You know what they say about computer security? The most secure computer is the one that’s not plugged into a network. For the most part, that old adage is probably true but not very practical. As secure as our Macs are there are umpteen hackers and apps trying to break in. And some try to break out.
How can you stop unwanted, unauthorized network use of your Mac and still be connected to the internet so you can get some work done?
The latest version of my favorite Mac protection app does what it always did. And does the same thing in reverse. First, the basics. Little Snitch prevents apps on your Mac from connecting to the network (phoning home for any reason) without your permission.
When any app attempts to use the network you’re given a pop up dialog box which configures the connection for that app from then on.
It doesn’t matter which app tries to connect. Little Snitch can stop it, and give you settings to permit the connection.
Little Snitch monitors your Mac’s network connection so you have a live, ongoing visual monitor of apps that use the network.
The monitor gives you detailed network traffic history, total traffic, peak traffic, average bandwidth used and much more.
Little Snitch is smart enough to know where your Mac is located. Create specific profiles to add more security (for example, Home, Office, School, Internet Cafe, Airport Wi-Fi).
While there’s plenty more options to make Little Snitch the only network security tool you’d need, the coupe de grace for me is the built-in firewall. The original version of Little Snitch stopped outgoing network connections– kind of a firewall in reverse.
The new version has a traditional firewall with easier controls than Apple provides in OS X. Connections to your Mac and from your Mac are in your control.
Therein lies the only problem with Little Snitch. Options. To start, Little Snitch lets well known apps connect, but you’ll get a pop up dialog box for many other apps which try to connect. That can be annoying at first, but once you’re set up, that’s about all you’ll see of Little Snitch.
You’ll be surprised how many connection attempts various Mac apps make through the course of a day.