 3”
One of the things I was really looking forward to with macOS Sierra and watchOS 3 was the ability to unlock my Mac with my Apple Watch. I know it’s a small thing but typing that silly password 20 times a day gets on my nerves. I’m not as crazy as George from Tulsa thinks I am, as I didn’t upgrade my podcasting Mac, but I did upgrade my MacBook to Sierra and I upgraded my Watch right away to watchOS 3, so I really wanted to test this feature out.
It turned out to be quite a bit more complicated than I expected. I’ll explain why as we go through all of the steps. If you’d rather just jump right in and do it yourself, of course I did a full tutorial so you can skip ahead:
I figured the place to turn this feature on would be in System Preferences, Security & Privacy where you originally enable a password to unlock the Mac. I guessed right because just below that was a section that said “Allow Apple Watch to unlock your Mac” and right below that it showed my original Apple Watch (which is still paired to my account) and my new Series 2 Apple Watch. I happily clicked the checkbox to allow my Watch to open the Mac.
My video tutorial about Affinity Photo (part 1) is up on ScreenCasts Online at screencastsonline.com/…. Two interviews from Photon LA: Olympus PEN-F Camera and 300mm Prime Lens, and Kenko-Tokina with their SLIK Monopod and AquaTech Camera Housing. After some time with it, I have to admit that two-factor authentication isn’t actually that bad. And Bart Busschots is back with Security Bits as well.
After a couple of weeks with Apple and Google two-factor authentication running, I thought I should give you an update. After the initial huge pain from Google, and the very mild pain from adding two-factor authentication from Apple, they both settled down and I haven’t been challenged for an authorization code in the last couple of weeks. Now that I’m over the hump, I have to admit that Bart was right when he said once you have it set up, it doesn’t bother you very often at all.
Bart also explained something (about 12 times till I grokked it) that helped me understand one vital piece.
I bit the bullet this week and turned on two-factor authentication for both my NosillaCast Google Account and my Apple ID. It was an “interesting” adventure in the same vein as the Chinese curse, “May you have interesting times.” The two experiences were really different and I’m not sure which one was better. In-between those two discussions we’ll cleanse our palettes with a discussion of David Sparks new Hazel Video Field Guide. After we’re done with the two-factor discussion, Bart joins us for Security Bits.
After my someone painful and tedious experience with two-factor authentication on Google, I wasn’t sure I could face doing it on my Apple ID. Since I wrote the previous article, I’ve continued to add to the count of times I’ve had to do the 2FA dance with Google, like when my friend Diane wrote a blog post on her Tumblr account and I wanted to leave a darn comment. The paper cuts have slowed way down over the week but this “you only do it once per device!” claim is pure horse pucky.
In spite of this, I decided to go ahead and try two-factor authentication on my Apple ID. I made this decision because somehow I actually got locked out of my Apple ID. I feared that my account was being targeted by the bad guys but after it happened a second time two days later, I decided to take to the Twitters to see if anyone else was getting locked out.
Continue reading “Apple 2-Factor Authentication – Now With Fewer Paper Cuts”
Last week on Chit Chat Across the Pond, Bart worked me over yet again that I should do two-factor authentication on my email accounts. I whined a lot as I’m sure you heard. Some of you were thinking, “Oh Allison, quit your whining. It’s not THAT hard and it’s totally worth it because you’re protecting the crown jewels.” On the other hand, there were those of you who were saying, “It sounds really hard to me too!”
When we were talking about it, I compared it to how things were in the old days when the subject was doing backups. We all knew it was smart to do backups, but it was a nightmare to do it in an automated way. Until it got so easy all you did was plug in a hard drive, many of us procrastinated on doing what was right for a long time.
The same thing happened with passwords. We knew we should use good ones, but it was too hard to remember them. We waited until LastPass and 1Password came along and made it easy enough that we realized it was simpler to use a password manager than to do it ourselves. Only then did we become more secure.
Continue reading “Google Two-Factor Authentication – Not as Painless as I’d Hoped”
We’ll start with a clarification from Bart on how this two-factor authorization works. Then we’ll have fun with redirects as I explain that there’s a podfeet url for whatever you want. I’ll tell you about our amazing adventure trying to figure out what was killing just our 2.4GHz wifi network. In Security Bits, Bart will bring us up to speed on the latest with the FBI vs. Apple story, and he’ll explain how no users lost data in the first real world Mac Ransomware Attack.