Quitting the machine: Steps and Work-arounds

Quitting the machine: Steps and Work-arounds

So I’m attempting to adopt a more paranoid privacy-mindset.

Steps I’ve already taken:

  1. Limiting Facebook usage and turning targeted ads off

  2. Switching from Chrome to Firefox (on desktop and mobile)

    a. Installing Privacy Badger

  3. Changing default search from Google to DuckDuckGo.

  4. Opting out of some Google ad-targeting

  5. Switching home router DNS server to

  6. Switching from Gmail to Zoho.

1-4 were dead simple. Honestly, Firefox has become awesome again and DDG has come a looooonnng-way, so that was a no-brainer. 5 took a little bit of work, and 6 took even more monkeying around, but they both work well after initial setup. I feel that I’ve made a slight amount of progress to protecting my brain from the peeping of marketers (and worse).

That said there is clearly a trade off between anonymity and convenience. Here are my big questions for the hivemind.

  1. YouTube. Its a service that is run by the big G, and there really is no alternative in terms of the breadth of content. I can watch videos using VLC if I have the YT URL. But…

    a. Aside from skipping the initial ad, how well can this conceal a users identity? I assume that this step bypasses some cookie sharing and the like, but is that true?

    b. Also, it only plays that specific individual video. Is there any way that I can play a Playlist or Channel without Google spying on me?

  2. Mobile. I use Project Fi (Google). It works great. I don’t need much data and plans are affordable. However, I am pretty much ham-strung to the stock Android OS. Hopefully, eelo will be ready soon, as I am not interested in switching to Apple. What options do I have today?

  3. Amazon. Facebook gets all the flak, and to a lesser amount Google. But as great as Prime is, it can also be a bit intrusive. I use the music service and also the awesome free 2-day shipping. But are there any thoughts on how I can upgrade privacy a bit here also?

If I could get any input on my questions, I would be glad. And if this was helpful to anyone else new to the privacy game, that would be even better.

“Only the paranoid survive.” ~ Andy Grove, ex-helmsman of Intel and Holocaust survivor

[edit: fixing some formatting issues]

submitted by /u/taltoris to r/privacy
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