iCloud Calender Spam

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The newest form of spam: iCloud Calendar invites.

These spam Calendar invites get forced onto your iPhone or computer as notifications and Calendar invitations for junk products labeled “ray-ban”, “Oakley”, “Louis Vuitton.”  Amazingly enough, there is no simple way to ignore them through Calendar and iCloud.  Here are three ways to deal with them:

Option 1: Stop Calendar Spam Notifications with iCloud

All this method does is redirect the Calendar spam from Notifications into email instead. It’s not a perfect solution but it prevents the notifications from showing up on your screen.

  1.  login to iCloud.com on the web
  2. Click “Calendar”
  3. Click the little gear icon in the corner, then choose “Preferences”
  4. Choose “Advanced” and then scroll down to “Invitations” and check the box next to ‘Email to address@email.com”, then click Save.

All this does is redirect all Calendar invitations to your email instead of as notifications on the devices. Unfortunately, if you actually use Calendar invitations, then you’ll no longer get those notifications either.

Option 2: Move Calendar Spam Invitations to a Spam Calendar and Delete

Another workaround from Apple Discussions forums is redirecting the spam notifications into a separate spam calendar, and then removing that calendar. The problem with this approach is you will need to do this every time you get a spam invite.

  1. On the Mac or iPhone, open Calendar app
  2. Create a new iCloud calendar, label it something obvious like “SpamCalendar”
  3. Choose the junk invite and move the spam event invitations to the new iCloud calendar
  4. Now delete the new iCloud Spam Calendar calendar
  5. At the pop-up, choose to “Delete and Don’t Notify” – this is important because you do not want to notify the spam sender that your email address is active, so be sure to choose “Don’t Notify”
  6. Repeat for any and all future iCloud Spam Calendar invitations as they arrive

Annoying? Yes, but this allows you to delete the iCloud spam calendar invites without responding to them and without notifying the sender.

Option 3: Declining the Spam Calendar Invite

The most popular route is to just decline the spam Calendar invite. The problem with that is it notifies the sender that your email address is active by declining, meaning you will almost certainly get even more.

There is no perfect method to get around these, but due to its highly intrusive nature, it has received mentions in The New York Times and CNBC so the problem will hopefully be addressed by Apple soon.

 

Sourced: 12/1/16

Are Third-Party Keyboards Secure?

anas-alshanti-169265Third-party keyboards have been one of the biggest hits of iOS 8 since its launch last week. But are they secure? This concern derives from a standard warning displayed by iOS 8 when the keyboards are granted “full access.” Different keyboard apps break down their feature sets between standard install and “full access” differently.

The top free keyboard app this year was SwiftKey Keyboard. While the basic keyboard works with a standard installation, key features like word predictions and the finger-tracing typing require that full access be granted.  Naturally, users were worried that their information, was being sent back to SwiftKey.  Jennifer Kutz, Communications Chief for SwiftKey, assures users that despite the request for full access, “none of your language insights leave your device unless you choose our optional SwiftKey Cloud service.” Certain types of information such as credit card numbers, or any other long numbers, are intentionally ignored by SwiftKey.

The second most popular option is Fleksy Keyboard – Happy Typing.  Unlike SwiftKey, Fleksy does not require full access be granted in order for predictions to function. Full access is required, however, for other personalization and customization options such as pulling in Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter typing data.  Founder and chief operating officer Ioannis Verdelis says, “Fleksy performs all of its processing locally on the device, and does not need Full Access to perform its corrections.  Users can improve its performance if they want, by allowing network access so they can sync their language data, but this is completely optional.  We don’t collect people’s keystrokes, typing data, credit card numbers, etc, regardless of whether you enable Full Access or not.”

Lastly, the third most popular keyboard, Swype.  Rebecca Paquette of Nuance Communications states, “The features we were most focused on for our launch were speed and accuracy – a keyboard that is intuitive and powerful to use.”  Unlike some other keyboards, Swype does not include an option for pulling in typing data from Facebook and Gmail, and does not offer a cloud backup or syncing services.  This simplicity allows it to forgo the need for full access.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is trust. Granting a keyboard full access means that any data can be transmitted back the developer’s servers for a variety of uses. So while there are potential risks to granting a keyboard full access, users weighing the usefulness of a keyboard should be informed enough to consider whether or not to grant full access.

Sourced: 11/29/16

Neighbors & Friends

Our new location sure has it’s perks!  Our head office moved to 14343 W. 100th Street in Lenexa almost a month ago.  Near us is a granite company, the Panera test kitchen, and our favorite:  Yummylicous Cookie Company.    It might not be well known, but we are some sugar-loving fools here at Mission Repair.  So our President decided to stroll over and say, “Hi.”  Don’t let the store front fool you, they accept walk-in orders.  And their cookies…

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A…MAZING.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Tuscan Espresso, Snickerdoodle, Caramel Apple Walnut…  And organic.  They’re so good!  This location keeps getting better and better.  Check out our neighbors at 14438 W. 100th St, in Lenexa.  And hey, maybe even get your phone fixed while you enjoy a cookie or twelve.

 

Holiday Hours

It’s that time of year again for celebrating with friends and family.  Our staff has been working feverishly to keep up with the growing demand for repairs, so we decided to give them a break.  Our retail locations in Mission and Olathe will be closed on

Friday Nov 25th (black Friday) and Monday December 26th.  

From the Mission Repair family to yours:

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Classes & Training

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Are you new to Mac, or just looking to get more out of your purchase?  Are you used to creating documents using Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, but don’t really want to purchase the Microsoft suite again?  Apple offers incredible programs designed to accomplish the same goals, while offering additional features.  Pages, Numbers, iMovie and Keynote are excellent alternatives if you have a Mac.  It does, however, take a little getting used to.  Let us show you how to get started!

Not interested?  What about just understanding your hand-held devices better?  What does this button do?  Where is my email?!  Why am I getting my wife’s text messages on my iPad?  Technology today offers so many accessibility features intended to tailor phones and tablets to meet the needs of the user.  Everything from utilizing hand-off between your Apple devices, to something as basic as backing your iPhone up… our experienced technicians at Mission Repair can show you how.  After all, what’s the point in buying the Ferrari if you don’t see how fast it can go?

“I never back my phone up.  I don’t even know how,”  said the lady that just lost all her child’s first year of baby pictures in the pool.  Security is an ever-growing concern in this day in age.  Technology can be downright scary, but only if you don’t understand it.  Our course instructors are here to set your mind at ease.  “What is the cloud?  Is it secure?  Where does my data go? Do I have to use the cloud?”  No one wants to lose all their data in a catastrophe, but where can it be saved so it’s safe?  Rest assured Apple has gone to great lengths to protect their customers.  We can tell you all about it.  Keep an eye out for our training classes, launching this spring 2017.