Privacy Plan

Hello! This website aims to give you a list of concise, actionable steps that you can take to improve your privacy online. You don’t have to do all of them, but the more you do, the better.

It also has some security tips, but note that sometimes security is antithetical to privacy. I tried to keep everything to a good balance, but you might need to make some decisions yourself. Decisions you can make are marked and explained as such.

Disclaimer: Anything you do with this guide is your own responsibility. The information on this website is provided as-is and is contributed by volunteers.

You’re welcome to ask for help, clarifications, etc. - but please remember that responses are not guaranteed.

Helpful Features of this Website

Each step may have substeps or options that are sometimes marked as EASY, MODERATE, or DIFFICULT for the slightly-above-average user. You can use these tags to comb through low hanging fruit before needing to make big changes.

Step: Switch your Internet Browser

You have a couple options here.

Step: Fix Your Browser Addons

Keep in mind that you should not get addons other than these. If you have to get an addon, check if it’s open source (how to do this is an exercise for the reader). An addon not being open source is a red flag! It doesn’t neccesarily mean that it’s bad, but it most likely does.

That said, get these addons!

That’s basically all you need, the rest are just small extras.

UNINSTALL THE FOLLOWING:

Step: Stop Using Services That Track You

If you’re not using “end to end encrypted” services, they can see all the data you send to them. Just “encrypted” is not enough, be sure to look for the “end to end encrypted” or “E2E” wording, or the service might be using your information.

This specific step is fully covered by other excellent websites, so in the spirit of collaboration, I will just link to them here:

Note that some of these will be hard to do, but others should be relatively easy (like notes apps, or calendar apps, since you can usually move your data out of those and into the replacement.)

Step: Use a Password Manager

Okay, this one isn’t really a privacy tip. It’s a security tip. There are three options for you here.

Step: Delete (or Replace) Social Media

I get it. For a lot of people, this will be indescribably hard. Other than using an adblocker, this might be the single most effective thing to do on this list. You want to keep up with your friends and family, and you probably feel like Facebook is the only way that you can do this.

That said, here’s an interesting thought experiment. If your friends aren’t your friends anymore because you deleted Facebook, were they ever really your friends? I know it makes it harder to talk to them. I know it’s super painful. But most of all, I know that it still needs to be done.

Everyone is different, but here’s how it worked out for me. I deleted all my proprietary social media. My close friend group uses a group chat, so I still have plenty of social interactions on my phone. I can send iMessages to everyone with iPhones, and I can talk to everyone else over the phone or in person. I still talk to people online through open social media. I’m pretty happy about it and I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on much (although I definitely thought I was at first).

If you feel the need to talk about yourself and maintain social media, that’s fine too. Just be sure to use these platforms instead of Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Snapchat / etc.

Step: Switch your Email Service

Your email address is the entry point to your digital life. Everything you sign up for, do, or say, is linked to your email address. It is the ultimate tracking identifier, and most of us are giving up all of the information in it to companies like Google and Microsoft.

Switching your email service is pretty hard. Every service you signed up for will need to be slowly moved over, but it doesn’t need to be done all at once. Just sign up for new services with your new email, and slowly move old ones over as time permits.

That said, it’s not all bad news. When you move off GMail, you can get custom email addresses! Mine is just “hi @ myname.com” - but you could make it ANYTHING (for $8 a year). Imagine how cool you can be! :smile:

Here are some services that I can recommend:

Step: Change Your Phone

Here it is, in order from worst to best (in terms of privacy).

Basically, use iOS if you don’t know how to install custom ROMs, and use custom ROMs if you do.

This isn’t the end!

Security and privacy start with you! Be conscious of what you’re sharing online with the world, and be vigilant for red flags when browsing day to day. Hopefully this guide helped you, but it won’t protect you from anything and everything.


Made by Nikhil Jha and Others. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You can contribute on the Git Repository.