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New Year's Mac Checkup

Start the new year off right by making sure your Mac is healthy! Here is our list of some things to check for:

Backup

  • What is the date and time of my Mac's last Time Machine backup (or other backup, if you're not using Time Machine)? To check, under the Apple menu at the top left choose System Preferences, and then Time Machine. Or, a quicker way is to click on the TM menu at the top right of your screen--it looks like a counterclockwise arrow with watch hands in it.
  • Have I tested my backup by trying to retrieve a file at random?
  • Am I backing up my Mac in 2 different locations? We recommend one backup that's local, in the same place as your computer, and another backup that's offsite or in the cloud (in case of fire/flood/theft). For example, use Time Machine for your local backup, to a Time Capsule or hard drive located next to your computer; use CrashPlan or Mozy or SugarSync or Dropbox to back up your files over the internet to a remote computer server.
  • Have I backed up the data on my mobile phone or mobile device recently? With an iPhone, a backup happens every time you sync, so make sure to sync with the cable regularly, even if you use MobileMe, Exchange, or Google/Gmail. If you have other kind of mobile devices that you use with your Mac, ask us and we'll let you know how to back those up too!

Updates

  • Have I run all updates for my Mac operating system? To check, under the Apple menu at the top left choose Software Update.
  • Have I run all updates for Microsoft Office for Mac? To check, you need to be in Entourage/Outlook, or Excel, or Word. When you are in one of those programs, click on the Help menu at the top, and then choose Check for Updates.
  • Have I run all updates for other software (e.g. Adobe Creative Suite, etc)?

Security

  • Does my wireless network have a secure password? Secure means mix of letters and numbers, mix of uppercase and lowercase, 10 characters or more. And it shouldn't be the same password you use for anything else, because you might give this one to a guest.
  • Does my email have a secure password?
  • Does my online bank login have a secure password?
  • Is my password different for the different websites I log on to (especially any that have sensitive or personal information)?
  • Am I storing my online passwords in a safe place? (Not in a Word or text file on your computer!) We recommend 1Password, an encrypted password storage system for Mac, Windows, iPad, and iPhone.

Contact us if you need assistance keeping your Mac in good health.

(January 2011)

 

(212) 353-3310