If you use a Mac and you want to manage and control the flow of data that leaves your computer, then I suggest you might want to use Little Snitch. Tech geeks will know about this clever privacy tool, but the masses of my readers aren’t technical. So, I thought I would explain further why you should download and install Little Snitch.
Little Snitch allows you more control than a system firewall – in affect it allows you to have control by intercepting unwanted connection attempts, allowing you to have control on how to proceed. It informs you whenever any program attempts to establish an outgoing connection. You choose to allow or deny the connection, or define a rule to handle future connection attempts.
So what are the drawbacks of this app? Quite simply, it is reliant on users understanding what the connection does, otherwise how would users know whether to allow or block? Another issue for me, is the high prevalence of prompting, which reminds me of the annoying prompts from ZoneAlarm the firewall from CheckPoint. You therefore might end up not using it. The saving grace for Little Snitch is it’s flexibility though. You should spend some time in configuring your app permissions and grant them trusted access, which will significantly reduce the warning prompts. Patience is needed here.
Little Snitch also includes a Network Monitor, which shows you the same incoming and outgoing network traffic as a firewall. This is useful if you want to learn more about app specific traffic or any new traffic events. Little Snitch works on Mac OS X 10.4 – 10.7 and allows for a 3-hour trial which can be restarted as often as you like. This kind of makes it a free app, but might prove annoying over time.
Safe surfing folks!