I’ve been using some various apps and services for some time for privacy and security. I thought I would share some of them and what I use them for. Mind you, it may seem like a lot, but it is not really.
- Proton - I use this service for my email, calendar, VPN, and passwords. They are based in Sweden and everything is end-to-end encrypted with zero knowledge storage(zero knowledge means even they can’t read your data). You can also create on the fly disposable email with their sister service SimpleLogin. They also have encrypted file storage, but I do not use it since it’s not cross-platform; the desktop app is only available on Windows for now.
- Standard Notes - Again, zero knowledge end-to-end encrypted notes and to-do lists. They also even have a built-in blogging platform if you want to use it. This is the main place I write down important notes, thoughts, and so on.
- MySudo - This service provides end-to-end encrypted identities. You can have an email, phone number, and credit card tied to an alias identity. For example, when we moved last, I used a MySudo phone number and email to search for a moving company. When you start searching for them, you are bombarded by movers calling trying to get your service. Once we selected a mover, and it was over, I deleted the alias, which ended all calls and emails immediately. Also, great for online shopping or Craigslist transactions.
- Privacy.com - This is another debit card provider. You link it to one payment method, and then you can create cards to pay anything. No need to even use your real name or address. Anytime I buy anything online without a Privacy card. You can also set limits, or create one time use cards. It also allows what was purchased so the credit companies or your bank cant collect the data on your purchase history. For example, I have a card for Netflix, Disney, Apple TV, …etc. If I want to end a subscription, I just delete the card. I also set limits, My Netflix card can only be charges max $20 a month. So if anyone got that card number in a security breach, one, they can only use it at Netflix, two, they can’t ever spend more than $20 that month. Which of course if my monthly payment was paid, they would be rejected due to the limit being reached.
- pCloud - pCloud is a file storage service like OneDrive, Google Drive, etc… by default not everything is encrypted, but you can add an end to end zero knowledge folder. The app is also cross-platform. So I can throw unimportant documents in pCloud and use its crypto folder to store receipts, taxes, and other sensitive info.
- Signal - This is what I would like to be my main messaging client instead of Facebook, Text, WhatsApp, or others. The reason I say I would, is because it’s so hard to get people to use something that offers them privacy. I could tell most folks that all kinds of people could access your text messages, or the various privacy violations companies that Facebook (owners of WhatsApp) have made. People still won’t switch to something private. If your friend or family and actually read this, the hint is for you, please switch.
- Kagi - Kagi is my replacement for Google or Bing search. It is a pay to use search engine, but has 0 tracking. You pay because they aren’t tracking and selling all your information to advertisers and throwing ads in front of your face. I have only been using it a short time, but it has quite a few nice features and I find the results better than Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.
Some of this may seem a little overboard to most folks, but it’s not really as complicated as it sounds. Whatever minor inconvenience there is, is more than worth the privacy I get in return. I still use social media and I understand the loss of privacy using such sites. But their tracking is a bit more limited since they all have their own email linked to them, if it’s a paid service it has its own card and a name that is made up on it. I’m no James Bond, and if a talented person puts forth the effort they can put the pieces together, but for average corporate abuse and spying done by many online services and sites it helps obscure my presence. If anyone has any questions or wants more info, I’m more than happy to answer, just click the reply by email button below.