Safety

Adult Horror Story! Child Racks Up $2500 Bill in Ten Minutes

Scared ManHave you heard this adult horror story? No, not the one where you accidentally “Reply All” as you complain about your boss or the one where your friend has an ugly baby and no has the heart to tell them ... No. This one is about the 5 year old who ran up a $2,500 bill playing games on an iPad in about 10 minutes. It happened over in Great Britain when little tyke Danny Kitchen was playing Zombies vs. Ninjas. Danny’s mother, Sharon, gave her son the password so he could download the free game. But what happened next is 100 percent pure nightmare fuel.

Danny started buying game add-ons -- well, that is a bit of an understatement. Danny started buying ALL the game add-ons, over and over. In about 10 minutes, he racked up £1,710.43 (more than $2,500) that his mother didn’t even notice until she started receiving the worst series of email receipts the next day.

Parents with iPads and iPhones know how much their kids love to play with the devices, and giving Danny the iPad was probably something that happened many times before without incident.

Before we scare you any more, we must say that after a couple of days of phone calls, questions and reporting, the Kitchens were able to recoup their money, a fact which hopefully ensured Danny will be able to enjoy Christmas this year and not just receive stern glances from his family.

How To Avoid This Scenario

Apple iOS controls allow parents to set restrictions on Internet access, age restrictions and more, meaning when your child is using the device, some of the danger is gone. They are as follows:

  1. In iTunes, open iTunes preferences. Mac users: From the iTunes menu, choose Preferences. Windows users: On the Edit menu, click Preferences.
  2. Click the Parental tab.
  3. Select the checkbox next to any item you wish to disable or restrict.
  4. To change a rating level of TV Shows, Movies, and Games choose a rating level from the pop-up menu.
  5. Click the lock icon to prevent users from making changes.
  6. Type your administrator password in the resulting dialog, then click OK (You'll need to know the administrator's account name and password).
  7. Click OK to close iTunes preferences and have your changes take effect.

If you’re looking for other ways to protect your Apple gear, like military-grade cases and screen covers, come to MacExperience, where our staff members are more than happy to help.

Extending the Life of your External Hard Drive

Click … click … click ... That’s the horrible sounds of a hard drive that has failed, and you start to panic because your music, files, movies and more were all on that external drive.

Should such an unfortunate occurrence happen, you need to call The MacExperience to talk data recovery options (we also do data recovery for iPhones, digital cameras and removable media).

But what could you have done to help prolong the life of your external hard drive? Here are a few quick tips to maximize its life.

Keep Dust Out Most people know that dust is bad for electronics, but do you know why? Dust, as it turns out, is a fantastic insulator of heat, and heat will wear down your external hard drive, causing it to work harder to stay cool and aging the mechanisms at a faster rate.

Eject Properly That warning that pops up when you don’t properly eject a drive before unplugging it from your MacBook … that isn’t a joke. Every time you don’t properly eject a drive, be it an external hard drive or your camera’s SD card or whatever, you run the risk of losing the files on that drive because the card needs to be prepared to shut down. Sometimes it feels like it’s taking too long, but trust us, when it’s ready to be ejected, it will let you know.

Don’t Unnecessarily Turn Off Your Hard Drive Most external hard drives made today will run in a “spin down” mode when not in use, meaning that the drive will remain on but the disk will slow or stop. So turning off your hard drive to reduce wear and tear isn’t a complete necessity.

We mentioned before that too much heat is bad for electronics, which is true, but so is repeated heating and cooling (the kind that happens when you turn on and off constantly). So a good practice is to turn on your external hard drives when your computer is on and turn them off when your computer is off. Since most people leave their computers on for days at a time, this should be a good way to keep your hard drives running.

Think Outside The Box Then again, there’s always the cloud. If you’re very worried about your data, consider an online backup system for your files. It’s a monthly cost, but it’s a safe way to protect your important information.

Have more questions? Stop in to one of our MacExperience locations and talk to one of our certified Apple specialists.

College Kids, Keep Your Apple Gear Safe

It’s a fact: College campuses provide many opportunities for some thief to snag your electronics. You are always moving between classes, working on group projects, leaving your computer out in the library while you go grab coffee and more. Now there are funny stories involving stolen MacBooks, like This Guy Has My MacBook, but most stories just end with infuriated people wishing they had backed up their files while they start saving money for a new laptop.

After all, according to an FBI study, 97 percent of stolen laptops are never recovered.

Now most people aren’t going to try and grab your MacBook, iPhone, iPad or headphones, but it’s naive to think it couldn’t happen to you.

Always Take Your Stuff With You Even if you’re just going away for a second, never leave your Apple devices laying around, particularly your iPad or iPhone, as they can easily be grabbed and stored without anyone noticing.

Lock It Down MacBooks comes with a specifically-designed cable hole so you can lock your computer to your desk or other large/stationary object. Surprisingly, many people still don’t use the simplest and most effective way to prevent theft. You don’t have to lock it down every time you sit down in class, but if you’re in the library or working at a coffeehouse, then there is no reason you shouldn’t have it secured.

Get a Comfortable Bag and Keep It Secure If you have a bag that feels good on your shoulder, stores all of your gear, and of course looks amazing, the more you’ll get in a good habit of taking it with you.

Form good habits when taking your bag to class, the library or when out during lunch. Keep it where you can see it, and if you put it on the ground, stick the leg of your chair through the shoulder sling. You’d be surprised how easy it is for someone to slide your bag over to them when you’re distracted by friends or a lecture, especially in large auditorium classes that freshmen at IU, Purdue and Ball State know all so well.

It’s also a good idea to get a bag with some built-in impact protection as drops and bumps are going to happen when you’re lugging it across campus every day.

Backup, Backup, Backup! We’ve covered how simple it is to use TimeMachine earlier, so if you aren’t backing up your files regularly, now is the time to start. It’s surprisingly simple. And if you do get your MacBook stolen, at least you won’t lose your pictures, movies, documents and programs.

Keep your Apple gear safe the same way you would any other possession. You wouldn’t assume the person next to you wouldn’t steal your wallet or purse if you left for a minute, so why would you take the chance with a device that holds more personal information and is as valuable to a thief as a stack of hundred dollar bills?

For more security questions, like data backup, data encryption and utilizing the cloud for finding a lost or stolen Apple product, talk to The MacExperience today.

Why You Should Set Up Find My iPhone Today

Everyone loses his or her iPhone every now and then. Usually it turns up in the car, stuck in the couch cushions or somewhere your inquisitive toddler decided to hide it this week. Most of the time, it is recovered without much worry. But that sinking feeling when you realize you have left it at a restaurant, on the bus or in class is something that happens to thousands of people every day.

That’s why The MacExperience strongly recommends setting up all of your iPhones, iPads and iPods and Macs with the Find My iPhone app.

Once you have the app installed and register your Apple ID on the device, you will be able to see its location on a map and display a custom message on the screen like “Please call (***)***-**** if you find this phone for a reward.”

 

Additionally, you can have the device beep at full volume for two minutes, even if it is set to silent mode.

As more and more important documents, data and images are saved on your phone, the dangers of someone accessing that information increases. That’s why Find My iPhone allows you to lock your iPhone or you can even wipe all personal data from your phone remotely.

The new iOS 6 installs this app automatically, but you’ll still need to register your Apple ID and an iCloud account.

Install it now, if you haven’t already, and test it to make sure it works. Play the sound, try a custom message and lock the device.

If you have questions about security of your Mac products or want additional backup and protection, the Apple Certified specialists at The MacExperience can answer any questions you may have. Visit one of our four Indiana locations at the Greenwood Park Mall, Bloomington, Downtown Indy by IUPUI or our newest location at Hamilton Town Center.