There are few Mac utilities that claim to clean, optimize, and securitize your Mac that I haven’t tried in the past decade. Some are good, some not so much. Some are free and useful, others seem to prey on the less experienced Mac user.
Here’s a Mac utility with similar claims to fame that I’ve not reviewed or used until now. It’s called PrivacyScan and it has enough features with a modest price tag that it might be attractive to casual Mac users or recent switchers from Windowsland.
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Otherwise, PrivacyScan could be attractive for what what it does as something of a jack-of-all-trades utility that seeks to erase the path your browsers and other apps have been leaving on your Mac.
PrivacyScan has a simple Setup Assistant which walks through a rather straightforward configuration for your Mac. Once that’s done the app scans for threats. Threats? Well, we know they’re out there, but few ever make it to the Mac, so I’m not sure what PrivacyScan looks for.
My father once pulled a tiny pocketknife out of his pocket and told me it was an alligator prevention device. I laughed and said, ‘We don’t have alligators in Atlanta!’ He said to me, ‘See? It works!’
PrivacyScan should raise your spidey sense a bit because the first thing it tells you when you try to open it is that it can’t be opened. It needs a signed developer’s certificate from Apple. That’s easy enough to get around, though, by opening System Preferences and clicking on Security & Privacy, then select Open Anyway in the General setting.
The Setup Assistant gives you the option to Clean Threats or Shred Threats (which means overwriting threatening files multiple times), plus other simple options for various browsers and cookies and other Mac apps.
After that, a pop up windows arrives with a list of Mac apps that can be scanned by clicking on the Scan button to check for privacy threats. Check the ones you want, then click the button.
After the scan is complete you’ll be presented with a laundry list of Mac apps which are recognized as ‘threats’ and ready to be cleaned, scrubbed, shredded, whatever.
Clicking the Trash can button in the image above brings up Cookie Cleaning Alert with the usual warning that cookies are bad but they’re good. The cleaning takes mere seconds before the Cleaning Successful notice arrives.
And we’re done. That’s a wrap.
What got cleaned? As best I can tell a bunch of browser and app cache files, some history files, and a few other odds and ends files which somehow had been classified as threats. The shredding feature is nice, though, and particularly beneficial for Mac users who have become more paranoid about others finding out which websites you’ve been visiting recently.
Still, PrivacyScan is modestly priced, works quickly, and does (as best I can tell) what it says it will do which is to clean (or, really, really clean) incriminating cache and history files. No. Scratch that. Not incriminating. They’re threats.