Install these critical security patches for Mac, iPhone,iPad and Apple Watch today [Updated]

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Mac malware is real. Watch out.
macOS Big Sur 11.5.1, iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 each take care of the same dangerous bug.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Three of Apple’s biggest products received security patches Monday — and another got its version on Thursday. You should probably install them as soon as possible.

The company started with macOS Big Sur 11.5.1, iOS 14.7.1, and iPadOS 14.7.1 to fix a security hole reportedly used by at least one hacker already. That’s why they are “recommended for all users,” according to Apple.

Apple followed up Thursday by releasing watchOS 7.6.1 to patch the same bug on Apple Watch. It’s also recommended.

How to use a long, alphanumeric iPhone passcode so cops can’t hack it [Update]

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iPhone passcode
A strong passcode is the next-best thing to keeping your iPhone in a safe.
Photo: Rob Pongsajapan/FlickrCC

It’s time to stop using that useless six-digit passcode on your iPhone. Now that cops around the United States are going crazy for the GrayKey, a little box that can crack your iPhone’s passcode in hours, it has become clear that the iPhone’s regular six-digit numerical code is no longer secure.

Plus, now that GrayKey is available, it won’t be long before they’re in the hands of the bad guys, too, if they’re not already. In fact, instructions on how GrayKey works surfaced online last month.

The good news is, it’s super-easy to change your iPhone passcode to something a lot better. The bad news? There actually isn’t any, unless you already have the cops trying to break into your iPhone — in which case you’ve got plenty of bad news already.

Got data? The biggest-ever portable encrypted SSD just came out

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Apricorn's new 20 TB Fortress L3 is the biggest-ever portable encrypted SSD.
Apricorn's new 20 TB Fortress L3 is the biggest-ever portable encrypted SSD.
Photo: Apricorn

The headline should probably read, “Got data? And money?” Storage device-maker Apricorn released on Thursday what it bills as the largest-ever portable encrypted solid state drive. It holds 20TB of data and costs $12,999.

But don’t worry, you can get a much smaller one for as little as $239.

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Hexnode: Remote work is the new normal. Is your organization making it as safe and productive as possible?
Remote work is the new normal. Is your organization making it as safe and productive as possible?
Image: Hexnode

Keep your emails private forever with lifetime encryption, on sale today for less than $200 

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Protect yourself from data theft forever with this lifetime email encryption
Take your email privacy to the next level with this super-strength lifetime encryption offer.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Whether you share confidential documents for work, want to protect your personal information from hackers and phishing scams, or simply value security, the strength of your email can change everything. Especially since hacked email accounts make up more than half of all recent data breaches.

The solution? A super-strength, end-to-end encrypted email service you can trust.

Apple thinks antitrust reform could create ‘race to the bottom’ for security

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Privacy
Apple says proposed antitrust regulation would endanger consumer privacy.
Photo: Apple

Apple thinks five pieces of antitrust reform legislation could undermine innovation and competition in tech, as well as creating a “race to the bottom” for security and privacy. Apple laid out its concerns in a letter sent ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of the House Judiciary Committee to discuss the proposed laws.

The letter — sent to chairmen Jerrold Nadler and David Cicilline, and ranking members Jim Jordan and Ken Buck — lays out Apple’s arguments for why the government needs to reconsider the five bills.

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Jamf excels at Apple enterprise management.
Jamf excels at Apple Enterprise Management.
Photo: Jamf

iOS 14.5 makes zero-click iPhone attacks even more difficult

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If hackers dump your personal data onto the dark web, you need to know about it. Dashlane Dark Web Monitoring can sound the alarm.
“Dammit, Apple keeps breaking all my best zero-click attacks.”
Photo: sebastiaan stam/Pexels CC

The next iOS version will make it more difficult for hackers to break into iPhones. Security researchers digging around in Apple’s beta code for iOS 14.5 found that the company began encrypting pointer authentication codes, which will make zero-click attacks far tougher to pull off.