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Simple security hack keeps your iCloud account safe from iPhone thieves


Can’t touch this (iCloud account)
Is this what the prolific Mr. Hammer was singing about? No.
Image: Jonathan Cutrer/Flickr/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Taking a moment to add an extra password to your iCloud account might save your skin if your iPhone is ever stolen by a shady character who’s eyeing you like a hawk. By default, your iPhone passcode is all someone needs to lock you out of your devices and wreak financial havoc on your life. And it’s not that difficult to capture your passcode if you tap in into your phone in a public place.

In fact, a recent spate of coordinated scams have played out like this: A spy watches for anyone entering their iPhone passcode in a bar or other public place. Then, the device is yoinked out of the victim’s hands. And before they can do anything, they find themselves locked out of their own iCloud account. Soon, the criminals who stole the iPhone proceed to make unauthorized purchases, empty bank accounts and generally wreak havoc on the victim’s finances and personal life.

Luckily, setting up a second password can protect you from this type of criminal operation. I’ll show you how to keep these thieves at bay — and offer some additional advice for keeping your account secure.

App Store, Apple Music and many other services all suffer outage [Updated]


Here’s why you can’t make an Apple Card payment
Apple reports that over two dozen Apple services are having an "outage." That includes many of the most-used ones.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Linnaea Mallette/PublicDomainPictures.net

Apple is having a major outage of its online services. No less than 29 of them are reporting major problems, including the App Store, Apple TV+, Apple Music, Podcasts, and some iCloud services.

So it’s not just you. Stop rebooting your computer trying to fix it.

Update: Apple was able to quickly fix some of these, so the current total is eight services still having problems.

Update 2: All problems with Apple online services have now been resolved.

How to make iCloud more secure with Advanced Data Protection


You now have the option to have more of your iCloud files encrypted, including images. Here's how.
The latest versions of Apple's operating systems give you the option to encrypt more of your iCloud files, including images.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple recently added end-to-end encryption for more types of iCloud data. Now, you can turn on Advanced Data Protection to encrypt iCloud Photos, Notes and more. Activating this new security feature is easy … once you find the switch buried in Settings.

We can save you some time. Here’s how and why you should activate it.

Apple drops controversial plan to scan iCloud Photos for CSAM


Apple drops controversial plan to scan iCloud Photos for CSAM
Images in iCloud Photos will not be scanned for child sexual abuse material.
Image: Apple

Apple completely abandoned its previously announced plan to scan iCloud Photos libraries for child sexual abuse material. The company will not go through users’ pictures on its cloud-storage servers looking for CSAM images.

Instead, Apple is going the opposite direction by enabling users to encrypt pictures stored in iCloud Photos.

Elon Musk vs. Apple: Tech battle for the ages! [The CultCast]


Elon Musk versus Apple on The CultCast podcast: Well, that escalated quickly!
Well, that escalated quickly!
Image: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr CC/Modified by Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: After new Twitter CEO Elon Musk began publicly questioning some of Apple’s policies, he went mano-a-mano with Tim Cook. Maybe Musk’s meme-y declaration of war was a bit premature …

Also on The CultCast:

  • The sad state of iCloud storage.
  • A Twitter phone? Really?!?
  • 2023 MacBook Pro benchmarks reveal a big fat surprise.
  • A totally weird tale about the dangers of walking the streets of New York City with hundreds of iPhones.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

Use the all-new iCloud online web app


Find your photos and files online.
All of your photos and files are in the cloud anyway — with iCloud.com, you can access them from any computer.
Image: Matthew Bowden/Wikimedia Commons, D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can use iCloud online to access all of your online Apple services from any computer, tablet or phone. This includes Find My, Mail, Photos, Files, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Notes, Calendar and Reminders. It’s really convenient if you need to find a lost device, print a file or download a picture from a different computer you’re not signed into.

The site has just been redesigned to make it easier to use than ever before. Let me show you how it works.

Windows 11 Photos app can now access images in iCloud


More Apple services coming to Windows 11
Windows users get get a touch of sweet iCloud Photos goodness
Screenshot: Microsoft

Thanks to cooperation between Apple and Microsoft, the Windows 11 Photos app is now able to access photos and videos from iCloud.

This is one of several recent cross-platform collaboration moves by the two tech titans.

How to share an iCloud Photo Library


Apple learned how to share!
Sharing a photo library with your family is finally possible in iOS 16.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

After a weekend getaway or vacation, my wife and I inevitably take half an hour when we get home to share our pictures back and forth. With iOS 16, that is no more. You can finally enable a shared iCloud Photo Library — and it’s really straightforward.

More Apple services coming to Windows 11


More Apple services coming to Windows 11
Windows users get get a touch of sweet iCloud Photos goodness
Screenshot: Microsoft

Microsoft and Apple are cooperating to enable the Windows 11 Photos app to access photos and videos from iCloud. In addition, the Apple Music and the Apple TV applications are also coming to Windows.

The Apple vs. Microsoft war is truly over.

Today in Apple history: iCloud takes our files and photos to the sky


Steve Jobs shows iCloud to the world.
Steve Jobs called iCloud Apple's hard disk in the sky.
Photo: Apple

October 12: Today in Apple history: With iCloud launch, Apple moves beyond its digital hub strategy October 12, 2011: Apple launches iCloud, a service that lets users automatically and wirelessly store content and push it to their various devices.

iCloud’s arrival marks the end of Apple’s Mac-centric “digital hub” strategy — and ushers in an age of inter-device communication and non-localized files.