On Privacy

Reading time: 3 min

priยทvaยทcy
the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.

I don't have any experience on how to compose and put together articles, choosing the best syntax when writing or even correctly spelling difficult words but this is my take on it.

I recently watched a video from John Oliver on Youtube about "Data Brokers" (I recommend you watch it if you're not informed about the topic) and it inspired me to write this short article.

The video is a bit long but it does into good detail about why privacy matters and how easy it is for our data to get into anyone's hands, as long as they can pay for it.

For some time now I've been really interested and invested time into learning why privacy matters and why open source software and encryption should be the standard.

The amount of sites we visit on a day to day basis really gather a lot of information from us, from the most unimportant to our most sensitive information and most people don't really care about privacy until it impacts them.

Below I am sharing just a few resources that help for a quick privacy-conscious setup (this is for the average user, without sacrificing convenience, because it can get really overwhelming and complicated really quick).

Search Engines:

Email Providers:

Web Browsers:

  • Firefox (Install uBlock Origin extension)

    Chromium-based:

    • Brave (Extra points if you disable Brave Wallet)
    • Bromite (Android OS - site downloads an APK file for installation)

VPN Providers:

Communication:
This is a more tricky one, because your friends and family are most likely not using whatever I can share with you and chances are, you're not going to make them switch to a new app and to me, balance and compromise are ๐Ÿ—๏ธ here.

Signal is the gold standard but good luck finding anyone not into privacy that's using it and since half encrypted isn't a thing, it renders it kinda useless (unless you use it as a notes app).

Your friends/family most likely use Whatsapp (which uses the signal protocol), Messenger/Instagram (whatever variation Meta decides to create down the road) or even plain text messages.

Unless cutting communication with everyone you know is an option for you, I can recommend Telegram but you need to enable encryption manually by using secret chats. I know. Believe me, I know sigh it isn't the perfect choice, but it's my middle ground. Extremely responsive app, beautiful interface, highly customizable and updated really often.

Passwords Managers:

This is slightly more tedious and technical but worth the time and effort.

Now, is ANY password manager better than no password manager at all? Of course! Any manager is better than just storing your passwords as notes on your device and reusing the same passwords everywhere.

Update 1.0:

Cloud Providers:

Cryptee is probably the best solution for this list (there aren't many options that meet the criteria without self-hosting, which we want to avoid for this list). It isn't the cheapest or most convenient but John is a master of his craft. When you introduce security and privacy to a cloud service in scale, more technical challenges come into play.

This is also slightly more tedious and technical.

Cryptomator isn't a cloud provider itself but it does connect to your mainstream cloud provider (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox) and it encrypts your data before uploading it. Probably my favorite solution for cloud storage.

All the tools and services I'm recommending I've tried myself.

Remember, this list is a starter list with convenience and balance in mind.

Privacy isn't a all-or-nothing type deal but incremental steps towards managing your personal data better.

Cheers!
Your friendly neighborhood Alberto ๐Ÿ‘‘