While I like to use the Google search engine, I really object to a mega-company tracking every single thing I do on the web. If I happened to do a search for, say, Charlemagne, the next website I see has an ad enticing me to buy Germany. That is knowing jut too much about my life. It's also making money with my data and not sharing the profits.
I decided to ddGoogle-ize the Texas geek. The project was to get Google out of my life and computers. With that done, I expected to get some privacy back while I was on the Web.
Here's what that involved.
- Closed my domain, which was hosted on Google. Moved the domain to a great French provider. I get the same email address as before, some playing room on the interwebs, and a really low annual bill.
- Moved my mail to an excellent German email provider that specializes in privacy posteo.net This was the tough one, BTW, since I had to change login credentials for a metric ton of websites.
- Moved all of the stuff stored on Google drive to Nextcloud. Photos, music, documents, the works. Nextcloud is AWESOME. Store your stuff on the web, retrieve it when you want to using any device that has a network -- even back things up automatically to an external bugout drive.
- Started using a Virtual Private Network when I connect to the internets. Mine is from NordVPN. I wanted a VPN that had good throughput, worked anywhere in the world, and does not capture or resell my usage data. NordVPN fit the bill. I quite literally use it anytime I use WiFi from a portable device.
- Started using a router that uses the VPN for all connections over WiFi access from my home. My family and guests can use WiFi in my house, and no one is tracking where they go and what they look at.
At this point, my only interactions with Google are the search engine while I'm at work. Okay, and a really nice Chromebook that The Warrior Princess gave me last year.
Turkey Day tomorrow. The gang's coming over, and the Warrior Princess is roasting a big bird over a fire. Drop by if your in the neighborhood!