J. R. Swab's Blog

The Best Mindset To Achieve Internet Privacy

Categories: Technology
Tags: security open-source apps android privacy internet

While there is not just one thing that you can do to keep all your data private online; there is one mindset that will significantly increase the amount of privacy you obtain.

This mindset or tactic is compartmentalization. Separate everything as much as possible. From email to social media, to online shopping, it all needs to be isolated from each other.

Degrees of Separation:

1. The Desktop/Laptop Browser

You can use a different browser for each type of online activity with a good deal of success. However, I found this to be a huge hassle and often forgot what browser was for what sites. So instead, use Firefox and install their "Multi Account Containers" plugin. This allows you to set up sandboxes of types of sites or individual sites and force them to open in their correct sandbox. By doing this, you limit the amount of shared data between each site.

2. Service Ecosystems

Break out of the ecosystems that have been built around us. Using more than one service per company gives them more data than they otherwise would have as a single service provider. Have your email hosted at Tutanota, your notes on Notion, your photo backups or calendar on Nextcloud, etc. By doing this, you limit the amount of data that anyone service can mine from your activity.

3. Don't use native apps

Most apps today run just fine in a mobile browser. This includes Instagram, Duolingo, Mastodon, eBay, Amazon, Notion, and the list goes on. The best way to do this is in the same manner as step one. Keep everything app in its own container, so they have nothing extra to mine.

The best way to do this on Android is with an app called "Webapps Sandboxed" an open source app by Toby Turien. I have used this app for about a week and was quite surprised at how many apps work just fine through the browser. Most look identical to the native apps and work 100% the same. While others, like Instagram, do lack some features of the native mobile apps.

This does not make you anonymous but, with each of these steps in place, does make data mining more difficult and thus your data more private.


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