My privacy & user friendly setup [Dec. 2022]
What I use to protect my privacy that I would actually recommand to everyone to try as it does not requiere a lot of effort to use that instead of the GAFAM and Big Brother stuff !
For my smartphone
Android with privacy by default in mind and without any Google code in it but an option to enable microG . Check app compatibility with degoogled phone and/or microG
Worth mentioning : GrapheneOS Most secure and private option, only for Pixels with Sandboxed Play Services supports. DivestOS Not always secure but pretty good and degoogled (no microG nor Sandboxed Play Services), it is especially good for older phones. /e/ Only secure on Fairphone (3/3+/4) and Murena phones but degoogled and provide a privacy friendly ecosystem. Lack behind a couple of Android features update. LineageOS for microG Not secure but support a large pannel of devices. LineageOS Not secure and not fully degoogled but support the larger pannel of devices.
My linux-based operating system for my gaming rig.
I love it !
Worth mentioning : Linux Mint For Windows users elementary OS For macOS users Fedora Seems to became one of the best choice for linux begginers
For more advanced privacy and security : Qubes OS Whonix Alpine Linux
For my work laptop !
If you don't use iCloud and the Apple App Store macOS is quite a solide option in my opinion ! I get some of my apps from Homebrew and Homebrew Cask . I use Little Snitch to have better control. But you could use : Radio Silence Cheaper, simpler, a bit less powerful LuLu by Objective-See FOSS
Worth mentioning : ravynOS Early stage of dev
A liveOS that you can run on any PC since you install it on a USB stick ! It clean EVERYTHING after you shutdown the machine !
The search engine
DDG is my go to recommendation as it's a powerful Google competitor and the default on the Tor Browser ! They also have an HTML-only version and a Lite version + an onion site.
Worth mentioning : Startpage Google index but private Qwant French company Brave Search Nice index 女 MetaGer 100% renewable energy + non-profit Mojeek The OG of private search engine Swisscows The one under the Swiss Alps that gives some benefit to charity. Neeva The ad-free freemium one
https://duckduckgo.com/privacy https://www.startpage.com/privacy-policy/ https://search.brave.com/help/privacy-policy https://about.qwant.com/legal/confidentialite/ https://metager.org/datenschutz https://www.mojeek.com/about/privacy/ https://swisscows.com/privacy https://neeva.com/privacy
Or compare them with this website : https://searchengine.party/
I always go with Bromite. You can add their official repository in your F-Droid client or download the APK from their official website/GitHub. It sometimes lack behind in updates which is a security risks !
Worth mentioning : Mull Gecko based (Mozilla Firefox) Don't support per-site isolation ! Brave Chromium based Privacy Browser WebView based
The most private and secure iOS browser yet. This guide is nice if you want to improve your privacy and security even more. Worth mentioning: Mozilla Firefox Disable analytics in settings SnowHaze Not the best UI but full of nice features ! Firefox Focus Disable analytics in settings Orion Browser IN BETA
For your computer
I always go with Firefox because chromium is Google and I don't want them to control the whole internet (it is actually the case). Disabling Mozilla analytics in settings and installing uBlock Origin makes it more private. If you want to harden your FF I would recommend you to look at Arkenfox user.js ! If you want a more conveniant version of Arkenfox check this .
Worth mentioning : Brave Chromium based LibreWolf Firefox but with a brave approach (no cryptocrap) Orion Browser WebKit based (Safari), macOS only IN BETA
For every device
Tor Browser is the best when it comes to privacy and anonymity. But it's slow and some websites are broken.
The Tor Project recommends Onion Browser has there is no official Tor Browser app on the AppStore due to Apple controlling the web engine of your devices.
My browser selector on macOS
The browser selector I would use on Windows 10
My browser selector on Linux kernel
I use them only on my desktop browser. EXTENSIONS CAN BE USE TO FINGERPRINT YOUR BROWSER
This one is a must. If you just installing it will automatically blocks all ads and most trackers. But it has more features than that. I recommend you to look at the doc.
I really love this one. It allow you to reddirect your traffic to privacy front-end instance. For exemple a friend send you a link of a funny cat meme on reddit. If you have this extension it will redirect you to the exact same meme but instead of loading the official quiet invasive reddit website it will load a LibReddit/Teddit instance. Works for : YouTube -> Invidious / Piped / FreeTube / Yattee YouTube Music -> Beatbump Twitter -> Nitter Instagram -> Bibliogram TikTok -> ProxiTok Reddit -> Libreddit / teddit Imgur -> RimGo Wikipedia -> Wikiless Medium -> Scribe.rip Quora -> Quetre IMDb -> LibreMDb Reuters -> Neuters PeerTube LBRY & Odysee Google Search -> Searx / Whoogle Search / Startpage Google Translate -> Lingva Translate / LibreTranslate Google Maps -> OpenStreetMap / FacilMap Send
The App Store
The best F-Droid client in my opinion. I do use the official F-Droid client because it ships with privilege extension on CalyxOS, but with the new Android 12 third arty store feature, this one could totally replace it. And it should as it use a more recent API for installation which is more secure than the one F-Droid is using.
If you need apps that are only on the Google Play Store you can download them here without any account. You can also download paid apps you bought by loging in your Google account.
If you're on iOS the easiest, legal way to sideload apps is AltStore. Unfortunately it's not comparable to any third party store on Android but hey it work and does not break Apple Terms of Services !
Cloud sync note-taking
Crypto currencies are the only form of digital money that is private ! But most aren't You can buy a bitcoin hard-wallet like bitbox02 or Passport !
Monero(XMR) is the digital-cash. Untraceable, anonymous and secure by default ! To me it's like bitcoin but for the modern days, you can't make something perfect on the first try ;)
Learn more on their website and in this amazing book
ONLY USE WALLET RECOMMENDED ON getmonero.org
Bitcoin(BTC) is the first cryptocurrency. It's ultra secure but not anonymous by default, even if people think so. Actually it's not private at all since the blockchain is public and that nowadays people uses KYC services while buying crypto. Look at it like the digital-gold. It's more accepted than Monero though.
BTC for Android
THE best crypto-wallet for Android (better than any iPhone wallet) if using bitcoin privately matters to you ! BTC only Join the whirlpool to get all the benefits !!!
Worth mentioning : BlueWallet iOS and Android Sparrow Bitcoin Wallet macOS, Windows & Linux
BTC, XMR & LTC for Android & iOS
THE best XMR Wallet for iOS ! The most user firendly XMR wallet for android !
A XMR only version of cake wallet is available on Monero.com for both iOS and Android ! You can now exchange coin with both Monero.com and Cake Wallet !
Worth mentioning : Monerujo for Android (community driven)
Buy Monero in exchange of fiat (eBanking, PayPal, etc...), cash or other crypto with real people in P2P.
THIS IS ONE OF THE RECOMMENDED METHODS
Buy Bitcoin in exchange of fiat (eBanking, PayPal, etc...), cash or other crypto with real people in P2P.
Worth mentioning : AgoraDesk Peach Bitcoin BETA
To exange your BTC, LTC or ETH (and more) to XMR.
XMR now support BTC atomic swap and soon ETH if you are technical enough.
For Android & iOS
My favourite map app is Organic Maps, it's the best open source map app IMO.
For your computer
It's a webapp so you have to use it in your browser.
Worth mentioning : FacilMap
My YouTube front-end of choice !
For iOS or other Apple devices.
You can see a nice comparison list here : https://www.securemessagingapps.com/
My daily messenger app. It's free so easy to move your friends on it and the UI/UX is really good. You can do audio and video calls. The security of Signal is gold standard. A phone number is requiere tho.
Worth mentioning : Session Free and anonymous Threema Paid and anonymous (phone number or email adress can be optionnaly linked to your account) Wire Free Briar Free and anonymous also works offline (Limited functionalities | android & linux only)
ProtonMail is my favourite e-mail provider. It's open source, your e-mails are encrypted and they have a free tier which is really usable ! Hosted in Switzerland.
Worth mentioning : Tutanota German & freemium Mailbox.org German & 100% renewable energy StartMail Netherland Mailfence Belgium & freemium
I never give a website my ProtonMail adress I always give them an alias generated with SimpleLogin. The free tier allow you to have 15 aliases for one e-mail adresse and the premium plan is really affordable ! You can activate and deactivate aliases any time so you don't get spams. Open source of course.
Worth mentioning : AnonAddy Open source too Firefox Relay This one is too
For you computer
If you don't want to use a web client Thunderbird is the go to. The UI is outdated but the app doesn't spy on you !
Worth mentioning : LucaMail in beta
I use FairEmail, nice UI, private and the free tier is quite complete. Premium is a super cheap one time paiement so it worth it.
Worth mentioning : K-9 Mail The OG of private e-mail client on Android, now owned by Thunderbird !
I don't have good recommendations, Canary Mail looks to be the best but it's closed source !
The pro version is nice and private. THE FREE VERSION IS NOT PRIVATE
A Google Translate front-end that respect your privacy.
Android client : Lentil Translate
A free and open source (self-hostable) translation API
Android clients : LibreTranslator Translate You
Worth mentioning : Apertium
Always use strong and unique passwords, how to remember them ? You don't have to, use a password manager ! Also enable TOTP everywhere you can ! Or use a YubiKey if you can afford one.
The best easy-to-use and cloud sync and open source password manager on a really nice freemium model. You can self host it if you want !
Worth mentioning (if you don't need cloud sync) : KeePassXC on Desktop KeePassDX on Android KeePassium on iOS
Also Spectre who act differently by generating a strong password with unique informations such as your name and the website you are generating your password for. Free and opens source !
The best proprietary option super secure and not privacy invasive. You could also pay for BitWarden Premium and support open source.
TOTP on Android
I always go with Aegis. Secure, beautiful, easy-to-use and open source !
TOTP on iOS
The most trusted option for iPhone users, can sync with your mac !
Worth mentioning : Tofu Authenticator also open source
You should set a custom DNS, you can do it directly in the settings of Windows, macOS, Linux, Android (9+) and iOS (14+)
My DNS of choice ! Privacy focused ;) By default it only blocks malware stuff but they also have an unsecure version without blocking. iOS config Android config macOS setup Windows setup
If you want to setup a DNS that block ads without running your own Pi-hole MullvadDNS as a great free option to use !
DNSCloak is the only app you'll ever need to use a custom DNS for iOS 13 or below or if you want simplicity.
For Android (old versions)
Android let you change your DNS in your network settings since A9 but if you have an older version go with Nebulo !