Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fighting back against Big Brother intrusiveness


A few days ago I posted about commercial monitoring of our activities, both online and in our homes.  I find the very idea infuriating, and an unwarrantable and unconscionable invasion of my privacy, but that's the 'brave new world' we live in, I'm afraid.  It's unlikely to improve.

However, there are ways to fight back and protect what little privacy is left to us.  Lifehacker has published two very useful articles about them.  The first discusses 'The Best Replacements for Privacy-Invading Services'.

These days, it seems like everyone's out to violate your privacy. But even if you care about privacy, you probably don't want to leave the internet forever, so here are some of the best alternatives to some major services that actually respect your privacy.

Some services, like Google or Facebook, are very transparent in their privacy policies and you know what you're getting into when you sign up (if you actually read it). They also typically collect data for their own purposes, rather than anything nefarious—but they still collect a lot of data ... Obviously, we can't provide privacy-centric alternatives to every service out there, but here are a few replacements for popular services that collect too much data.

There's more at the link.

The second article looks at 'Going Google-Free: The Best Alternatives to Google Services on the Web'.

Face it: Google runs your life. The search giant turned web ecosystem owns your email, calendar, and even your voicemails. Your most important data lives on Google's servers. What you may not realize is that, despite the quality of Google's products, someone else is doing it better—and placing all your eggs in Google's basket isn't necessarily the best thing. Here's a look at alternative services you can use in place of Google's webapps.

You might want to move away from Google entirely, whether you're tired of things like the Google Plus-ification of your search results or the fact that Google's mining ridiculous amounts of data and selling you to advertisers, or maybe you're just plain tired of Google creating services it doesn't actually improve over time. You may scoff at the idea of using Bing or other less popular competitors, but they're quite good—sometimes even better—than Google. We've just become too entrenched to notice.

Again, more at the link.

Both articles are recommended reading for anyone concerned with protecting their privacy.

Peter

2 comments:

Graybeard said...

My experiments with the TOR anonymity services and start page are not completely satisfying. It's not really ready for prime time, it seems.

The only thing I use Google for is this: Blogger. Have you looked into alternatives? The main services that seem to be there are Wordpress, who has some of its own issues, and Tumblr.

trailbee said...

I have been looking for a different blogging host, and other ways to get my mail. Both Yahoo and Google are so pervasive in this field, that it's hard to find something suitable and safe.
Isn't Bing associated with Microsoft? Would I be jumping from the pan into the fire?
I have always wondered why there is not a conservative host available, instead of Y and G. Both of these were great Obama donors.