Come to find out the only one of these things we don’t do already is the Googling of teachers… maybe I’ll pick that one up.

    I’m a former CIA officer - here are the things you should NEVER let your kids do if you want to keep them safe

    Is there anything similar to Little Snitch or Portmaster for #Android?

    #privacy #security

    I’m toying with going back to #Android with my Pixel 7 Pro. I want to do on it, but it’s not unlocked yet. A couple months to pay it off still. Maybe I should wait.

    Apple's new Macbooks are awesome, and this is why I won't get one.

    These days, I think no one can deny how great Apple’s hardware is. The M' series MacBooks are amazing, powerful and crazy battery life. Buying one seems like a no-brainer for sure. But then, I don’t think I will be getting one.

    I’ve tried to convince myself I need one, I may even actually need one. It makes complete sense buying one. But there are so many things that go against my beliefs built into those machines.

    I’m a right to repair advocate and believe if I pay anything, but especially more than a couple grand for a laptop, I should be able to do what the hell I want with it. This is absolutely not the case with Apple. They are locked down, glued and soldered together, so they are near impossible to fix or upgrade on your own.

    Apple has a history of throttling hardware to push new purchases. This is also a big no, no.

    The OS is pretty much a copy of multiple Linux Desktops mashed together and then blended with iOS. I do give them credit for insane interoperability within their ecosystem, though, which of course comes from great control over said ecosystem.

    And finally, though they preach privacy and say they care; they very quickly succumbed to demands of the Chinese government allowing them backdoor access. Even Google didn’t do that, they decided to just not do business there.

    For all these reasons, even though I know there isn’t a laptop out there that compares in performance, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I will go with a company like Framework instead.

    I totally separated myself from iCloud photos. Switched to Ente for my photo storage. Someday maybe I will set up an Immach instance someday when I finally get a home server.

    Another challenge I have is, I really want a Mac. But the platform goes against many of my ideals, it’s anti #righttorepair, it’s a #walledgarden, and though they are much more private than a Windows machine, they make questionable choices when it comes down to profits… which push me to #Linux.

    I’m thinking of using Ente for my photo backup service and stopping them from going elsewhere. I like immach, but I’m not in self hosting mode yet.

    Followed a link to the Wall Street Journal, wholly hell, Facebook only shows

    To go 100% into Apple's walled garden.

    Still trying to figure out which my next PC will be. Mainly it’s the thought to get a Mac or to stay in the Linux and Windows PC world. Sticking with Windows long term is a no-go. Linux is the true choice for privacy, I feel the mac may be a middle ground, with much better privacy than Windows but not as much as Linux. But the Mac will have much more functionality, let alone I already have an iPhone, Apple Watch, Homepods, and an AppleTV.

    I think Linux is the idealistic, stand your ground, fight back against the man choice; but I do want some convenience. Also, the Linux side has the right to repair options if I go with a Framwork laptop or System76. I still have a bit of time to make the decision, but I always bounce back and forth. I may never come to a sound conclusion.

    Just created a free Tutanota account to act as a backup email for my Proton account, which was using a Gmail address for backup.

    I am thinking about deleting all my Google accounts completely. I have to figure out what may be pointing to them and correct that first, then figure out the kids' family accounts and migrate them to something else. But I think it’s finally time Google is gone.

    My privacy tools

    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.
    • - 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.

    Finished reading: Privacy is Power by Carissa Véliz 📚

    This was a great book. I would love to share it with all my non-techie friends to light a fire under their behinds to make them think about privacy and to understand why some of us go to some of the extremes we do to just have some privacy.

    Sometimes I am so torn about privacy. I go through these spurts where my tinfoil hat starts rattling, and I want to lock everything down; then I start missing some convenience or features that I can’t get because I’m so locked down. I am always trying to balance it all.