How to Create Privacy Online and in Life
As social beings, we want to be introverts from time to time and to have our private headspace. Today perhaps we desire privacy more than ever.
Constantly being bombarded with advertisements, a surveyed and spied on by marketers, sold and sold over and over again, we want to escape and protect precious information.
You get caught by surprise (or get outraged) by mind reading search engines spitting search results before you even conduct a search.
When a Google ad pops up on your phone with the exact pair of shoes you were thinking about a few minutes ago, you cannot help but wonder “How on earth did it read my mind? I did not utter a word!”
You get distracted by annoying virtual friend requests from people you have never met. You want to eliminate these encounters and avoid random intrusions. You know why? Because it is none of their business how you want your life.
My Favorite Privacy Tools
I have several favorite tools which help me not to be sold, bothered (pardon, attempted to do networking), and harassed in many other ways from the data helpful devices collect scanning each step.
I use encrypted e-mail services, secure compartmentalized operating system, decentralized messaging app and generally pay cash to avoid data collection and to limit intrusion.
Encrypted E-mail Service
I have been using the Swiss service ProtonMail for several months and have been impressed with the level of service.
ProtonMail is an encrypted e-mail service that offers free and paid plans depending on the amount of storage your require.
Email encryption ensures that no one beside the intended recipient has access to the email content.
It offers e-mail password reset lest you get locked out with a catch. Once you reset the old password to a new one, you lose access to all existing e-mail.
You still have the same address but will not have access to the old content. You should not worry about this problem if have your password recorded though.
Secure Operating System
Enter Qubes OS. Qubes provides security through compartmentalization of files on your computer.
The operating system segments files into cubes snd prevents external access by nefarious third parties.
Essentially, it make is extremely difficult for a hacker to access files on your computer. Since each qube is a separate virtual machine, if one qube gets hacked, the rest of the qubes remain unaffected.
Qubes is open source which means it is free to install, operate, and to modify the source code.
Secure Network Connection
Use a virtual private network to access the Internet from anywhere in the world.
The virtual private network works like emulates an Internet network that protects your private information by way of obscuring your IP (Internet Protocol) address. I recommend NordVPN. It has state of the art encryption and superior protection from hackers and it only starts at $2.99 per month.
Decentralized Messaging App
I have enjoyed Telegram for over a year because it guarantees privacy and requires mutual consent from parties to open up a conversation on the app.
You cannot send a friend request to a stranger which eliminates the necessity of blocking people and bots from invading into your private space.
You cannot completely avoid online shopping because of its convenience and the poor design of shopping centers making shopping tedious and time consuming.
I personally despise the environment of a shopping center with fluorescent light and artificial air. If we lived in smaller communities and buy things from the producer, we would be more inclined to do it in person and to pay cash for it.
There are many more reasons to pay cash fo what you buy. The main one is to avoid spending what you do not have.
When you pay with tangibles, such as paper (cash), silver, gold, precious stones, sea shells, so forth, you feel like the fruits of your labor change hands.
Thus, you value more what you spend, and think twice whether you need what you buy. You also take better care of what you buy, and therefore, enjoy it more.
If you do not want to be tracked for your purchases, use cash more frequently. Acquire a lifestyle that affords the luxury of buying things in person and paying cash for it.
MJ DeMarco succinctly argued for the lifestyle he achieved through determination and focused work in The Millionaire Fast lane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime! I read a lot of books but I have not purchased a book in a long time.
I actually purchased the Millionaire Fast Lane and read the book two years ago. I owe a lot of my evolved philosophy and my present work ethics to MJ DeMarco’s book. I truly recommend the book if you desire freedom the way I do.
Google Chrome Incognito Mode
Have you noticed how air fare prices go up when shop for a flight online? Website cookies you visit collect data, analyze it, and automatically increase prices of the coveted flights based on your search. You will pay more in the end if you do not follow this little trick.
You must search air and hotel fares in the incognito mode of your browser. I personally use Google Chrome because it provides more complete search results and filters out exactly how I want it.
However, Google collects data and uses it to pitch me incessantly stuff i do not need. Thus, the incognito mode on Google Flights works fine for finding the best deals on flights, cars, and hotels.
Internet Search Engines
I used a number of search engines besides Google. Most of them cache results differently and provide in fact different search results from those of Google.
Duck Duck Go, for instance, does the trick for me with respect to information search. However, if you buy thing online, you will have to get used to the different filtering system and the layout.
I also use Qwant, originated in France, I have a similar experience as with Duck Duck Go. In fact, Qwant provides additional results found neither in Google nor in Duck Duck Go.
The pro of the search engine is Qwant does not collect data and sell it to third parties so you do not get marketed stuff for every word you type in the search browser.
With respect to getting objective information, you may want to consider using a combination of search engines depending on the goal you would like to accomplish.
You can definitely achieve a degree of privacy with the tools and life philosophy I use despite the voyeuristic nature of our culture. You have other tools, please feel free to share.