As an average user you can enjoy a professional level of internet privacy without spending money.
I’ve compiled a starter kit: A list of what I consider essentials in internet privacy.
Approaches to this subject can range from reasonable to paranoid. This article is somewhere in between.
Essential Understanding: Documentaries on the Subject
To approach the problem, its helpful to understand it. Take a few hours out of your life and watch these documentaries to get sufficiently aware of the issues at hand.
This documentary gives you an understanding of where the world is headed in this subject.
A closer understanding of the issues of privacy.
How the power of the computer is used against you and is an instrument of war.
Deeper Research (Not Required)
https://stallman.org/ (see the “what’s bad about…” series).
Operating System: Use Linux (Ubuntu Suggested)
Linux, in general, is built on the respect of digital privacy.
Ubuntu is suggested https://ubuntu.com/download/desktop
I suggest Ubuntu because it is a fine blend of user friendliness and privacy by default. You can install this on your computer, if you are prepared to stop using Windows.
Avoid Google Chrome and Apple products.
Rather than cover this project myself, it is better to direct you to a Protonmail’s assessment, which is perfect.
Email: Just use Protonmail
Ideally you should avoid services mainstream email services. Especially Google. I strongly suggest Protonmail. At this time, I can think of no better and more approprate solution. https://protonmail.com/
Almost all mainstream proprietary softwares are predatory.
For every major software, there is an open source equivalent.
For example, you can replace Microsoft’s office products with Open Office.
This is something you can research yourself. Simply search “open source software alternatives” on Duckduckgo.
I could easily write much on how badly consumers are taken advantage of (such as how google scans your emails for it’s own purposes in marketing and beyond…). I’ll leave it to you to watch the above documentaries to get an idea on that.
This is a deep subject. This is enough to get you quickly under the veil of respectful technology without having to become or consult an expert.
Unfortunately there is a balance between convenience and security, and you can’t have one without the other in it’s perfect form.
Author Leo Blanchette