Anyone who uses the internet constantly is made aware of the continuous collection of data by many websites. They have to do so by law in many countries now. While most of us accept it without giving it a second thought, there are enough people in the world who takes a great deal of concern about this. Our iPhones, iMacs, Airbooks, and iPods keep sending data to unseen servers to keep track of our interactions, and that is not acceptable on many regards, the primary one being our right to have our privacy respected.
Objective Development is a software development that has taken notice of this concern and they have created an app especially suited for MacOS & iOS named “Little Snitch”. The program works as a firewall application that reinforces the already powerful utility set in place by Apple with its built-in firewall that can be used to block any unauthorized network connection. If you are wondering why you would need something like this the answer is simple: Little Snitch not only manages network connections, it also offers detailed insight about the network’s communication schemes used by all the websites that you visit every time you use the web.
Full Control, Restricted Access
Let’s take a minute to clear something up. Crossing data traffic from your Apple devices is not a bad thing. Most of it is necessary to keep things running smoothly. Your devices need to check the App Store to keep your apps and the iOS updated. There is also the flow of data that happens every time you stream music, films or podcasts from iTunes. If you use apps such as Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu, the data sent allow these apps to work better recommendations for you. There is also the data that is sent or received every time you use your email, or any communicational app such as Whatsapp, Google Talk or Telegram. Most of this information is pretty harmless and many of it it’s encrypted.
The data leak usually comes from your interactions with third parties on many of these platforms. A lot of Facebook and Twitter links take you to other websites that can easily track the data sent by your Apple device and send the information collected to ad servers or data hubs. It also happens with all the apps you use since you willingly offer your data to them when you sign up. Little Snitch tracks most of these interactions and lets you take a look at it. You can see what these communications are about. Based on your perceptions, you may choose if you want to allow your Apple devices to keep this flow of data happening.
Little Snitch’s Operational Modes
Little Snitch offers three modes of operation. The default setting is the Silent Mode. You will allow most connections, and it works like Apple’s firewalls do. The basic reinforcement is in the ability of the app to track every connection to all the networks where traffic is registered. You can further examine these connections and decide to keep them as it is or block them in the future. The other setting is Alert Mode. Here the app will ask you for permits of access each time an app attempts to make a connection to the web. After you make a choice, Little Snitch will remember it to allow or deny connections in the future.
While this mode can feel bothersome and annoying, the permits are only granted once. If you use your Apple device following a routine, the licenses will eventually disappear, unless you keep interacting with new websites every single day. The final option is the Silent Mode. This setting denies connections for occasions where you want to handle the flow of information that comes and go out of your devices. Since the settings are customizable, you need to study the options found in this mode and grant the access as you need it. Any connection that is not fitted to your arrangements will be automatically denied without asking for approval.
You can get the latest version of the app in the Mac OS iStore or iOS AppStore priced at $45 for the full version.