Stepping back..

It is time. To step back.
To unplug. To unwind.
To detox. From this toxic data mining, spying, tracking, monitoring, censoring space.
I wrote about this a few years ago in a post called “Privacy Matters“. Why? Some great TED talks linked there to get you started on this eye-opening and mind blowing journey…
Now I am going to briefly list again the basic steps we can take to take back our privacy and basic democratic rights!
FIRST: Stop using that Search engine-
Try DuckDuckGo instead. They have a great privacy policy. Read it here. No tracking and no selling your data to third parties. Basic requirements for any thinking person, I would have thought…
EQUALLY IMPORTANT: Make your web Browser work for you- not the other way around!!
DuckDuckGo offer this too- and their browser actively blocks much of the tracking, or lets you know who is tracking/ attempting to track you!
Read their privacy policy there too! It’s so refreshing to read of actual services provided to protect us, the users. Imagine.
THIRD BASIC STEP: No more airing your dirty laundry in public! Choose your email provider super carefully!
Try Protonmail – Swiss based, encrypted to the point where even they don’t know your password and cannot access your database. So if you forget it, you cannot access your old emails again.
Also no “back door” access to your data for foreign intelligence services or other criminals to exploit… super secure.
Now, I lead such a sedate and uneventful life that it almost seems like I must suffer from paranoid delusions to go to these lengths to avoid being spied on! What on earth would they be interested in about me, anyway? But that’s not the point!!
We have no idea what they are doing with our data, and what unpredictable consequences there could be down the line with some third party having access to basically everything about us.
We don’t even know who “they” are – foreign governments or our own; destructive hackers, fraudsters and criminals; or simply over-zealous marketing companies, right..? They can sod off. The lot of them.
Next: Social Media– weaning ourselves off this ridiculously addictive and pointless fluff – is much like the struggles of those who can’t imagine life or happiness without junk food or sugary treats… but it must be done. For health, and in this case, sanity too…
I have long ago taken the steps above, and finally this year, I decided all (spying) social media must go- one per month or two-  I am now just down to Instagram. That needs to go eventually too.
I already started using MeWe with family and close friends years ago, as it is an ethical social media platform- no tracking, no spying, no ads, no censorship, no selling off your data!!!
Only problem is most people you know won’t be bothered to change across to “yet another” platform.. so you may find yourself, like me, having to hold onto some of these platforms by the awful data rapists anyway.
(Do these seem like strong words? Actually this is an understatement when you have looked into all of this properly!)
If that is your dilemma, at least do not engage with these as apps on your phone – these can access all your phone data (and happily busy themselves doing just that)!! Rather, view them via the internet browser.
Some of the apps to get off your phone ASAP include:
1. All Facebook owned (Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram)
2. All Google owned (so many!) Start with the worst tracking culprit – Google maps!!!!! Instead, try Sygic- EU based and rated top in world (privacy policy here)
Well, that’s more than enough to keep you busy with for now, and may even feel a bit overwhelming… There is definitely a steep learning curve involved, and some adjustments, even sacrifices.
We have all become so comfortable with our old captors- freedom can be costly and feel too strange to even step out and try!! But do, please try.
Even just make one change per month – and slowly, bit by bit, we will be taking back our privacy and freedom.
And that, my dear readers, is so worth it- it can even become a little bit addictive- seeing how far we can go in this pruning back of our far too complex technological lives!
Good luck/ May the force be with you…

Comments and discussion welcomed

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