When selling a product that monopolizes people's time and attention, it seems counterintuitive to plot a strategy to convince folks not to pay so much attention to the product.

Apple's relationship with consumers who treasure the company's iPhone is complicated by the fact that the company prefers to come across as the lesser of technology villains -- particularly with Google and Facebook regularly taking hits for slyly convincing consumers to spend more time with technology. Or to give up guards on their private information.

Recently, Apple unveiled a series of products at its Worldwide Developer Conference that are intended to help people manage the digitally focused aspects of their lives. At the same time, however, industry watchers couldn't help but wonder if the company's apparent concern for mis-managed digital existences wasn't at least a tacit admission that things have gotten out of control with technology lately -- and Apple is doing something about that situation merely to take advantage of a market opportunity.

Published in Our Blog
Sunday, 05 October 2014 00:00

Should You Trust Apple with Your Data?

Forget about whether you should trust Apple's iCloud service with your nude photos (or anyone else's), given the recent reports about hackers getting their hands on racy pics of celebrities stored there.

The real question about Apple and cloud storage, says Slate contributor David Auerbach, is whether you should trust the company with any data at all. He lists five reasons why:

  1. Apple's Find My iPhone service, which lets users locate a phone by logging in to their Apple accounts, allows unlimited tries to guess the password, unlike other online services, which typically lock your account after a set number of attempts. Once a hacker has your Apple ID, access to iCloud becomes simple.
  2. This security weakness has been known about since May, and Apple reportedly did nothing to address it until September 1.
  3. Apple sends data from your phone -- like the camera roll, for instance -- to the cloud by default. So, that seemingly harmless selfie has been sitting in iCloud since before news of the celeb nude photo breach broke.
Published in Our Blog

Galaxy 5 users can also get around requests to tap into apps or enter web sites -- something that the Apple iPhone's Touch ID doesn't yet allow.

Samsung's new feature is part of an update to the Android app for LastPass, a password management service that stores a user's passwords in an online, secure vault to allow for automatic logins to web sites. Now, with a mere swipe of a fingerprint, LassPass customers can get access to all of their stored passwords. No need to manually enter a master LastPass password.

And that recent update automating password entry to Chrome browsers and Android apps? Like so much else in the tech world, those features now belong to the past -- if, of course, LastPass users opt to update. Which, as happens so often in the tech world, they'll probably be compelled to do at some point, should they continue to use the service.

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