I’m always asked what I use to keep my data private and secure. I’ve compiled the following recommended tech, which I’ll continuously update. Some of these suggestions might be a bit techie and may not fit everyone’s level of consumer polish. Learning how technology works and taking control of it is integral to becoming a true Data Overhauler. 😉
Software Replace This With This Complete Replacement Operating System Microsoft Windows Linux Mint (or any Linux distribution), Apple OSX Yes Productivity Software Microsoft Office LibreOffice, FreeOffice Yes Browser Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Apple Safari Firefox, Brave, Tor Browser Yes Digital Notebook Microsoft OneNote, Google Keep, Apple Notes Joplin, Turtl Yes Password Manager your brain/memory, sticky note on your monitor, your phone’s address book etc Bitwarden, a KeePass Client, 1Password (commercial) Yes Two-Factor Authentication not using it, codes sent via SMS Aegis, FreeOTP, AndOTP, Nitrokey, YubiKey Yes PDF Reading Adobe Acrobat Reader Your browser Yes PDF Editing Adobe Acrobat Master PDF Editor (not OSS) Yes Services
Service Replace This With This Complete Replacement Email, Calendar, Contacts Gmail, iCloud, Outlook, etc Proton, Tutanota, Mailfence, Disroot, Nextcloud Yes Online Storage Google Drive, Amazon Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc Nextcloud, Internxt, Keybase, or use Cryptomator Yes Bookmark Syncing Google Chrome, Apple Safari Brave Yes Printing Google Cloud Print WiFi or USB Almost Music Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora Plex No VPN Private Internet Access PIA Mullvad, Tor Browser, ProtonVPN Yes Search Engine Google, Bing DuckDuckGo, Qwant, Searx Mostly Credit Card Giving your credit card number Privacy.com Yes Video Conferencing Zoom, Join.me, WebEx, Microsoft Teams Jitsi Meet Yes Mobile Phone Service AT&T, T-mobile, Verizon, etc Prepaid providers like Mint Mobile or Silent Link Yes Video Streaming YouTube Invidious & LBRY Yes Hardware & Networking
Hardware/Network Replace This With This Complete Replacement Laptop most consumer laptops Purism Librem Laptops, Apple laptops with attention to configuration Yes WiFi Router Google WiFi, your provider’s router anonabox, FlashRouters Yes Home Assistant/ Automation Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomePod Don’t use these, but maybe Mycroft No DNS Your ISP’s or Google’s DNS NextDNS Yes (WAY better) Mobile
Hardware/App Replace This With This Complete Replacement Smartphone Apple iPhone, most commercial Android-based phones CalyxOS, GrapheneOS, Purism Librem Phone, Pinephone Almost Messaging iMessage, Android Messages Signal, Briar, Jami Yes Browser Chrome, Safari Brave, Bromite, Firefox Focus/Klar Yes Keyboard Gboard AnySoftKeyboard, Grammarly Mostly WiFi manager Not using one WiFi Automatic Yes VPN Google or others Mullvad, Tor Browser, ProtonVPN, Wireguard (with trusted VPN) Yes App Firewall Not using one TrackerControl, NetGuard, Lockdown Yes Weather Google Weather, WeatherBug, etc Forecastie or OpenWeather Yes PDF & Book reading, TTS Adobe, iBooks, Foxit Librera PRO Yes Audiobook Smart AudioBook Player, Listen Audiobook Player Voice Yes Podcast Anything from Google Play AntennaPod Yes Android App Launcher Your manufacturer’s launcher KISS launcher, reviewed others Yes Email App Gmail, Outlook Nine Email, K-9 Mail, ProtonMail, Tutanota Yes Background Noise Generators for Focus and Productivity White Noise, Sleepa, etc Noice, Binaural Beats Yes Voice Recorder built-in Voice Recorder, Audio Recorder Yes Location Services Google Maps or Apple Find My Hauk, OpenTracks Mostly Want More Recommendations?
Throughout this blog, I’m constantly referring to other resources, channels, etc., in the industry. Explore more with me:
Tool What it does Missinglettr Generate creative social media posts and schedule their release on Twitter, Mastodon, and other social networks. Beacon Produce beautiful guides, checklists, e-books, etc. using existing blog entries or easily create from scratch. RelayThat Create eye-catching thumbnails for videos and social media, along with informative infographics. Grammarly Forge consistent compositions with industry-leading grammar checking and plagiarism detection. Mostly open-source alternative: LanguageTool Dreamstime Hunt down the perfect illustration, photo, or video for your projects. Happy Scribe Create amazingly accurate subtitles and transcripts for your videos with a blazingly fast editor that includes multi-language translations. Wise Easiest online business bank for storing and transferring multiple currencies. I use these guys for personal and business banking. YNAB Yes, You Need A Budget can handle your business books too. I use the Profit First method with it. Ezoic Accelerates website performance and includes AI-powered display advertising.