Did you know your Mac comes with a firewall? It’s turned off. That’s right. Apple has a built-in software firewall to help guard your Mac from outsiders, and the company is so sure of its security apparatus that the firewall is turned off.
A firewall is a barrier. Firefighters use a firewall to prevent fires from spreading. Computer systems have many firewalls to prevent incoming and outgoing network communication. If you want a good one that really locks down your Mac, try Little Snitch. Or, just open System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall and click Turn On Firewall. Extra safety. Free.
Since iOS is built upon Mac OS X you might think Apple would provide access to a built-in firewall. Nope. Apple doesn’t think iPhone or iPad customers need it. While Apple’s gadgets are less prone to successful attacks than Android or Windows, there is a way to add another layer of protection.
This one is called Guardian Firewall. Think of it as a VPN app with a firewall at the other end. You get the benefits of a firewall with the benefits of a firewall– but at the other end, where the VPN meets the public internet.
I keep my Mac’s firewall on, but I cannot tell you how much it gets hammered by attackers (general answer; if it’s connected to the internet, it gets hammered thousands of times a day from hacker bots), so assume an iPhone gets the same thing.
Guardian Firewall does something similar, but not on the iPhone itself.
We periodically scan code available within the App Store for security vulnerabilities, privacy issues, invasive trackers, and more. Additionally, we can detect phishing, malware, aggressive advertising, and other traditional security nuisances.
That means apps on your iPhone may have difficulty phoning home or communicating across the network. While network traffic on the VPN is encrypted, Guardian also works to inhibit apps on the phone from communicating outside the VPN, possibly sending private information to who knows where.
Our solution gives you peace of mind when granting mobile apps permission to access personal data, allowing apps to remain functional for their stated purpose while blocking non-essential traffic, preventing your data from being collected by unknown entities who you may have no desire to do business with.
Think of a VPN as a pipeline between your device and the public internet. Guardian Firewall puts the firewall at the other end and blocks incoming and outgoing traffic that does not meet certain standards.
The app itself is mostly set it and forget. Free to try– which works only a short while, or a monthly subscription which provides more controls. This is a good idea and one I think you will see repeated elsewhere soon.