For years, we’ve given all our data to every service provider or website that asked them.
Quite recently, more and more news about privacy-related scandals and data sales started popping out.
Even if big players still set the rules the game out there, more people are also starting to give f*cks (to mention Mark Manson) to online privacy.
The downside of trying to replace mainstream services made by Google, for example, is that it’s really difficult to find good solutions.
These companies provide excellent products, but thinking about what they can do with the data you give them could make you wish to try something different, at least for a while.
Fortunately, we’re living in a moment in history where internet companies arise and grow by the day.
Small startups are also able to find capital or to start without much money in their bank account.
This means people are motivated to follow their ideas and develop an internet product to eventually create a solid business around it.
Why do people care about privacy
As more awareness is being spread, worrying about privacy is easier than before.
There are differencies between privacy and security.
Online security should be a priority for all of us today.
We use dozens if not hundreds of tools and services that may be hacked and our sensible data be stolen.
On the other hand, hackers or bad people trying to directly harming us by stealing our credit card number should not be our only concern.
Through what we tell social media about us, they can do even bigger things like influencing politics or public opinion about certain themes.
That’s because the main power of these giants is targeting.
This can bring many advantages in the business world to help connect sellers or brands with their customers, but sometimes there can be other kinds of uses, which is better to avoid if we can.
The double power of the internet
While it creates the problem, it also gives the solution.
Just a few years ago there were less alternatives to mainstream services.
Today this number is definitely growing.
Privacy-based services are, in my opinion, some sort of new internet business trend.
Solutions that care about users and their privacy are absolutely possible – and needed – with the current technologies available.
The gap between mainstream and alternative services has definitely decreased during the last years.
Even if young startups and smaller companies don’t have the same capital as big tech, it’s going to reduce even more.
This general positive feedback for privacy-based services persuaded lot of young developers, marketers and entrepreneurs to develop of new platforms that respect our right to navigate without always being tracked.
I’m trying a lot of these tools and I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the results and experiences I’m having.
I’ll talk about those tools and their specific purposes in a while.
For now I can say that in general there are some pretty good alternatives out there.
They not only give you more advantages, but also feel like a breath of fresh air in the internet space.
What are some the best privacy-based services and tools
I love talking about tools, and it seems like users online generally love to look for new ones too.
This is in part because we think a new tool can really make the difference and upgrade our work. Even if this isn’t true most times, tools can set our mood and help us being more excited about what we have to do.
I always say I’m a bit of a tool-nerd.
I love having alternatives and several options when it comes to a service. It feels like there’s always something I could miss or a feature that is present somewhere, but missing somewhere else.
I know this is probably some sort of FOMO, but as long as it makes me enthusiast about doing the things and tasks I need to do, I won’t fight against it.
Speaking about privacy-based services, I recently dove in a whole bunch of videos, articles, research to get things right and understand more about privacy and online security.
There are many different categories of activities we do online.
Browsing, email, messaging, social media, search, file management are just the most common ones.
Some really interesting privacy-based services include:
- browsing: Mozilla Firefox, Brave, Vivaldi or Tor
- email: Tutanota or ProtonMail
- messaging: Signal
- social media: web apps of the main social media you use
- search: DuckDuckGo or Qwant
- file management: pCloud, OnlyOffice or the Zoho Suite
There are different levels of privacy which can lead to an almost complete anonimity on the web, and this is interesting but not what I’m aiming for.
The platforms I just mentioned can be really useful to provide an encrypted service without giving away your information.
I’m especially loving the browsing and search solutions.
Currently I’m using pretty much all of those browsers and search engines and as I said before, I find them really powerful and complete.
Online Security: what every user needs
Privacy is a broad concept and many users still don’t care much about giving their data to big companies.
This is totally understandable.
You are not touched personally most times and privacy problems don’t seem to affect people directly.
There’s something we should all care more about though: online security.
Yes, this theme rotates around a single concept: passwords.
I told you, we use passwords to handle our whole lives today, so thinking about how we can protect our private areas and dashboards is a serious matter.
The first and most important advice is to create a different password for every site or service you have and make it strong.
This means using several numbers, letters and symbols to ensure you have a combination that’s hard to crack.
These passwords are difficult to remember, so you should use a password manager.
I personally prefer LastPass, but I heard about DashLane, Keeper and 1Pass as good alternatives.
Also, 2FA (two factors authentication) is something useful and it can save your accesses to all the services you use. Just try downloading Authy and use it, your security will benefit a lot from it.
The engineering side of privacy-based services and their market
As a computer engineering student, I feel obliged to care about these things and I enjoy going deep into these matters to understand more about what’s going on when we surf the web.
If you’re inside the worlds of engineering, marketing or startups you probably see this from a technical or business point of view too.
I think more and more privacy-based services are gonna come out.
They’re also going to shift from niche services to services used by more and more users.
There are really good possibilities in this market, and for once it feels like the needs and will of who’s using the product is what matters most.
Try to study and analyze what successful companies are doing and eventually adapt the model to your idea and to the problem you’ve intercepted and you’re trying to solve.
I’m sure amongst us there are the founders of a new generation of tech which is already starting to grow.
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Talk to you soon,