A Defensive Computing Checklist    by Michael Horowitz
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Initially, this website only had topics on iOS and macOS. Over time, I realized that there are a number of issues that apply to all Apple products, so in December 2023, I started this page.


The first question, when something goes wrong, is whether it is a hardware problem or a software problem. Starting in December 2023, Apple lets some of their customers run hardware diagnostics on their devices. This can be a big step in debugging a problem.

December 13, 2023: Apple Self Service Repair Adds Remote Diagnostics and Supports New Devices by Adam Engst for Tidbits. The Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair helps users identify hardware problems. It is currently available only in the United States. Supported iPhones are the 12 and later, running iOS 17.0 or later. Supported Macs have Apple CPUs and run macOS 14.1 or later. First put the device to be tested into diagnostic mode, then enter that device’s serial number into a secondary device.

Start here: Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair

iPhone instructions: iPhone 12 and later: Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair

Mac instructions: Apple Silicon Mac: Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair


Up to date? See Apple security releases (from Apple) for the latest version of Apple software and a release history.

December 11, 2023: About Lockdown Mode from Apple. Lockdown Mode is available in iOS 16 or later, iPadOS 16 or later, watchOS 10 or later, and macOS Ventura or later. Additional protections are available in iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and macOS Sonoma.

May 9, 2023: Apple ID: 3 things to remember when changing this password by Erik Eckel for Tech Republic. Before changing an Apple ID password, be aware that changing an Apple account password starts a series of irreversible events. The article has three things to know before changing Apple ID credentials. Note that the article says that changing passwords regularly is a good thing. This is wrong. Also, sometime in January 2024, Apple will, under some circumstances, delay password changes. This change was made well after this article was written.

June 1, 2023 (last update): Apple Customers Say It's Hard to Get Money Out of Goldman Sachs Savings Accounts by AnnaMaria Andriotis in the Wall Street Journal. Some say it has taken weeks to withdraw their money and that the bank’s instructions have differed. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.


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