5 Free Apps & Services To Protect Your Privacy
By: Omer Kaan Aslim
October 13, 2020
Tired of Silicon Valley and the Government tracking your every move? Use these free apps and services to help protect your privacy.
Lockdown Privacy Application
Lockdown is an open-source firewall app for your smartphone that blocks all trackers. This includes web browsers and applications installed on your phone. You see companies make money by selling your information to third parties. They collect your information using trackers on their websites and applications. Use Lockdown to block these trackers.
Lockdown is availble for iPhone/iPad and Mac.
Signal Private Messenger
If you were being hunted by U.S. intelligence agencies and needed to make secure voice, and video calls and send messages and images both securely and privately what service would you use? The answer is Signal, which is used by Edward Snowden who leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency and is still on the run.
Signal was built with privacy and security in mind. It is recommended by countless privacy and cybersecurity experts. Signal doesn’t store any of your messages on its servers and your communications are fully encrypted. It allows you to make voice and video calls as well as send messages and media to others. The only downside to signal is that it doesn’t have a user base as big as WhatsApp so most likely your friends aren’t using it however you should convince them to start using it.
EFF Privacy badger
The EFF Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that stops third-party trackers from tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the internet If an advertiser seems to be tracking you across multiple websites without your permission, Privacy Badger automatically blocks that advertiser from loading any more content in your browser. To the advertiser, it’s like you suddenly disappeared.
The EFF Privacy Badger extension is availble for Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera browsers.
uBlock Origin blocks ads and other potentially unwanted content from running in your web browser. Many people prefer it to Adblock because it uses less system resources and blocks ads more comprehensively than Adblock.
uBlock Origin is availble for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Pale Moon, and Safari.
According to the Wall Street journal “third-party app developers can read the emails of millions of Gmail users.” If that isn’t scary then I don’t know what is. If you want an email provider that values your privacy then the default go to option is ProtonMail. It's the equivalent of a Swiss bank account but for your email and it happens to be hosted in Switzerland. They generally don’t hand over your data to private companies or governments. According to ProtonMail “We cannot act on a data request until it has been approved by the appropriate Swiss authority. We keep a full record of the data requests we receive in our Transparency Report. If we receive an approved request from the Swiss authorities, we are bound by Swiss law to share what information we have. However, even if we wanted to, we cannot access the content of your messages because we use end-to-end encryption and zero access encryption. This is also why we minimize the amount of data we require to set up an account and allow our users to use anonymous payment options.”
Why Should You Value Your Privacy?
In the physical world we close our door to the bathroom, we close our curtains at night, and don’t share how much we weigh. The same reason you do or don’t the above is why you should value your privacy in the digital world. Today large corporations know more about you than your family or close friends do. They know what you are interested in, where you shop, your daily routine, who you talk to, and the list goes on. Do you really want some geeks in Silicon Valley to know that much about you? If not then you need to take action to protect your privacy online. The tools and services I mentioned here are something everyone can use. You don’t need to be tech savvy to benefit from them.
Please share this article with your friends, family, and colleagues. Let's all do our part to create and promote privacy.
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