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Beefing up your personal security

Q: I got an email on my iPhone from “Apple iMessages” saying my user name and password had been used to log into an iPhone 6. I do have an iPhone 6, but if this is spam, how do they know? I am temporarily ignoring this. What do I do?

A: For years, online criminals have been trying variations of the account-security email for Apple’s iMessages, iTunes and iCloud services to lure recipients into clicking on malicious links or providing Apple ID account information. By including the name of the iPhone model in the message, the sender is hoping to get your attention with specifics. Adding the name of a model still in widespread use broadens the potential audience for the message.

Even if the return address on the message says it is from Apple (or one of its services), you can usually see the account it really came from by tapping the sender’s name in the header. The next screen shows the actual address. If it is clearly not from Apple, forward the message to reportphishing@apple.com.

For more information, search Apple’s support site for its page of other tips for dealing with suspicious email. If you think that you may have been hacked, the site has guidelines for compromised Apple ID accounts, along with instructions for seeing a list of the devices that are using your Apple ID credentials.

Online criminals target Apple ID accounts because they often are linked to credit cards for iTunes or App Store purchases (as are Amazon accounts, Google accounts, bank accounts and so on). Shoring up your personal security with two-step verification and changing your password on a regular basis can help keep your account secure – for your Apple ID and any other e-commerce or social media services you use.

How to Tell Windows When to Reboot Itself

Q: How do I stop Windows 10 from rebooting itself after it automatically installs a software update? I find it does this at night.

A: The current version of the operating system – the Windows 10 Anniversary Update – allows you to block out the time of day you normally use the computer and prevent those automatic restarts that happen after new software is installed. You can set up to 12 “active hours” when Windows is not permitted to restart itself, so if you tend to work on the computer at night, you can set different active hours and let the PC restart itself during the day. (Some test versions of Windows 10 allow 18 active hours, an option that may appear in future system updates.)

To set your active hours, go to the Start Menu and choose Settings, or just press the Windows and I keys on the keyboard. On the Settings screen, select Update & Security and then Windows Update. On the Update Settings area, tap or click “Change active hours.” On the Active Hours screen, set the start and end times in which you want to avoid restarts and click the Save button.

If Windows has installed new updates and has a restart pending that you just want to get out of the way, you can temporarily bypass your active hours settings with a preferred restart time. To do that, go back to the Settings app to Update & Security to Windows Update, and then select Restart Options. On the next screen, set a time for the PC to restart. You can also just get it over with by selecting the Restart Now option on the Windows Update screen.

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