I have a simple principle: my data is private, I select who can access my data.
I have been using online mail services like gmail, yahoo mail and others but stopped using them due to privacy.
The mail service I use runs on my own server, I'm the only person who has access to my mailbox. The setup of a mail server is long and complicated, but after the initial configuration, it just runs. If you want to setup your own mail, I suggest you look at the Dockerfile for docker-mailserver or look at Mail in a box.
A chat app I find promising is deltachat, it is chat app for chatting over email.
I don't want to use the following services because they violate my principle:
- google services
- microsoft services
The data is well protected from external actors but used extensively within the companies running these services, which I find unacceptable.
That said, sometimes I make exceptions and buy ads on facebook, google, microsoft or use whatsapp. My usage of whatsapp is limited because I decided to not share my contact list and whatsapp allows me to only receive messages and calls.