My day job requires me to manage and maintain a number of web servers located throughout the country. What would surprise you the most is to learn how many attacks are made against your Mac when you’re connected to the internet. It’s a constant barrage of attempts to infiltrate your Mac, even when it’s behind a firewall or your ISPs router.
What can you do to keep your Mac secure, and protect your files? OS X does a good job keeping intruders at bay, but your Mac is already loaded with apps that are constantly checking the network connection, phoning home, and sending data back to who knows where.
Hands Off! is one of just a handful of Mac apps which monitors your Mac for scurrilous network activity. Not activity trying to get into your Mac. Activity connecting elsewhere from your Mac.
Think of Hands Off! as a reverse firewall. OS X protects you from outsiders trying to get inside the Mac, while Hands Off! protects you can gives you controls to manage apps trying to connect from the Mac.
Each app that tries to connect to the internet is blocked. You control which apps can and cannot use the network.
Hands Off! gives you notification of each app that wants to use the network and gives you options to deny or allow, and with specific parameters.
Obviously, most Mac apps that use the internet are legitimate, and that includes Mail, Safari, iTunes, the Mac App Store, and apps that connect to iCloud, and many, many others.
You still control the connectivity options for those apps. Open Hands Off! to view all the apps and settings, or rules, for each.
Not only does Hands Off! block outgoing connections on an app by app basis, it can also block incoming connections, monitor network connections, monitor disk access, and give you more options to control connections for each app than you thought possible.
If only the paranoid survive, then using Hands Off! gives you an extra option to ensure that your files cannot be intruded upon from without, or from within.
Initial setup and configuration is straightforward, but if your Mac is loaded with apps it may take awhile to get each configured the way you want. Until then, those apps cannot connect to the network.