tip : 6 obvious ways to spot a phishing eMail

Not all phishing* attempts are easy to spot, but today I came across one that has some very obvious examples of what to beware of :

* FYI :¬†phishing = an attempt to lure you into giving some unreliable source your private info of your credit card and/or bank account (internet criminals are ‘fishing’ for your secure info this way…)

1- OSX Mail.app has indicated it thinks this is “Junk Mail”

(though Mail.app isn’t 100% reliable on its suggestions of Junk Mail, it’s a good indication you should have a thorough second look)

2- the sender of the eMail is not sending from a reliable and/or known eMail address

a “.ORG”-eMail address will 100% not be something used by a bank

3- you are not the sole recipient of this eMail and/or your personal eMail address is not listed

if this were such strictly confidential info as is claimed, why would any bank send it to anyone else but you personally ? (furthermore : banks do not contact you on things like this though eMail, because of security reasons…)

4- you are not personally addressed in the text of the eMail, and neither is it indicated what the payment was for and to whom it would have been made

if this where an eMail form your bank or payment service to inform you on anything personal, why wouldn’t they inform you what it’s about straight away ?

5- the weblink-URL that’s included does not link to the website that is listed in its name, but to some completely different website

if you do a mouse-over on the URL in the eMail, a completely different URL is appears in a yellow highlighted line – now that’s about the best indication you could get that you’re being mislead !

6- if you lookup the actual domain that this eMail was sent from and is (re)directing to in WhoIs?, it gives registrant info that does not seem like any bank of payment service you know (especially the fact that it was created just a few days ago makes this extremely suspicious)

you can find info on the registrant of any website on WhoIs? :


try that with the domain used in this example and you’ll see info that is really suspicious :

A- a registrant eMail address that is on Hotmail…

B- a registrant street address that can not be found in Google Maps…

C- a registration creation date that is just a few days ago…


fixed : switching the language of the spelling check in iOS5, iOS6, iOS7, iOS8, iOS9, iOS10, iOS11 & iOS12

Question :

Is it possible to (quickly) switch the language of the spelling check while I’m writing a message on my iPhone ?

Answer :

Yes !

It’s really simple :

1- make sure you have installed multiple languages / multiple keyboards on your iPhone or iPad : Go to Settings –> General –> Keyboard –> (International) Keyboards –> Add New Keyboard…

…and select your desired languages from the list (then exit the Settings-app)

2- you have now installed not only the keyboard for each language, but also the spelling check… and it’s now available in any text or message you type (including SMS)

3- to switch the language of the spelling check, just tap on the globe-key next to the space-bar : when tap it, the space-bar will (only for a quick second) display the name of the keyboard you’re using… but… the language of the active keyboard layout is also the language of the active spelling check…


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fixed : add Emoji emoticons to your iOS keyboard

Question :

How do I add ‘picture’ emoticons (like smileys ūüėČ ) to my iPhone and iPad texts and messages ?

Answer :

In iOS 5 and above, Apple has added a ‘picture language’ called “Emoji” which includes smileys, smiley-esques and mini clip-art like flags, fireworks, balloons, thumbs-up, etc.

Best of all : it’s FREE !

Activating Emoji on your iPhone/iPad  is simple :

1- make sure you are running the latest version of iOS (at least iOS 5 or newer)

2- Go to Settings –>General –> Keyboard –> International Keyboards –> Add New Keyboard…

3- choose “Emoji” from the list and exit the Settings-app

Done !

To use the Emoji-smileys in your texts and messages :

Whenever the keyboard appears, you will see a globe-key next to the left of the space-bar. If you tap the globe-key, you will get the emoticons-‘keyboard’. This is more like tabbed pages of emotions than a regular keyboard ; the tabs from left to right are :

globe-tab : return to a standard keyboard (so more of a key than a tab actually…)

clock-tab : here you can find all emoticons you’ve recently used

smiley-tab : the real emotions ; all smileys, faces, heart, hand signs, etc.

flower-tab : plants & animals

bell-tab : seasonal (like X-mas & Halloween),  party, communication tech, sports, clothing and food & drinks

car-tab : travel, transportation & flags

punctuation-tab : signs, zodiac signs, clock-times & trademarks

backspace-tab : ‘backward delete’-key to delete mistyped emoticons (so not an actual tab, but a key also)

Note that the Emoji-keyboard layout is not a regular keyboard layout, which means it does not include a space-bar or a return-key ; to use those you will have to (temporarily) switch back to your regular keyboard using the globe-key

FYI : this feature is not available for iOS4 ; if you are on a iPhone 3G and can not upgrade to iOS you should either stick with using text-based emoticons or buy, download & install one of the Emoji-apps that are available in the App Store.

tip : TimeMachine will also backup attached USB-sticks that are Mac-formatted

Question :

My old G4 iBook running MacOSX 10.5.8 Leopard has a hard drive of just 40GB inside ; upgrading that will cost far more than plugging in a 32GB (nano) USB-stick, but…

If I do so… will TimeMachine also backup the files from my 32GB USB-stick ?

Answer :

Yes !

TimeMachine will backup the data from any USB-stick without have to make any adjustments to TimeMachine, but you need to make sure that :

1- the USB-stick is properly plugged into your Mac (seems only too obvious, but since it is so easy to detach it without thinking about it… just double check !)

2- the USB-stick is formatted as a genuine Mac-drive, so in HFS+ format (PC/FAT-formatted USB-sticks need to be re-formatted to HFS+, else TimeMachine will not recognize them… but beware : reformatting a USB-stick will erase all it’s content… so start out by moving all data to your hard drive, then reformat the USB-stick and only after that, put the data back onto the USB-stick)

fixed : get iMovie 8.0.6 (from iLife ’09) on the unsupported G4 Macs

Question :

The official installer DVD of iLife ’09 refuses to install iMovie 8 on my good old iBook G4 (1.33 GHz, 1GB RAM, OSX 10.5.8 Leopard) – Is there an other way to install and get it running ?

Answer :

Yes, you can !

iMovie 8.0.6 (a.k.a. iMovie ’09) is the last version of iMovie that will run on the pre-Intel PowerPC Macs (which have G4 and G5 processors), and you can even install it on an unsupported G4 Mac that runs OSX 10.5.8 ; here’s how :

1- Download the app called “Pacifist” from MacUpdate.com :


2- Use it to install only the iMovie.pkg from the official iLife’09 installer DVD

3- Do NOT run the iMovie app after installing ; update it first using OSX’s built-in “Software Update” function (under the Apple-logo in the top left corner of your screen) ; after upgrading you will have iMovie 8.0.6 installed

4- Do NOT run the iMovie app yet ! ; download this pre-tweaked iMovie file :


5- Rename the file to “iMovie.zip” and unzip it (just double click)

6- Now go to Applications –> iMovie –> [right-click the icon] –> Show Package Contents –> Contents –> MacOS

inside that folder is the un-tweaked version of iMovie.app (or just “iMovie”, since you might not be able to see the .app-fileextension) ; replace it with the tweaked version you’ve just downloaded

7- Now go to System Preferences –> Accounts –> select the user you are installing iMovie for and make sure that “Allow user to administer this computer” is checked during iMovie’s first run, else iMovie will not be able to set up the configuration needed…

8- Start up iMovie for a first run and see how it works ūüėČ

9- Remember to re-adjust the account-settings back to “Managed” and/or “Parental Control” if you need to, since Administrator rights are only needed on the first run

10- Note that in the “Parental Control” settings of your System Preferences, iMovie will no longer be listed under the iLife-applications, but under the “Other” applications…

NOTE : there is (as always) a minimal, remote possibility that Apple might update iMovie 8.0.6 to a newer iMovie 8.0.x or 8.x version… If you upgrade your tweaked iMovie 8.0.6, it will no longer run… and you will have to do a new tweak yourself…

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If you need more info on this, look here :



Flashback trojan finally detected by built-in OSX malware detection

Apple introduced built-in Malware Detection in OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard (and OSX 10.7 Lion also of course).¬†This works very good and updates automatically whenever your connected to the internet and Apple releases new malware definitions…

…this week (online) news sources were warning Mac-users that Apple still hasn’t updated for the latest expoit of Java by the Flashback trojan horse malware…

Today however the Java update was released by Apple :


As always : to install this update, just use OSX’s built-in Software update feature (find it under the Apple-icon menu in the left top corner of your screen).


BEWARE ! : MAC Defender = malware ! don’t install ! remove it !

Since some of you might not know… just a quick note to inform you :

Your Mac is not completely immune to viruses and malware (and never has been). The ¬†weakest link in the security chain of Mac-protection is often the user himself…

A program called “MAC Defender” claims to be your best protection, but do not install it ! If you really need a reliable virus-protection app for you Mac, go only with the renowned ones like Sophos, Kasperski, Norton, ClamXav or VirusBarrier (downloads available via MacUpdate.com, or from their respective brand’s websites).

MAC Defender is a fake AntiVirus-app ! It’s a trojan horse intended for phishing your valuable data, passwords and credit card info.

Apple has put info on how to avoid or remove MAC Defender online here :


…but still : best remedy is not to install it at all !