Every Mac connected to a network or the internet is a security risk. That’s right. Whenever a computer is connected to the internet there are constant attempts by so-called script kiddies, hackers, government spooks, Russians and Chinese to hack whatever devices they come across, including your Mac.
What can you do? Really, not much. Don’t fall for phishing attacks. Be careful which apps you download and use and consider the source. Don’t let others use your Mac unless they’re a guest (Apple does a good job segregating users on the same Mac). Turn on the Mac’s Firewall and lock it down tight.
Oh, and maybe add a free Security Growler.
A growl usually means you’re being warned, and Security Growler is just that. A built-in Mac warning system of outside intrusions.
This menubar app for OS X will notify you via Notification Center (or Growl) when various security events occur. It’s very useful if you’re paranoid about people trying to hack into your computer. Or… if you simply like having information about people using your computer’s resources.
In other words, an early warning system for your Mac; a way to let you know when certain services or connections are made that you wouldn’t normally use, but exactly the kind outsiders wanting to get inside would use.
What you get is a Menubar app that notifies you when any SSH, FTP, VNC, AFP or even root Sudo authentication events occur on your Mac. These are all connectivity options your Mac can use but that can also be used by others trying to hack into your Mac behind the scenes of macOS Sierra’s pretty user interface.
Notifications pop up and Security Growler uses the Mac’s built-in Notification Center so you can see which services are being used and from where and on what port.
Most Mac users with a paranoid gene– even if you’re not technically inclined– will appreciate the added security level and won’t need to make any adjustments or changes to the out-of-the-box settings. If you have a geek gene to boot you’ll appreciate the Python extensibility, and options to add modules that watch log files and other processes.
Security Growler is free and performs somewhat similar services as the famous Little Snitch app (which comes with a price tag, more options, but not as customizable).