Most people I talk to want to secure their data better, but at the same time use programs and websites that actually follow and store data about them. I have gathered a few essentials here that do not follow your movements or share your information with others.
You can limit the tracking of your movements by not visiting sites like Facebook, Instagram, Google, Amazon, etc. Or using a browser that does not allow data to be tracked.
A number of the things we use every day follow our movements and look over our shoulders. I have found some alternatives to a few of the more popular apps and online solutions that offer you a more secure, less ad-based and better data protection service.
Gmail / Hotmail / Live / Yahoo
Let's just start with one of the most popular free mail used by a very large number. We should also list Hotmail, Live, Yahoo and a string of other "free" mail.
Google's Gmail in particular is known for sharing information about content with Google in relation to advertising. Yes, Google promises that they do not read your mail, but they still look at targeting ads based on the content of your mail. The others may not look quite as much at your content, but they still sell advertising based on your data.
The alternative: Tutanota.com
An email program that can secure your mail and the access of others to your mail. Tutanota is located in Berlin and is a full mail program with contact book and calendar.
You can not use Outlook or other mail program, but must use theirs, it is available for PC, Linux, Mac, iOS and Android. All emails are stored encrypted with them and they cannot access the email even if they were asked to.
You can send regular mail and end-to-end encrypted mail.
It is available in both a free version and a paid solution (your own domain).
There are other similarly secure mail solutions such as. ProtonMail.com.
OneDrive / Google Drive / Dropbox
Cloud hosting or storing its files in the cloud has become a huge business in recent years. This applies to both your personal files and company files.
I use OneDrive for work files and recommend this solution - also over Google Drive and Dropbox, which I do not think have the same qualities. At the same time, OneDrive is an inexpensive solution when purchased with the Office suite.
The alternative: Tresorite
Tresorite offer the same features as the other cloud solutions, but they are based on security. This means a number of things are secured in a better way.
As one of the only ones, all data is being encrypted on their solution - they as a company can not see your files.
You can share files with others, where it is possible to set up protection in the form of encryption, expiration of links and more.
The company is located in Switzerland, and therefore covered by the European GDPR rules, which makes it more interesting for all European companies.
When you search on Google, you have invited them to see and learn about all your interests and where you go. You can avoid this by using one of several search engines that promise not save this data and use that knowledge to sell advertising space.
The alternatives: DuckDuckGo and Qwant (French)
Two of my favorites. DuckDuckGo is the default search engine in my browser on both mobile and PC.
Qwant may not be completely comprehensive yet, but I'm sure it's coming and in daily use it works really well. Both focus on keeping you anonymous.
The world's most used browser. And with it, you have Google with you all the way around the web.
At the moment, Microsoft Edge is getting a lot of attention - it is built on the same source and where Microsoft says that will protect users better than Google. I may not be entirely convinced that Microsoft is so much better than Google.
The alternatives: Firefox (maybe: Brave)
Because Google is so big, there are some who would like to keep the same interface. You can do that with Edge, Brave and Opera, built on the same source code as Google Chrome.
Firefox is one of the few "real" free browsers because it is developed by themselves and with security set high.
If you have the courage to try a good browser, you can safely throw yourself into it. Firefox is very easy to get started with - and at some points actually gives you better options than you might have today - e.g. they have developed a tool that can prevent Facebook from following you online.
Every time you use a free service or product, think about who is paying the company and why. There are alternatives to everything today if you want to avoid the big ones. Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and many others can be challenged - with some things, it makes really good sense.