Yosemite’s Spotlight glitch could reveal your details to online spammers

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Spotlight Search could be so much better than it already is. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Spotlight Search could also shine a light on your personal details. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is normally pretty hot on security, but a new glitch discovered in OS X Yosemite’s search threatens to expose the private details of Apple Mail users — including IP addresses, and more —  to online spammers and phishers.

The privacy risk occurs when people use Spotlight Search, which also indexes emails received with the Apple Mail email client. When performing searches on a Mac, Spotlight shows previews of emails and automatically loads external images in the HTML email.

So why is this dangerous?

5 basic OS X Yosemite tricks everyone needs to know

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OS X Yosemite is packed with new features. Unfortunately, not everybody knows every single trick to squeeze the latest, greatest functionality out of Apple’s new system software.

In today’s instructional Cult of Mac video, we share five basic OS X Yosemite tricks that everyone needs to know. We’ll show you how to make phone calls from your Mac, switch to Yosemite’s “dark mode,” use Spotlight like a pro, easily record video from your iOS device screen, and let other people control your Mac (and vice versa).

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV for all our latest videos.

Keep OS X Yosemite from sending Spotlight data to Apple

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Spotlight is sending your searches back to Apple Photo: Apple
Spotlight is sending your search information back to Apple. Photo: Apple

OS X Yosemite has changed the way your Mac deals with your privacy. On the one hand, Apple has decided to enable hard drive encryption by default, despite the FBI requests not to.

On the other hand, every time you type in Spotlight, your location and local search terms are sent to Apple, and, according to developer Landon Fuller, other third parties like Microsoft.

Fuller’s created a website, Fix Mac OS X Yosemite, where he’s posted up a way to stop Yosemite from sending such private data out. He’s also been contributing to a developer project on GitHub to find out and fix other ways that OS X phones home.

New LaunchBar proves Apple hasn’t killed app launchers yet

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App launchers on the Mac have always been geared toward power users, and lately tools like Alfred have become even more sophisticated, with user-created scripts and extensions. When Apple debuted the new Spotlight in OS X Yosemite at WWDC, it took many of the best features from existing launchers, like the ability to find any app you have installed with a couple keystrokes.

LaunchBar was the original app launcher on the Mac, and today a brand new version was released with a themable interface and new features.

Will tools like LaunchBar and Alfred live on when millions of Mac owners start using the new Spotlight this fall? Now that Apple has capitalized on the more consumer-friendly aspects of what makes a good launcher, third-party alternatives are going after power users like never before.

Spotlight Potential: See The Full File Path Of Found Documents [OS X Tips]

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Image: kensegall.com
Credit: kensegall.com

Spotlight is crazy useful to find stuff on your Mac. Just hit Command-Space on your keyboard and type in the name of files, words from in text files, the kind of document you want, or even the date when you think it might have been created or modified, and you’ll find it in an instant.

I rarely organize stuff into fine-grained folders anymore due to the power of this one simple to use feature in OS X.

Sometimes, though, I want to know where a found document is — here’s a cool trick to do just that, sent to us from Cult of Mac reader Ivan Manzanilla.