Internet Privacy and Digital Detox

Internet Privacy and Digital Detox

I remember when I was a kid, pushing the remote for our garage door and watching the neighbors garage door open up. It thought is was hilarious, until the neighbors got pissed about the invasion of their privacy and security.

Well, the other day, I rented a U-haul trailer and the next day my phone was rifled with robocalls from auto insurance companies.

Has this ever happened to you?

In the case of the garage door, it was just a technology glitch. In the case of the robocalls, it was an intentional, malicious, overstep designed to take advantage of me, the consumer. It’s an invasion of privacy when corporations exchange our information with other corporations.

Even HIPPA, which originally was created to protect our medical data, shares our personal info with other corporations. When we share our electronic information, this data gets stored, sold, algorithmed, filtered, and filed by Facebook, Google etc. Our data gets sold to corporations who use this info like telemarketers of my generation.

It has been risky for years and becoming obviously most risky now to make audio or video calls, share photos, contact information, addresses, calendars, map pins, Amazon purchases, preferences, likes, health information, personal information, credit card and banking info, have a private phone conversation, or a counseling session.

Alexa, Siri & Cortana certainly make our lives easier, but what’s the cost?

For your personal safety, privacy, and peace of mind. We recommend reducing your electronic footprint and subscribing to independent open-source, encrypted platforms that are committed to keeping our info private.

Why De-Google?

1) Protect our privacy and that of our friends, family, and associates by reducing the amount of exposure we create in the digital world

2) Say “No” to these corporations who make predictive decisions about our behavior, use our data to make money or control us, paid for by us and without our informed consent or expressed permission.

3) Support open-source, small business technologies committed to protecting our information as much as possible.

4) Protect the digital footprint of our children, so they can grow up in this world maintaining some level autonomy and privacy.

5) Using your brain and brawn instead of relying on technology to tell us what to eat, buy, and wear, or open your garage doors whereby extending your mental health, imagination, develop your intuition and humanness, and get fit.

Here are the Basic Steps

Here are our basic, first step recommendations for you to take to move the dial towards a more digital experience:

1) Deactivate Siri and Cortana on your devices. Avoid any “smart” devices like speakers that contain Siri or Alexa.

2) Turn off Location Services, Phone Tracker and Emergency Services and turn on only as needed.

3) Delete all your “Histories”, “Archives” and “Deleted Files” with Google, YouTube and Facebook, and then delete your deleted files. This will take a lot of time as you will see how much is saved.

4) Back up all your photos, emails, and docs onto a hard drive or an encrypted cloud file storage server.

5) Only after backing up your data and deleting all your info from Google, Google Drive and Facebook, delete your Facebook account and your Gmail and Gdrive account. Or, keep them bare bones because you need to use them for some function. If you continue to use them, delete your profile info and picture.

Click here to learn how to delete everything Google knows about you

Click here to learn how to delete info stored in Facebook and iPhones

Set up this suite on your devices: 

Browser: Brave , Mullvad or Firefox with Privacy Badger Extension

VPN: NordVPN or ProtonVPN (included with paid ProtonMail accounts)

Messaging: Signal (VOIP option if you do not have a smart phone)

Email: Protonmail (free and paid versions available)

Calendar: Protonmail

Business Suite: LibreOffice (MS Office alternative) and CryptPad
(cloud based document creation, storage, & sharing)

If you are getting robocalls, you can contact the National Do Not Call Registry. I can’t guarantee that this prevent your information from being stored, but it will help curtail the aggravating robocalls.

These basic recommendations are a giant first step to helping us all achieve better data privacy, security and sovereignty.

Divorce yourself from names like: Google, Microsoft, Instagram, Stripe, Intuit, Mail Chimp, WhatsApp, Apple, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, AOL, and Yahoo.

Check out these articles for more clarification: Protect your privacy

Click here to learn why not to use Google.

For a good overview of Internet Privacy vulnerabilities check out:  Wikipedia-Internet Privacy

You might say that it’s impossible to completely avoid your data being mined and tapped. This might be true as some whistle blowers have pointed out. However, supporting technology that are attempting to protect us is a more empowering investment and raises awareness of the problem at hand. And, if it makes our personal info a little harder to get to, is a step forward. Just because an injustice is being performed, is no reason to roll over and accept. We must try to address the issue so corporations don’t get the impression that they can get away with anything they wish.

If this process feels overwhelming to you, let me know and I can refer you to some tech geeks who can hire to assist you.

I got help moving through this process a couple years ago and now I even have devices with Linux operating systems (No Apple, No Google, No MS, nothing) and don’t feel any inconvenience at all at this point. It had some growing pains associated with the transition, but well worth the empowerment and peace of mind.

A divorce is always painful.

And, after time, you will look back and wonder what the hell you were doing sharing intimate photos of your children, conversations with your therapist, your medical history, or your banking information with Google who is sharing it with all 8 billion people on the planet.

You will feel so relieved to have upgraded to a healthier and happier digital relationship.

Happy Detoxing!!



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