Greetings everyone, and happy summer!

Black Canyon Mac User Group folds

A big piece of news in my world recently is the demise of the local Black Canyon Mac User Group, which I’ve been a part of for close to two decades. Unfortunately, the attendance at our (virtual) meetings had gotten pretty thin, and we weren’t engaging with more that about half a dozen members at any given time. It was a lot of work for me, deciding on a topic and presenting at the meetings, plus writing a twice-monthly newsletter and managing a minimal website. I finally decided about a month ago that I just couldn’t do it anymore, so the club leadership decided to fold up the tent. I’m hoping that some of the ~100 subscribers to the club newsletter might switch over to this one to get their Apple info fix, and as such, I hope to be able to write these more frequently. (Especially given that I don’t have the BCMUG responsibilities any longer, which always competed with this.)

Avoid this annoying bit of adware going around!

In other news, security issues in the tech world continue to dominate the headlines. The following is courtesy of Randy Singer, author of the popular website He recently shared this info about an maddening bit of adware going around (I’ve already had one client that had been hit by it).

“It constantly shows you notifications that your McAfee anti-virus software subscription is up. It will even show these notifications outside of your web browser:

In almost every case, the users who become infected say that they have never been McAfee subscribers.  It also appears that only Safari users are effected.  (I’ve not heard any reports of this adware from users of other browsers.)  Attempts to get rid of the pop-ups by running Malwarebytes, DetectX Swift, or VirusBarrier are unsuccessful.

It turns out that the reason that the above are unsuccessful is because there is no malware infection per se.  The culprit is a notification that users are tricked into agreeing to.  The user visits a Web site, and clicks on a window that asks if the user wants notifications from that Web site. (These seem to have become very popular lately.) In some cases simply hitting Return on one’s keyboard to clear the window sets the notification in the user’s browser.  It’s also possible that the user is tricked into clicking on something that on the surface doesn’t appear to have anything to do with notifications at all.

What this adware is trying to do is to funnel you to a fake McAfee Web site to get you to give them credit card information (ostensibly for the purpose of renewing your McAfee subscription).  DO NOT agree to anything in this notification or on the associated website.  Otherwise, fortunately, this adware doesn’t harm your Mac in any way.

It’s easy to remove this adware, but even easier to avoid it completely:

To avoid it, if you use Safari, in Safari open Preferences in the Safari menu. Click on Websites. Click on Notifications in the column on the left. UNCHECK: Allow Websites To Ask For Permission To Send Notifications.

So far I’ve only heard of this adware effecting users of Safari.  However, if you use Brave, click Brave menu-> Preferences-> Privacy and Security-> Site & Shield Settings-> Notifications-> and set ‘Don’t Allow Sites To Send Notifications’.

Now, go back to Site & Shield Settings-> Popups and Redirects-> set ‘Don’t allow sites to send pop-ups or use redirects’.

Getting rid of this adware, if you are hit by it, is actually quite simple, and it doesn’t require one to download any utilities:

1.) While in Safari, open Preferences in the Safari menu. Click on Websites.  Click on Notifications in the column on the left.  Delete all notifications that you don’t recognize.  (For most folks, this is probably all of them.)

2.) Still in Safari Preferences, click on Privacy. Then Click on “Manage Website Data”. Click on “Remove All”. 

3.) Still in Safari Preferences,  click on Extensions.  Uninstall any Extensions that you aren’t 100% sure that you installed on purpose.”

That’s it for now. I hope you’re all having a great summer, and I’ll be back with another newsletter soon. Hope to see some of you at my iPhone Photography class too!!

Take care, John