Privacy advocates have been ruing the loss of personal information of end users for a long time. Take your privacy back from Google which is a mandatory step to use their products and services. In the absence of any reliable and useful options, users across the globe had little choice. Undoubtedly, there is no match to it.
Google Trackers are installed on top 75% internet sites. Your online activities are recorded and tracked wherever you go. The information is packaged into marketing campaign to businesses serving your interests.
Gmail, Drive, Android and the great Google Search. Today, we have several alternatives now to these services, some for free or paid. It is plausible to continue with Google at the cost of privacy, that is a debatable topic. Privacy experts are not too happy with manipulation and lack of respect towards it. Some may find it acceptable, considering the freebies they get in return. If you too agree that Google (TOS) terms of service are too invasive and relying on a single company can be too risky. You may explore some recommendations to take control of your data. We have some alternatives suggested for some popular online services.
Google Search – DuckDuckGo
This is the easiest and most important change you need. Your online searches are sometimes private or embarrassing which is recorded inconspicuously. Your information is then used by highest paid bidder who track you all over the web. DuckDuckGo gets rid of this tracking and keeps your searches private. They have been actively promoting data privacy and leading a campaign in favor of it. You may not find DuckDuckGo as fast as Google search but you can be rest assured that it won’t be a biased result unlike Google.
Gmail, Calendar and Contacts – FastMail (Paid) or Protonmail (Free)
FastMail is a paid service and its been around for more than 17 years. It is as good as Gmail and has nifty features up its sleeve. They offer calendar, contacts and compatibility support with all devices across the board. You have option to quit anytime and download your data in archive format.
There are more private and free options like Protonmail or Tutanota. Protonmail claims to offer highest level of security with superlative Swiss privacy laws. Few CERN scientists came together in 2013 and formed Protonmail. You can signup without any personal information and they don’t keep any IP logs on their server.
Google Maps – Apple Maps & OpenStreetMap
There were few chinks in the armor of Apple Maps after initial launch. Apple has improved its Maps, which is pre-installed on all iOS devices at very fast pace. Apple Maps never makes you miss Google Maps at any time. For other platforms OpenStreetMap is an alternate but it may not be as rich as Google Maps.
Android – iOS (Paid)
This can be painful and emotional at many levels. It is a mother of of all debate which mobile OS is better and both sides have die hard arguments and rationale. iOS can be secured by hardware level encryption. Google has a daunting task of keeping Android secure with its open source nature and vendor specific OS modifications.
Google Chrome – Firefox or Tor
Modern web browsers claim to be safe, user privacy friendly to win the race of becoming the #1 browser. Nevertheless, all claims are not entirely true. Google is privy to your Google Chrome browsing activities along with you and ISP. Firefox has stepped up its effort to provide better privacy and its private mode is better than ever. Tor is also a very secure and popular browser for anonymous internet browsing. It is derived from Firefox and works on all PC, Mac and Linux platforms. “HTTPS Everywhere” and “network relay” features are noteworthy points among surveillance aware users. There are other browsers as well like Brave and Safari are also noteworthy. You may also add lot of value by adding security extensions or add-ons.
Google Allo – Signal
Signal from developer Whisper Systems is a personal recommendation of Edward Snowden. Signal provides secure call and messaging service at free of cost. It has a self destruction message feature which deletes itself after a certain time.
Blogger – WordPress
There is no reason for not using WordPress. WordPress is a free open source CMS (Content Management System) getting very popular. It’s tech is behind 25% of the website on the Internet. There are millions of plugins and themes available on platform for all kinds of features. It has made itself a standout marketplace for paid and free options.
These changes can take you to a different level of privacy control. Browse Internet carefree without anyone watching over your shoulder like never before. It is your life and you have a right to take control of it. You will not compromise information now with several secure and free available options.