Little Snitch & Micro Snitch worth it for protecting privacy?

212rikanmofo

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 31, 2003
1,685
642
In this day and age with all the stuff going on about companies tracking you and stealing your personal info to sell to others. I really want to safeguard myself as much as possible. Companies can't be trusted anymore, yes I'm pointing the finger at you Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

I was thinking about buying these 2 apps. But was wondering are they worth it? This way I have more control of ingoing and outgoing traffic to see whose connected or attempting to connect to my computer.

What would be the best method to protect and secure yourself while online?
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,248
2,326
They're good for what they do, but it depends what you're expecting them to do. There's info like your IP address that websites will still know about, and the only thing Little Snitch can do is block that actual connection. It's not really for privacy, it's more like a smart firewall. Good if you want to block that connection completetly, bad if you still want to actually use the site.

If you want privacy online, you're probably going to want to look into a good VPN or maybe even consider running Tor. But even then, you can still get fingerprinted depending on how you go online, like if you log into your iCloud from Safari and Tor. An app can't help you with that sort of personal responsibility as far as I know.

Micro Snitch is a different story because it's not about online privacy, it's about alerting you if the mic or webcam are being accessed. Worth running, even if it may never ever activate, but doesn't really play a big part in online privacy the way Little Snitch, a VPN, or Tor would.
 
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steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,695
1,481
Already am. :) Pi-hole is great. Looks like I'll get Little Snitch and Micro Snitch as well. You can never be too secure these days.
Think carefully why you really need Little Snitch.

You already have Pi-Hole and the hardening of Safari in iOS 12 and Mojave will pretty much take care of most tracking worries. Both are free.

So what’s left for Little Snitch to deal with are apps. Apps dial out for all sorts of legitimate reasons all the time. It takes a lot of effort to set up LS correctly, without which LS will often break your apps in weird and wonderful ways and sometimes in a way that’s not immediately apparent. What typically happens is that you end up having to let all these communications through anyway. So what’s the point of LS?

I’m an ex-LS user and current Pi-Hole user.
 

edsai

macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2008
6
0
how do you install pinhole on OS X Mojave?
You don't install pi-hole on OSX really, you install it on a linux box, docker container, or a raspberry pi. Hypothetically you could use a vm or docker image (still has to use a VM) on your Mac but that is probably more resource intensive than most would want unless you're already running a bunch of VMs on your mac.

http://pi-hole.net
 

lec0rsaire

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2017
1,511
1,440
Better to use a good VPN for privacy if you’re concerned. Little Snitch is a piracy tool for stopping cracked apps for phoning home and being deactivated.

I know not every LS user is a pirate but most are and they know they are no matter what they say!
 

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
666
182
Little Snitch is great for learning more about websites or online services and to realise which apps are phoning to wherever. IMHO, neither piracy nor privacy are the main reasons using LS, but acquiring knowledge.

While LS (almost) got the standard, yet another alternative is Murus/Vallum http://www.murusfirewall.com. Murus builds upon the built-in macOS firewall PF (Packet Filter) and Vallum serves as an application-layer firewall. Some might remember the free firewall frontends WaterRoof for IPFW or IceFloor for PF for Mac OS X 10.5 to 10.9 from one of the developers http://www.hanynet.com.

In means of security/privacy, consider that tools like LS are usually running with elevated permissions. I guess, that this fact alone is enough to raise the risk for security breaches and making an operating system more vulnerable to exploits, not less.

The same probably goes to Micro Snitch. However, there is an alternative called OverSight from the developer of LuLu https://objective-see.com/products/oversight.html
 
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