Take back your tech sovereignty
You already know it, Big Tech and Big Government are not your friends — they hate the traditional masculine worldview of competition, merit, and “telling it like it is.”
And this is a no-compromise zone with guys — Men and sovereignty go hand in hand.
That’s why it’s so important to diversify your digital footprint by ending your reliance — as much as you can — on their platforms and services.
Here’s a rundown of alternative products and services you can use to take back your privacy and own just that much more of your life — one byte at a time.
Alternative Phones to iOS/Android
Who needs to secretly plant tracking devices anymore when people willingly carry around mobile phones?
Be honest, you’re not giving up your phone, so let’s look at some gear and methods you can use to lose the Big Tech and Big Brother tail.
PinePhone — The Linux-based Mobile Phone
All mobile phones are essentially the same, but picking up a PinePhone comes with two major benefits.
The first? Much of the tracking and spying happens with Google and Apple OSs and apps. Linux-based phones don’t rely on Android or iOS firmware and Linux open-source apps give you all the functionality with none of the built-in data collection.
Second? We’ve all heard the stories about cameras and microphones being “off” but listening and watching anyways. PinePhones come with “kill switches” — physical triggers that allow you to turn off the LTE/GNSS, WiFi, Microphone, Speaker, and Camera functions at the machine level.
PinePhones aren’t at par with the speed, usability, and battery life of Android and iPhones just yet, but as a supplementary phone, it’s worth a try.
If you want the modern smartphone experience without privacy invasions, your best bet is to “de-google” an Android phone. By turning off key data tracking settings and replacing invasive Google apps with alternatives, you can eliminate clandestine communications between your phone and Google.
You can buy de-Googled phones from one of the privacy industry’s leading activists, Rob Braxman. Look at his shop to see which Android models he has for sale.
Or if you want to de-Google your current Android, get started with HowToMen’s YouTube tutorial.
Big Tech is constantly trying to force you onto their platforms, make sure you research whether or not your de-Googled phone of choice works with your current service provider before making any purchases or modifications.
Alternative Web Browsers
Not using Chrome is a big step towards taking back your privacy. And luckily, the web browser market is hyper-focused on getting Big Tech out of your browsing.
Brave continues to evolve as a major rival to Chrome and Bing browsers. Not only does Brave emphasize blocking ads and trackers, but its browser also pays you in BAT (cryptocurrency) if you choose to watch its in-house curated ads. Brave has also recently launched its own search engine (Brave Search) to really kick Google’s ass.
There has been some controversy with Brave and privacy in the past — it was found to be injecting its own affiliate links to make money off of its user base, but for the most part, Brave is a great privacy alternative.
Firefox has been in business for almost 20 years and has a great track record of respecting its users. That means blocking trackers, crypto miners, fingerprinters, and no selling data.
Anyone who has used Firefox in the past knows that it was slow — not anymore with their new Quantum engine. However, it comes at a cost. Firefox uses a lot of memory to run so beware. Go check out the new Firefox and see if it’s right for you.
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks)
Masquerading your location is a great way to avoid the eyes of Big Tech and Big Brother. And fortunately, there are services that make cloaking your online activity easier than ever.
If you’ve watched any YouTube video in the last 5 years, you’ve seen product plugs for SurfShark VPN. It’s an inexpensive VPN that works for an unlimited amount of devices. That means you can blanket your entire digital ecosystem under one service.
It also features Bypassing — allowing specific apps & websites to bypass the VPN. Perfect for apps that need your actual location to function (like banking).
Beware, if you torrent a lot, SurfShark may not be the best VPN for you. Luckily they work on a monthly payment model, so it doesn’t hurt to check them out.
Proton is known for prioritizing user privacy — its email service is easily in the Top 10. Its VPN service is no different. Based out of Switzerland, you can benefit from the world’s strongest privacy laws.
The level of service does come with a steep cost. Compared to other VPN services, Proton VPN is considered premium at around USD 10.41 per month.
Getting away from the prying eyes of Big Tech and Big Government can be tricky — especially with their obvious push to centralize control of every aspect of our lives.
You don’t have to get off their train all at once. Just a few incremental movements away from their products and services can start the ball rolling.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where I give you the best alternative video hosting and live streaming platforms as well as how you can chat without Big Brother watching your back.
Take back your tech sovereignty, gentlemen.