100 Days to Privacy Online: Day 1 – Getting Started

100 Days to PrivacyThe task of regaining your online privacy is a daunting one. With most services we use based on a Surveillance Economy it is purposefully made inconvenient to switch to more privacy friendly services. This is by design of course. When you think of all the various services people use (including myself) it becomes almost overwhelming the idea of decoupling your online life from the people that harvest and use your personal data. So what I am proposing is a 100 day plan to greatly improve your online and in some cases real world privacy.

Let’s consider some of the products/services I use:

  • Google
    • Search
    • Gmail/Google Apps (work)
    • Drive
    • Voice
    • YouTube
    • Maps
    • Analytics
  • DropBox
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Apple iPhone
  • Spotify
  • Zillow
  • Tumblr
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime

This list does not include any games or some other apps I use on occasion. But from the above list you can imagine the massive amount of data about my likes, current interest, relationships, and a myriad of other data points can glean if correlated. Under your Google Account page there is a link to “My Activity”. In upcoming posts I will touch upon various things you can do to replace or protect your privacy using the above services.

Here is a sample of what might look like:

So pretty much everything I have done is logged and organized. Google also keeps all this data and the data they gather from crawling your Gmail emails (for example) to better target advertising. But this data can also be used for more nefarious reasons.

So what is a person to do!?

With this 100day plan you can chip away at small things you can change in your daily Internet lives to become more privacy conscious and pro-active.

Today’s first small step. 

Change your search engine to something good, yet privacy friendly: DuckDuckGo

Then follow the “Learn More” link under the search bar to add it to your browser and make it default. By just changing your search engine to one that does not track you it will be a big first step in curtailing the data you share.

More on DuckDuckGo’s Privacy