Everyone who is not dumb is aware of the importance of privacy. This post is not for idiots who say “I have nothing to hide, I don’t care about privacy.” This post is also not for those awesome people who know more about Kardashians than Edward Snowden. The craziest mass surveillance in entire history undertaken by one of the most powerful government organizations on the global population for more than 10 years didn’t prevent one single terrorist attack of any kind. Let that sink in. So the argument for ” I would risk my privacy for security” is invalid.
Another disclaimer is this post is gonna bash Google, so all the google and android fanboys need to take a deep breath. Remember, Google’s main source of income (like 96%) is selling you and your information. To add fuel to the flames, I would even say Apple is the only big company that helps the privacy cause as its main business is to sell products, not your information. Apple is also the only major company that has the balls to say NO to any government privacy killing tactics and their products have better security and privacy. Before you say anything about the iCloud fappening hack, NO, that didn’t happen because of an iCloud hack. Some dumb annoying celebrities (like Jennifer Lawrence) gave away their passwords to phishing emails. Also remember the Apple vs FBI battle over the locked iPhone? Do you think google would do that? Gimme a break. Speaking of the Apple vs FBI battle, I really don’t think the FBI needed Apple’s help to unlock the iPhone. In my opinion (and Edward Snowden’s), the FBI just wanted a legal precedent so that they could break into everyone’s phone (as if 99% of the information collected by the NSA is not enough).
I understand no guide will be a bulletproof way to protect privacy. However, these practices at least give you a better defense. I also want to offer a practical guide, so this guide is not about Debian operating systems, deep dark web techniques, etc. Ok, now let’s get to the guide in the form of the following bullet points:
- Use a good and trustworthy VPN (paid) that doesn’t log your online activity.
- Picture Google as your friend who sold you out. Seriously, Google is like a cancer to your privacy. I can feel your denial. Yes, Google was the best in 2006, now it’s a stage 4 cancer that is slowly marching you to your privacy death. Use DuckDuckGo, shut up and try it for a week, you won’t go back.
- Avoid Facebook and twitter completely (at least delete those stupid apps in your phone and log in via a browser for a limited time).
- Avoid Amazon like sulphuric acid (Shop local. Don’t buy their echo. It’s a private detective in your bedroom).
- Windows 10 is a stage 4 terminal cancer(with diabetes) to your privacy. Use any operating system other than windows. Mac OS X is definitely way better than windows for privacy (Hint: Microsoft sucks.)
- Avoid Anti-Virus software that is known to have evil policies, especially AVG and Avast. Install anti tracking and ad blocking browser extensions. Even better, use Linux or Mac OS X so that you don’t need an Anti-Virus software.
- Change the default search engine to duckduckgo.com in iOS settings and laptops and computers. (in iOS – settings – safari – search engine – select DuckDuckGo)
- Eliminate google chrome from all your devices and change the default browser to Firefox(Safari is way better than Chrome).
- Avoid Google Maps unless there is no option and it’s an emergency. Use apple maps alternatively (Yes, I know you read that apple maps is bad 4 years go, give it a try now).
- Slowly break away from Gmail. Yes, they analyze your email content constantly, and the icing on the cake is that they offer all the content to government organizations. Use Protonmail or ICloud email as alternatives.
- Use ICloud Pages instead of Microsoft word or Google docs, and iCloud numbers instead of google sheets or Microsoft excel.
- The bottom line is, in terms of privacy, Apple= Good. Microsoft=Bad. Google=Worst.
- Use iCloud drive instead of Google drive (did I mention google is worst?).
- Use cash or apple pay instead of credit or debit cards when possible.
- Avoid posting unnecessary, stupid, idiotic, non constructive posts on any forum, YouTube comments, and anywhere else. Also, if you have strong notions to post bullying and racist comments to some stranger online and that brings you satisfaction and happiness, you should seriously consider what you are doing with your life and take a deep look in the mirror.
- Repeat after me – Edward Snowden is the hero we need, but not the one that we deserve.