Small Ways I Strive for Privacy Online

Rows of security cameras on a wall

Over the years of working professionally in the tech industry I’ve developed a little bit of caution in how I handle my information online. This is by no means a way to stay anonymous in my online activities but it does help me maintain some control of how my data is used. Consider me an amateur tinfoil hat wearer. The list here is not exhaustive, just a few things I’ve personally settled on:

  • Wire for chat communication
    • Great alternative to non-encrypted text services (e.g Facebook Messenger, Social DM’s, and SMS). It isn’t a perfect app—but it is adequate.
  • Private Internet Access as my VPN service of choice
    • I use this 100% of the time when I work outside my home office (coffee shops, co-working spaces, airports, etc.)
  • Startpage as my default search engine
    • From the research I’ve done it offers the best “sell” of any of the privacy focused search engines.
  • I disable location services for almost all apps on my iPhone
    • The big exceptions here are navigation apps.
  • Host my own personal email
    • I don’t use end-to-end encryption on my email, but at least all my personal emails aren’t getting parsed to selectively deliver ads.

I have considered going further down the privacy rabbit hole before. Even contemplated getting rid of my smart phone altogether. But at this time the cost of convenience is too high for me.