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Mohab Gabber
Mohab Gabber

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A Guide To Privacy Part 1

What Is Privacy?

From my perspective, privacy is simply taking control over your data. You should be able to choose who knows what about you, and in our modern digital lives, this is becoming increasingly hard.

The normal person nowadays uses Google to search the web, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to socialize online, not knowing (or caring) that almost everything about their life is being recorded and sold to the highest bidder.
In this part, I'll focus on privacy for normal users of the internet, who just want privacy without affecting their convenience. In the next part, I'll talk about privacy for advanced users, who are prepared to spend some time and effort to be more private.

Let's get started.


Browsers are usually our main gateway to the internet, and because of that, they hold very sensitive information about you, like your history, cookies, IP, location, etc.
so it’s crucial to choose your browser wisely.
You probably use Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, or Microsoft Edge, all of which are terrible for privacy. I’d recommend using either Firefox or Brave.
Both are open-source, designed for privacy, and have a large community of contributors.

Social Media

Since social media is (unfortunately) very important in our lives, you should first of all be careful with what you publish and be sure that you’re ready for whatever you are posting to be shared with thousands of people. Whenever you are publishing something online, I want you to imagine that it's never going to be deleted; it's there forever, and if you're still okay with publishing it, then go ahead.
Also, I recommend using Firefox and installing the add-on Facebook-Container, which basically isolates websites that connect to Facebook. This way, Facebook has no access to your other activities on non-Meta websites.

Email Provider

Emails are the backbone of online identities; almost all your accounts connect to your email, so they’re very important for your protection. Using something like gmail, outlook, or yahoo, isn’t private at all, they regularly scan your emails to recommend more personalized ads to you, I recommend using Protonmail, or Tutanota
Protonmail is more popular. Both provide End-To-End encryption, meaning no one can read your data except you and the recipient. Tutanota is fully open-source, meaning we can actually inspect the code and make sure all their claims are true. Protonmail is partially open-source, but both are a great start for your privacy journey.

Search Engines

Caring about privacy but not using a privacy-friendly search engine is like having a bullet-proof door but leaving the key under the carpet. Google, which you probably use, stores all your online search history to keep giving you more personalized ads, so if you care about keeping your data private, you have to change your search engine. Here are some privacy-friendly search engines:

DuckDuckGo is the most popular, but all of them are good; give each one a try before settling on a particular one.

Operating System

It’s kind of weird to try and be a more private person by changing browsers and acting differently online while you let your operating system, which has full control over your device, actively spy on you and gather more data than any website or app ever can. Windows is probably your main OS (OS = Operating System), and as you probably know, Microsoft and privacy don’t mix, so I have a better option for you: Linux!
Linux is an open-source OS, and because of that, it is much more private, and you can control how almost everything works. It is generally faster than Windows, more transparent, and flexible. You also have a wide range of choices because Linux comes in many shapes (aka distros or distributions). I’ll recommend to you the best and most user-friendly distros.

Installing them on your device isn’t that hard; the process is actually pretty intuitive and self-explanatory, and you’ll find hundreds of tutorials online.

Congratulations on finishing Part 1. Be sure to read Part 2, which will dive deeper into more advanced techniques for privacy and anonymity.

Top comments (2)

privacytools profile image
Privacy Guides by PrivacyTools

good recommendations, mate!

small typo: Quant is spelled Qwant

mohabgabber profile image
Mohab Gabber

Thank you <3