How to protect your privacy without using Google’s browser?
December 10, 2022
How to live without Google?
There are many reasons why we love Google products, but ensuring our privacy is one of the most important. There are many stories we had to tell along the way, from listening with voice assistants to Chrome news. Google has a lot of information about us, and so we wanted to see if we could find other services where we could better manage this information.
What services did I use to replace Google?
By choosing other Google services, I decided not to fall into another ecosystem. It doesn’t make sense to replace Google with Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, or Amazon and fall back into the hands of another international corporation. Although it is true that in some cases, we have found our way to Google in others. We also decided to continue working in the cloud. Local alternatives are more secure, but often require additional resources and differ from what Google offers. The goal was to see how much we could do to match what Mountain View has to offer without falling into their hands.
Another thing I appreciated was the ease of use. One of the strengths of Google’s products is the ease of use, so these alternatives should work. And finally, if possible, I chose open-source tools, with visible code, where privacy and security are important to use, these are some of the programs you can replace to no longer use Google’s services.
Mozilla is the perfect browser to replace Chrome. In fact, since it was properly populated with links and passwords, I didn’t miss Google’s product. Of course, while Mozilla works well on desktops, its mobile version still lacks the speed to keep up with Chrome.
Google Search to DuckDuck Go search engine.
Google started out as a search engine and this remains one of its core functions and in this DuckDuck Go is a search engine that blocks advertising and promises not to track us this makes it a great alternative for those seeking privacy as it does not use tracking or sell any personal information, you can also use Qwant is a French search engine, with tracking, but without selling data. A middle ground between engines humbler in performance, but more private, and the giants of the sector.
Mail from Gmail to Yahoo
Fortunately, there are other alternatives such as ProtonMail to make the ultimate leap away from Gmail, as well as FastMail is a standalone paid service that includes calendar and contact support for all devices. There are also several ways to access encrypted email between trusted parties using PGP encryption tools. Especially the email encryption alternatives ProtonMail and Tutanota, which provide fast end-to-end encryption.
Google Maps is a brutal service, not only do we have a quick tool to know where we are or how to get there, also to discover nearby places and even have a history with our location. During these days I have been using OpenStreetMaps on the web, but the search box is much more difficult to use. It doesn’t understand words well, it doesn’t find places by name, and you must be much more precise to find the place you need. And of course, there are times when we don’t know where to go. Another alternative has been Here WeGo, somewhat better but also several steps below the Google option.
On the mobile, I went for OsmAnd, a navigation application that also works offline and works great. I also wanted to try Citymapper, however, when using Google maps, it did not work. In the end, I opted for Foursquare, a social network for recommending places to go that still has a lot of life and provides a plus even to Google Maps.