Baseline privacy/security guide mainly for people that aren't interested in this kinda stuff. There are probably better resources out there...
We all use messaging pretty often for online contact. You should probably be using something at least decent.
SMS is not encrypted on Android and Apple is evil.
If you are just a normal user, get it. Literally no reason not to, install it and see for yourself.
>>> SIGNAL <<<
There are some things you should know if you care at all...
For the more privacy/security focused Signal isn't the best option. I would suggest checking out
Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Federated (multiple independent servers).
Peer to Peer (directly connect).
Briar, haven't got to use this much because no one I know uses it. Thus, I can't say anything about it. So hit me up if you decide on this option (and know me).
Browsing the internet with a browser is another very common activity. I strongly suggest you care about securing it.
As a disclaimer there is no best option here. By that I mean privacy is just not a priority for companies that make worthwhile browsers at the moment (with one kinda exception)... ugh.
My first suggestion would be
If you must use a Chromium based browser, please don't use Google Chrome. Brave is a better option for an experience exactly like Google Chrome but superior.
I also suggest you don't overlook TOR. The TOR browser is the best for private and secure browsing. It can be quite slow but I found I use it a lot on my phone where pretty much all my searching is just throwaway stuff and I'm not searching that often. Anyway it's worth giving a try.
The most important thing about internet browsing is compartmentalization. Really meaning just keeping things separate in this case. This can be done by using different browsing profiles (just type
about:profiles in the search bar for firefox), different browsers, or different devices. For example keeping throwaway searches, shopping, school/work all separated using a mix of the aforementioned ways is a good idea. That way any tracking done on one compartment can't be tied with the other activities. How you separate this out is unique to your life. I suggest writing your common browsing uses out and then grouping them into what seems logical based on what data relatedness is shared between any given activity. I.e I wouldn't group my banking with watching Youtube or shopping.
Email is email. Gmail doesn't do anything special for you so you should at least use something private.
Some suggestions (though I suggest you do some research on what's best for you, here is what I recommend).
Friendly (easy, minimal knowledge required).
A little more effort required.
Compartmentalization is another good idea to use for email accounts. Simple Login and AnonAddy are two services that can help with this. I also suggest looking into
VPN's are advertized quite badly, really all they do is move your internet traffic to the VPN provider. All your ISP or the network you are connected to will see is you connecting to the VPN's servers. Though there is still legitimate use cases for one. But remember you are basically transferring your trust to another company.
I'm not really going to go through paid options here because I'm broke so I will assume you are too. If you want more data based ratings that includes paid options techlore has a nice chart.Something real quick... Usually you don't want to go for a free vpn because it costs money to run a sever and if you're not paying them, your data is the payment.
ProtonVPN, by far the best for speed for the price of free. As far as my research tells me this is quite a privacy respecting company. I've used this vpn for a while now and it's nice.
RiseupVPN, slow but ultra private. Worth a look at.
Want to use super secure passwords that you don't even have to remember? Use a password manager.
(some are better than others though...)
KeePassXC is my go to. It just keeps an encrypted file on your device. Give it a try you wont look back.
To sync with other devices you can use
Bitwarden is the best cloud based one for users that find KeePassXC too much work (I suggest giving it a try though).
Know how to make secure passwords and make sure your database one is secure to the max. Using 2fac on everything you can is also good practice.
Well if you really want to use it. It's worth it to join the Fediverse.
The fediverse basically works like email. Anyone can run a sever but they can all communicate. Because of this it's censorship resistant and gives you more choice and autonomy. You can also host your own instances no problem, making it even better for privacy!
For videos LBRY/Odysee is worth checking out. You may find people you already know from Youtube.
If you aren't a slave to the Youtube algorithm (I suggest you try to wean yourself off of it if you are...) you can use something like Invidous,
(These services are a better than normal Youtube as they have no ads. In NewPipe's case you can watch Youtube videos in the background or in a widget which is a straight upgrade.)
(I get it though phones are nice and all. Check out custom roms like
Use cash to buy pre-paid credit cards to make private payments online. If you play guitar, even better, get one of those pick punchers; save the environment.
Try to use FOSS software wherever possible.
Personal Website > Instagram.
For the more advanced users setting up
If you are new to this stuff or just like visuals techlore has a good course. It is good for newbies or just people who are curious. For the cool kids out there and those who like to read,