MacMedics Macintosh Service, Consulting, & Sales For Baltimore, Washington DC, & Philadelphia Blog

Macintosh Consulting, Service, & Support

New Google 5-Star Review for MacMedics Severna Park

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“Just wanted to say thank you to Jeff at MacMedics for his great customer service. Last year, my daughter’s MacBook needed a new hard drive and he did a great job replacing it and getting it back to her so she could finish a project for school. She was having some minor issues after her classes ended in May so I brought back in to have him look at it. He did a quick check and advised me on our option it’s a 2009 model so it may be time for a new model. Jeff took time to go over new Apple options as well as some used models. It’s customer service like this that keeps me coming back to MacMedics. We bought my son’s computer there and I’ll be back to see Jeff when my daughter needs a new or used one. Thank You Jeff and all the great staff at MacMedics.”

Written by Dana Stibolt

May 26th, 2016 at 9:02 pm

MacMedics is hiring! We’re looking for Apple Wizard/Rock Stars to join our service teams as Apple On-Site Consultants/Engineers

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We’re MacMedics, an Apple Authorized “Mac-Only” Macintosh consulting, service, and sales company that provides Mac Service and Solutions the entire Mid-Atlantic region. We’re looking for experienced On-Site Macintosh Technicians/Consultants/Engineers to join our Washington DC & Baltimore-Annapolis, MD offices FULL-TIME.

If you’re an IT professional at most places, we’re guessing you work long hours. Not at MacMedics! We only expect our employees to work 40 hours a week. Don’t accept any old Mac IT job if you’re never going to see you family again, or have to be “on-call” on the weekends. Come see us and find out if MacMedics can be a good fit for your new Mac career for 2016!

MacMedics (an Apple Authorized Premium Service Provider & Apple Authorized Value Added Reseller), an award-winning regional Macintosh consulting and service company, with offices in Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia is seeking more on-site Macintosh Engineers to join our Washington, DC AND Baltimore, MD service and support teams.

As a MacMedics Macintosh Consultant/Engineer, you will be directly involved in providing and recommending Macintosh service and solutions for our thousands of on-site Macintosh clients. Some of the markets we service are; graphic design freelancers, small graphic design studios, large scale advertising agencies, in-house advertising departments, commercial printers, video production houses, colleges, universities, as well as Federal, State, and local government agencies.

The functions of this position would include: on-site Macintosh hardware and software consulting and troubleshooting, networking, cross platform integration, and backup & server configuration. Qualified individuals must have EXTENSIVE knowledge of Mac OS X and long-term experience with the Macintosh product line with a strong emphasis on the use, configuration, and troubleshooting of graphic design applications. Experience with Photoshop, InDesign, and font management is absolutely essential!

A strong compensation package with performance incentives, a Macintosh MacBook Pro computer, and an Apple iPhone (with plan) are all provided. Other valuable benefits such as company paid Apple and Adobe technical training and certification; 100% company paid heath/dental insurance and a 401k plan with company matching are also included.

If you’re interested in being part of a well-established Apple consulting, service, and sales company and making new and exciting and things happen, you’ll love working with MacMedics! Our service team members are focused on helping our customers and doing whatever it takes to do so. If you’re being held back, finding yourself doing more Windows work that you were planning on, tired of red tape and politics, and you want your efforts and contributions to count for something, then this position would be perfect for you! If you’re an under-appreciated/under-paid Mac fanatic, then MacMedics is where you need to be!

If you’re a current or former Apple Store Genius with extreme Mac skills and you’re investigating on how to take your Macintosh support career to the next level, we’d love to speak to you.

http://www.macmedics.com/jobs

MacMedics is also hiring Apple retail sales and service folks to work full-time and part-time. We also are hiring for Apple iPhone and Mac techs to work in our Severna Park, MD store.

Your Mac and Malware: If you have Malware, MacMedics can remove it!

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TIP: If you or someone in your family downloads ‪#illegal‬ movies, music, & software you are greatly increasing your risk of getting ‪#‎malware‬ or a ‪#‎virus‬ (if you have not already checked, we highly recommend you check to see if your kids are downloading stuff they should not be. You as the owner of the Internet in your house are the one that is ultimately responsible if you are hit with a copyright lawsuit (Yes! That’s a thing). Plus, your ISP may start to slow your speed as a penalty.)

When you download uTorrent (a popular Mac torrent client), you automatically have malware on your Mac as soon as you install it!

We just helped a customer yesterday in Severna Park who was into this sort of stuff, and his ‪#‎Mac‬ was totally full of Malware and other bad software. It was so bad, that we had to run our Anti-Malware software twice and even then, we had to go in and manually remove a bunch of other stuff. Good news: We got rid of all the bad stuff (they thought we’d have to erase the Mac to get rid of it), performed the service in about 30-minutes, and the bill was only $49.

Written by Dana Stibolt

May 14th, 2016 at 10:13 am

New 5-Star Review for MacMedics Severna Park: “What a great find the MacMedics are!”

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“What a great find the MacMedics are!

What a great find the MacMedics are! We were having problems with a 2 year old MacBook Pro that would not boot up. We were told at the Genius Bar that the OS needed to be reloaded. (They didn’t tell us about saving the existing docs with Target Disk Mode, but luckily we found out about that online.) We reloaded the OS, but the problem re-emerged 2-weeks later. AppleCare ran diagnostics and said the SSD needed to be replaced, but Apple wouldn’t touch it since I had opened the case during the prior problems. I drove it to MacMedics without an appointment (exchanged emails with them first), and they put the machine on the workbench and started on it immediately. Gave me options, ran several tests, and opined that it was not the hard drive at all. I left an hour later with a clean SDD and new OS installation, and a bill for under $80. It’s been great ever since! In addition, they were super helpful to the other customers at the counter with me. I’m going back whenever I have issues with my Apple devices.”

-Lewes, DE

Written by Dana Stibolt

May 9th, 2016 at 9:00 am

Apple iPhone Repair Service 5-Star Review: “Life saver, absolutely amazing customer service and the price can’t be beat!!”

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MacMedics is an Apple Authorized Premium Service Provider, and as such we service every item that Apple makes, including ALL Macintosh computer models (new, under Apple Warranty or AppleCare, Vintage (over 5-years old and no longer supposed by Apple), or Obsolete models), the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. See http://www.macmedics.com/iphone for more info.

Recent 5-Star Review:

“Life saver, absolutely amazing customer service and the price can’t be beat!! I found MacMedics online after being totally disappointment with my local Apple store that said my water damaged iPhone 5 could not be repaired; it wouldn’t charge. Instead, they sold me a brand new iPhone to the tune of $800+ after it was all said and done. I looked online and found that the charger could be repaired, so off I went to find a repair shop. Walked into MacMedics and Sam checked my phone and said he thought it could be repaired, had to order the part which would arrive the next day. Sure enough, he called me the next day and said the phone was repaired. Cost me less than $90. I will be returning my brand new iPhone to the Apple store tomorrow. So glad I didn’t take those guys at their word. If I ever have another issue with my iPhone or other Apple product, I will go directly to MacMedics and bypass the Apple stores all together. I highly recommend MacMedics and will be referring them to all my friends. Thank you Sam for fixing my iPhone and saving me hundreds of dollars. I wish all service techs had your skill.”

Apple announces updates to MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Air

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Apple announces updates to MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Air:

MacBook now features sixth-generation Intel Core M processors up to 1.3GHz, improved graphics performance with Intel HD Graphics 515, faster PCIe-based flash storage, all-day battery life up to 10 hours, and a new rose gold finish. MacBook continues to feature the beautiful 12-inch Retina display, Apple-designed keyboard, Force Touch trackpad, and versatile USB-C port. At just 2 pounds and 13.1 mm thin, MacBook delivers an even better full-size notebook experience in the lightest and most compact Mac ever.
The popular 13-inch MacBook Air has also been updated with double the memory for 8GB standard across all models.

Call your local MacMedics office or contact your MacMedics On-Site Engineer for more info.

Written by Dana Stibolt

April 19th, 2016 at 11:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized

How your Mac and OS X Server can be infected with “ransomware”, and how to prevent it.

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Given recent incidents with the first known Mac ransomware, and the problem we had recently with a customer who had PCs connected to their Mac server, let’s take a minute to talk about ransomware in general.

Ransomware is somewhat unique among types of malware in that it is not attacking the OS, not trying to install anything, and not trying to hide. It is attacking the user’s actual data files. That means it needs no higher privileges than what the users themselves have. Once run, it merely scans the user’s home directory and any mounted drives (including network shares), then encrypts anything that looks like a data file (.docx, .pdf, .jpg, etc). It deliberately does NOT disturb the OS or any other files that would prevent the user from using the computer, as this would prevent them from getting paid, which is the entire point.

Given that all the ransomware doing is accessing files the user normally has access to, then modifying them, it’s not necessarily doing anything “virus-like”. Therefore, the heuristics that modern anti virus products are so proud of will likely not catch it unless they have a definition for that particular variant of the binary. This is a big problem, since as recent targeted attacks against several hospitals have proven, anti virus is NOT catching these things. All it needs is a vector to get in and get running, and the client’s data is toast.

Common infection vectors include all the usual suspects: phishing emails, malvertising, illegal or compromised software downloads (like what happened with recent new version of Transmission), malicious websites, etc. Most of these are mitigated by keeping OS and browsers up to date, having a good anti-spam/anti-malware solution filtering the email, and using network wide content filtering to keep users off of illegal and/or malicious sites. Still, especially with laptops that come and go from the corporate network, malware, ransomware, and other threats will find a way in.

The sad truth is, there is no way to completely prevent a ransomware outbreak on a network aside from restricting all machines to a strict whitelist of allowed software, which is impractical in most cases. The only thing you can do is have good backups and be prepared to use them for recovery. Backups on external drives connected to end user workstations are just as vulnerable as the rest of their files. Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner will not help here. Only backups that are offline (as in not directly accessible to the infected host) are safe.

Apple was able to quickly shut down this last Mac specific malware via revoking Transmission’s code signing cert and blacklisting the binary in Xprotect).

For the more immediate problem of infected PCs encrypting files on Mac servers to which they’re connected, a local backup on the server should be safe as long as the backup itself is not shared.

In summary, here are our recommendations for handling things right now in mixed Mac/PC networks:

1. Ensure users don’t have access to more shares on the server than they actually need.

2. Ensure servers are only accessed remotely via a VPN solution to prevent exploits that could infect the server itself.

3. All servers should have at least two backups, one of which is off-line.

4. Firewalls should be utilized with intrusion prevention, content filtering and gateway Anti Virus to protect against bad user behavior as much as possible.

5. Windows PCs should be professionally monitored and maintained with up-to-date Anti Virus software.

Written by Dana Stibolt

April 14th, 2016 at 10:15 am

Posted in Announcements,Warnings

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Thieves Ransack Paralympian’s Home, Take Off With Her Gold Olympic Rings (and her hard drives!)

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It’s not often that we reference a story from Inside Edition. Tonight there was a story about a Paralympian, whose home was burglarized and of course they took the normal stuff like jewelry, computers, TV’s, and electronics. They also stole 5 external hard drives, which were the only place she had irreplaceable videos of her Olympic journey and a documentary movie that she was working on.

See the video here. Details of the hard drive theft start at 49 second: http://goo.gl/b6iXT6

In order to be FULLY backed up you HAVE to have your data first backed up locally, then it needs to also be backed up to the cloud or off-site storage.

The Golden Triangle of Backups is as follows:

1. Redundant: This means it has to be in TWO places. On your computer and also safely stored on a backup hard drive.

2. Automatic: This means that you don’t do a thing to make the backup run. It happens on it own without a human intervention.

3. Off-Site: This means your data has to be backed up to the cloud (iCloud is not a normal place folks use to back up their computers) or stored off-site in the form of a second hard drive stored at a relatives house or at at your office.

You can read more about this at this former MacMedics Blog post. It’s titled: 9 Things We Wish We Did Before Our House Burned Down

http://www.macmedics.com/blog/?p=2475

Written by Dana Stibolt

December 14th, 2015 at 7:55 pm

MacMedics 5-Star Review: “They immediately went in to action to solve my dilemma”

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“I went to the genius bar for an emergency, of course because Christmas is right around the corner they were PACKED! I was looking online for my next closest Apple Store when I saw a link for MacMedics. I was nervous at first because, well I’ve been conditioned to only go to Apple, but I was put a ease to see that they work directly with Apple. So the next morning I went before work, the store was easy to find, and easy to access. I went in and was highly impressed with how beautiful and clean the store was, I was greeted by a very friendly staff, they immediately went in to action to solve my dilemma. The staff did everything within their means to help me and ultimately resolved my issue above my own expectations. I left the store with a huge smile on my face and my mind at ease, I have since told multiple friends, family members, and clients about Mac Medics and vowed this will now be my go to for my Apple devices.”

Written by Dana Stibolt

December 3rd, 2015 at 8:13 am

MacKeeper now falsely reporting “Tapsnake” virus is found on Macs

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We’re getting reports that MacKeeper is now falsely reporting that Macs are infected with the “Tapsnake” virus. MacKeeper is rip-off software that falsely reports “problems” with your Mac and offers to fix them. It is mostly sold through scare-tactics that use JavaScript popups in a web browser. Just about anything you see in a web browser popup is likely to be a lie.
There is Mac malware, mostly in the form of “trojans” and adware and much of it finds its way onto the Mac by way of those MacKeeper ads.

Do not download or install MacKeeper. If you have already installed MacKeeper then please quit MacKeeper and drag the application from your Applications folder to the trash. Then download this application and use it to run a scan on your Mac and remove any adware/malware that it finds.

http://www.adwaremedic.com (now Malware Bytes).

Written by Dana Stibolt

November 20th, 2015 at 12:14 pm