In this article I describe rules for keeping personal data for yourself.
We send messages by centralized messengers. We post thoughts by centralized blogs or socials. We sync personal photos by centralized clouds.
So we have this generation of people who think using the internet is typing into a box and pushing the send button on one of these centralized services.
— Ev Bogue
We trust our data to these services too much. But we don’t know how they use it, and what they will do with it the future.
Centralized services store our photos, contacts, emails. They collect search and purchase history. They track locations we visited and our activities across the all internet. And what is worse is that we share our photos, messages and other personal stuff ourselves.
Previously I was a big fan of clouds, gmail and others. But the last few years I’ve been thinking about data. And I realized that I want to control my stuff. I don’t want allow services and applications use them as they want.
The last few years I began to apply the following rules for keep my data only for me.
- I try to use as few accounts and services as possible.
- I avoid social networks. I stopped using VK in 2012, Facebook in 2014, Instagram in 2015. I canceled all my accounts except only Twitter.
- I don’t use any Google products. At the beginning of this year I moved my email to Fastmail and deleted Google account.
- I avoid any discount and loyalty cards. I don’t want somebody collect info about my purchases and send me some spam.
- My laptop camera is covered.
- I search with duckduckgo.
- Ads, analytics and third-party cookies are disabled on my devices and in my projects. For example, this site has no one analytics tracker.
- I avoid location tracking and contacts usage for all of services and apps.
- I avoid cloud syncronization a sensitive data: files, photos, passwords.
- I prefer open source software for all cases.
- Each of my ssd and other storages are encrypted.
- The last year I use derived passwords. They are created by reproducible algorithm and not stored to cloud or file system. And I always enable 2FA if it’s possible.
- Ideally I want to kick the phone. It’s the largest producer of distractions and tracker of our life.
Maybe I take this as paranoid. But I think personal data should be a personal. I have nothing to hide, and at the same time I have nothing to show.