Guess what? There is a lot happening on the interwebs that the average person doesn't know about. What is the biggest use of bandwidth? Films. What kind? Guess. It is a four-letter word that begins with the letter P and ends with an N and has O and R in the middle. Here is another revelation.
Every device connected to the Internet is the target of hackers. Everyone. The. Time. Your Mac is under siege every day from a myriad of robots, scammers, hackers, crawlers, manuscripts, criminals, government spooks, hackers and all manner of vicious debris from humanity's underworld. Oddly enough, part of the internet bandwidth that our devices use each month comes from our Macs, iPhones and iPads. That is correct. Almost all applications on which device you are currently using are to call home . Which? And when? How can you find out? How can you stop them?
Years ago, I installed Little Snitch on my Mac and was shocked to learn how many different apps made Internet connections from the Mac to who knows where. Sure, macOS does it all the time, but so do most other apps. Where do they connect? What did? Little Snitch helped track them down.
Since then, we have learned about government spooks that hack and spy on their own citizens, constant attacks from both friendly and unfriendly foreign governments, so it's easy to understand why paranoia is a good attitude to have . That's the attitude you should have when everyone is looking to get you, amirite?
Enter another Mac tool for the paranoid Mac user. This is called Hands Off !, a background tool that has been around for many years. It monitors your Mac's Internet connections ̵
Here's how it works.
Install Hands Off! and it immediately starts to view and block both incoming and outgoing network communication connections to and from the Mac. When it detects an unexpected, you get a pop-up that lets you always allow or always deny or always ask permission for the app to connect to the outside world.
You can be notified when every app on your Mac wants to connect to the Internet or your network. Settings allow you to configure and allow basic apps; including Safari, Calendar, Contacts, Mail and others who normally need to connect.
Hands Off! is so useful that you can use it to block everything, or just the specific apps you prefer not to connect with. But it goes further. The app also prevents certain apps from reading certain files. It blocks browsers from storing cookies. Hands off! can also protect your Mac from malware, including Trojans and worms and others.
A lot of that protection is handled in the background, but if you're really paranoid, Hands Off! can be configured with global or granular rules using different Unix tools, domain solution and other network connections. Each app on your Mac can be viewed in a detailed list that shows the app's name, connection type, and any rules used, either automatically or configured by the user.
Not only do you pass away! monitor network connections and apps, but it also monitors apps that have access to your Mac disk, either prevent or allow them to read documents, or write files for storage. Hands off! may seem a bit geeky to configure and use, and it can be annoying when filtering through all the home-calling apps (that's more than you think), but it's a gift for any Mac user who wants an extra layer of protection in a world filled with unscrupulous hackers trying to sabotage or compromise our devices.
Try the trial, and you'll be amazed at the number of incoming attempts and outbound connections your Mac makes every day. It is scary. But there is help. And it's easy to use.