If you’re like most Mac users you don’t worry at all about security. There are no in-the-wild viruses for the Mac. Malware is nominal.
Apple doesn’t even bother to turn on the built-in firewall for new Macs. What’s up? Is there a security problem, or not? The truth is, your Mac is being attacked everyday. From the outside and even from the inside. There are plenty of apps that help protect your Mac against badware.
Protecting The Unprotectable
If your Mac is under attack, and there are security flaws, and there’s Mac malware, then why doesn’t Apple care and provide all sorts of built-in apps to protect Mac users?
It’s because Mac attacks and security flaws are relative.
I’ve heard it said that the only safe computer is one that’s turned off and buried in your back yard.
That’s not exactly practical in the 21st century (and still might not be true). Still, the truth lingers. There are constant insider and outsider attempts to crack your Mac. Because of how Mac OS X is designed, it’s just not so easy to break in and cause harm—unless you help out.
Paranoia Is Good Policy
If everyone is out to get you (and your Mac), then a little paranoia is the right attitude to have. NetMine is one of a growing number of Mac apps that give you a few extra layers of security and peace of mind.
Think of NetMine as a very strong enhancement to the network firewall built-in to Mac OS X. Only it comes with many features you can adjust, and many extra internal and external layers of protection.
For example, NetMine is a two-way firewall which resides in the background, constantly checking who’s trying to get in, and who’s trying to get out (apps that phone home). In a general sense, NetMine blocks incoming and outgoing traffic (standard TCP/IP ports on your Mac), and notifies you when something happens that probably shouldn’t.
Unlike Apple’s firewall, NetMine does all that blocking on a per app basis—from Mail to Safari to apps you don’t even know are running, but they are.
With a few clicks you can block or open specific apps, apply rules to deny or allow access. Unlike most basic firewall apps, NetMine also blocks apps from connecting from your Mac to remote locations.
NetMine provides detailed information on incoming and outgoing network traffic for your Mac, on a port-by-port basis, and by application. Though unusual for Macs at home, attacks such as ping floods, port scans and other kinds of intrusions can be stopped.
Initial setup is easy and straightforward, but requires that your Mac be restarted. Because NetMine blocks outgoing traffic, it needs to be trained (setup) to allow for basic apps you use daily to access the network or your internet connection.
NetMine claims to protect against viruses, worms, bots, Trojan horses, and even rootkits.
In fact, those items are the top bullet points in the features list.
The only problem is that there just isn’t much of any of that kind of malware for the Mac. More than anything, NetMine stops communication between badware and your Mac. It can block (or open) access by browser apps, third party apps, even infected web sites.
The real time monitor helps you to view network activity, but most of the features are the result of simply blocking and filtering incoming and outgoing communication.
So, is an app like NetMine worth the money (it’s not expensive, especially when compared to other similar apps that do less)? That depends on your level of paranoia, the value of the files on your Mac, how much network exposure your Mac receives.
An extra layer of protection won’t harm your Mac or disrupt your daily Mac routine, and it might—might—protect you from an intruder.