Sign your name with the trackpad in OS X

PreviewPreview has had the ability to capture your signature and insert it into documents for some time. You could sign your name on paper, then hold it up to the camera and it would scan it in. Now in the OS X Yosemite version of Preview, you can sign your name on the trackpad. It is an interesting alternative and one that is worth experimenting with. Let's see how to add a signature.

Increase Safari security and privacy in macOS

Web browsers are the biggest risk to your privacy and security. These tips and tweaks make Safari on the Apple Mac safer and more secure

There is still a belief that Apple Macs do not get malware, but this simply is not true. OK, viruses are rare, but adware is common. Improve Safari security and privacy with these tips.

Send and receive SMS text messages on your Mac

If you are still undecided about upgrading OS X your Apple Mac to the new Yosemite, one feature that might change your mind is the ability to send and receive text messages from the desktop without touching your phone. This is a great new feature that makes texting a lot easier. There is just one caveat, you must have an iPhone with iOS 8 and the new iPhone 6 is perfect for the job.

Essential tasks after installing OS X Yosemite

After installing a new version of OS X, there are always lots of essential tasks to perform to get it running exactly the way you prefer. OS X Yosemite for the Apple Mac comes with predefined settings that are mostly OK, but everyone has their own preferences and it takes a few tweaks here and there to get the Mac just the way you like it. Here are some of the changes I made to Yosemite after installing it.

Clean install OS X Yosemite on your Apple Mac

OS X Yosemite is here and it is in the Mac App Store. Just fire up the App Store from the Dock and you can download it free of charge and upgrade your Mac. Before you do though, take a minute to consider your options. Is it best to upgrade or should you perform a clean install? How do you actually carry out a clean install from the download in the App Store?

What is ksfetch and how do you stop it?

I like to keep an eye on what is happening on my Mac and a utility that I have used for a long time is MenuMeters. This is a menu bar utility that shows processor usage, disk usage, upload and download speed, and free and used memory. This utility makes it easy to spot problems that might otherwise be missed and it highlighted an issue with ksfetch.

Is your Mac infected with the iWorm malware?

Could your your Mac part of a malware botnet? There is a new type of malicious software infecting Apple Macs and there is a chance that your computer could already be compromised. Reports say that only 17 - 18,000 Macs have been infected, so it is nowhere near as widespread as the Flashback worm that infected 600,000+ Macs a couple fo years ago, but it is still a worry. Here's how to check whether your Mac is OK.

2 utilities to analyse your Mac’s disk space

Disk drives come in a variety of sizes and some Apple Macs have quite small drives. If you have an SSD (solid state disk), it is likely to have quite a limited capacity for storing files. Older Macs have small disk drives, even if they are traditional mechanical models. Anyone that has a small disk drive, or even a big disk with lots of files, will need to keep an eye on the space used and the remaining free space.

2 ways to make Finder more useful on the Apple Mac

MacBook and coffee

Start an Apple Mac and when you get to the desktop, that’s Finder. It is more than the desktop though and it enables you to open windows to explore the disk contents. A finder window has a toolbar at the top that contains some useful functions and a sidebar on the left with folders and views. There are two ways to make Finder windows more useful and you can customise both the sidebar and the toolbar.

3 free battery monitors for your MacBook

Apple’s battery technology is better than most rivals and MacBooks last longer than almost any other laptop. However, batteries do deteriorate over time and after a year or two, it may not be working as well as it did when it was new. Battery monitors can show the charge status, life left, recharge cycles and general health. Replace the OS X menu bar battery status with a more powerful version.

How hackers get celebrity naked photos from iCloud

Over the past couple of days my email inbox has been filling up with messages from Apple. These express concern that my account has been used to buy items on the iTunes Store or App Store from a device that has not previously been connected to my account. Basically, someone has hacked into my account and is using it to buy stuff. Or have they?

Write like a pro using 1Checker to fix writing flaws

Do you write documents and reports for work or write essays for school? Are you a budding writer working on a book that you hope to get published? Whatever you are writing, 1Checker is a great tool that enables you to check your writing and automatically fix common mistakes. It offers suggestions to improve your writing as well as replacing typing slips, spelling mistakes and poor grammar.

Streamline Launchpad and make it faster, more useful

Do you use Launchpad on the Apple Mac? If the answer is No or Rarely, perhaps you just haven’t set it up right. It can be a useful tool and a quick way to access applications, but at first sight it just seems to make life harder. With a few simple changes though, it can be made easier to use and provide faster access to your apps.

OS X Mail not showing notifications

Two things should happen when certain events occur, such as a calendar appointment, instant message or a new email.

One is that the event should be added to Notification Center and the other is a pop-up notification in the top right corner of the screen. Unfortunately, this does not happen for some people with the Mail app on the Apple Mac. Why?

Check your spelling and grammar automatically in emails

How many times have you quickly typed in an email message and clicked the Send button only to realise too late that there was a typing slip in the message? Sometimes you don’t realise until you receive a reply and can see that there is a typo in the quoted text.

Clear junk from your Mac's disks with CleanMyDrive

Over time, disk drives accumulate junk files and these consume valuable space that could be used for more useful purposes. The junk files are not obvious and you won't find them easily in Finder windows, so it is not easy to keep a disk clean and healthy. However, there are utilities, such as CleanMyDrive, that makes keeping a disk clean a very simple process.

Keep being asked for your iCloud password?

There is a teeny tiny bug in OS X and iOS that more than a few people have come across and it is related to iCloud. Everything can be running smoothly on your Apple Mac, iPhone or iPad when suddenly you are asked to enter your iCloud password to log in. People with Macs, iPads and iPhones have all suffered from this, but there is a solution.

Give your Mac a health check with ClamXav

When your Mac starts behaving strangely and not as it usually does, it makes you wonder whether it might have some sort of malware on it, such as a virus, Trojan or even a type of adware. It is rare for Macs to be infected, but it is not unknown, so when my Mac started playing up, I had to check it out and downloaded ClamXav.

Stop iTunes advertisers tracking your activities

iTunes iconAdvertisers are always looking for better ways to sell you even more stuff than they did previously and one way in which they do this is to track your activities in an attempt to see what you are interested in. iTunes does this on the Apple Mac and the question is, do you want iTunes tracking your activities?

What you should do before installing OS X Yosemite

OS XApple has posted a beta copy of its next version of OS X for the Mac, called Yosemite, on the web for all to download. You can grab a copy of this for free, install it on your Mac and get a next-generation operating system right now. It sounds fantastic, but installing it is not quite as straightforward as you might think and there are some essential tasks to perform before you start.

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