As I already wrote in the Why use email article, I want control over my data.

To fulfill my requirement, I self-host my own services:

  • mail server: for private messaging, also works for chatting with deltachat
  • web servers: for blogging, sharing git repos, sharing photos, files...
  • nextcloud: for calendars and video chat with nextcloud talk
  • jitsi: for video chat with any people, a link is enough to join the room
  • mumble server: for private group voice call and chat, see my how to install Mumble article for more information

For chatting, I also use Apple Facetime and iMessage because it is private enough.

I settled with nextcloud for calendar because it is the first calendar server that does everything I need (multiple calendars and calendar sharing with other users) and supports all my operating systems (linux, iOS/macOS, android).

I have a raspberry pi running pi hole to block the trackers and ads on my mobile.

I use tor browser when I don't log on a web service and when I log on a web service I use firefox.

In firefox, I change the default configuration and have a bunch of plugins.

Configuration:

  • enable delete all cookies when firefox is closed
  • about:config browser.cache.disk.enable = false
  • about:config browser.cache.memory.enable = false
  • about:config browser.cache.offline.enable = false
  • about:config browser.cache.offline.storage.enable = false
  • about:config browser.cache.disk_cache_ssl = false
  • about:config telemetry set to false, and telemetry.rejected set to true
  • about:config keyword.enabled = false (do not send keys typed in address bar to search engine)
  • about:config browser.urlbar.suggest.searches = false
  • about:config network.trr.mode = 5 (disable trusted recursive resolver dns over https by choice)
  • about:config extensions.webextensions.retrictedDomains = "" (enable ad blockers on all domains, inculding mozilla domains)

Plugins:

  • ublock origin (both on desktop and mobile), to block ads
  • umatrix, to accept only necessary data
  • google search link fix, to avoid redirects on google search results
  • Cookie Autodelete, to delete cookies when a tab is closed
  • enable-selection, to enable always mouse selection on all sites
  • User-Agent Switcher, to switch user-agent when a site misbehaves
  • Referer Control, to set a referer and hide the real one

My go to search engine is duckduckgo, I even have a script to search from the command line with w3m (searching with google in w3m gives nothing because of javascript the results are text only without links).

On my iPhone, I install the content blocker AdGuard and the Lockdown Firewall app and on my Android phone I install Blockada which is a VPN firewall app like lockdown.

In lockdown, I enable the firewall only, without an account and without the lockdown vpn (the on device vpn has to be enabled for the app to work). The apps on my iPhone connected to these servers:

  • app-measurement.com (google)
  • settings.crashlytics.com (google)
  • play.googleapis.com
  • data.flurry.com
  • adlog.flurry.com
  • ads.mopub.com (twitter)
  • ssl.google-analytics.com
  • graph.facebook.com

If you have an android phone, there is the exodus privacy app that analyzes privacy concerns in android applications.