It’s the nature of the internet and that paranoia explains why there’s an increase in Mac malware detection apps.
What do you do if someone or some app is already on your Mac? How would you know they’re on your Mac? To add an extra layer of protection to sooth the savage beast of paranoia I’ve long recommended Little Snitch to Mac users. I like to think of it as a reverse firewall.
While a firewall can prohibit outsiders from getting to your Mac, Little Snitch stops apps already on your Mac from using the network to connect outside your Mac.
The way the Mac currently works means Mac-to-network connection is not monitored or controlled. Any app running on your Mac can use the network to upload files or even be used to for someone else to control your Mac. But not with Little Snitch installed.
My normal procedure is to use the tried and true on my Mac, and that’s what Little Snitch is. However, there’s a new preview of Little Snitch available and it’s worthy of testing in your Mac’s security setup.
This preview still gives you Little Snitch’s famed controls to stop and manage apps that want to use the network connection. I call your attention to the new Little Snitch Network Monitor which gives you a more granular look at which Mac apps are using your network.
What you see is real time network traffic on an app-by-app basis of the past hour, but you can also zoom into the last minute of activity.
Built-in filters give you control over what you see; filtering by process, server, port, and other criteria. It even displays specific connections that have been denied by Little Snitch.
If you want to see why a connection was allowed or denied, click the Show Corresponding Rule. There’s also a new Silent Mode which effectively stops connection warnings while you’re busy working but logs everything.
As if that’s not sufficient to truly fall in love with Little Snitch, the preview version also has an incoming firewall so you can control what’s trying to connect to your Mac. That alone is worth the price of an upgrade.
There’s also a simplified and completely self explanatory pop up notification for apps that want to connect to the network.
For geekier control Little Snitch 3.x brings a complex set of rules that covers domains, multiple destinations, and a Ruleset Analyzer. In other words, there’s much more going on in the new Little Snitch that gives you greater security against outbound connections as well as inbound attempts to connect to your Mac.
Little Snitch has been a solid performer for me through the years, and now compares favorably, feature-for-feature, to the growing popularity of Hands Off which also controls both inbound and outbound network connections.