The recent ban on Parler from Apple and Google̵
Tap or click to be shocked at how much of your data WhatsApp sends to Facebook. Millions of users have now flocked to alternative messaging platforms like Signal and Telegram.
There are options to replace some of the most used apps and services. Tap or click here for Google alternatives to search, email, messaging and more.
You do not need to use an Apple or Android phone. You do not even have to use Windows on your computer. Spoiler alert: You may not like the settings.
Alternatives to the regular smartphone
Smartphones are without a doubt the most widely used pieces of consumer technology today. There are more mobile devices on Earth than there are humans, so that should give you an idea of how widespread they are.
What if you’re ready to drop Apple and Google – owned Android? Light Phone and Blackphone are two mobile devices with a focus on privacy.
The Light Phone, created by Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang, is an uncomplicated experience. Without skimming on an aesthetically pleasing design and commonly used features, the Light Phone is designed to be used as little as possible.
RELATED: 5 apps you need to delete from your smartphone right now
Blackphone, on the other hand, is one of the most secure mobile phones on the market. Created by Silent Circle in 2014, the encrypted device runs on its own operating system. All communications are fully encrypted for telephone and text services, and it anonymizes web searches and traffic.
You can also go the Linux route. Fairphone, OnePlus, Gigaset and Nokia have good options.
Search your search
The fact that Google has become a verb is proof of the reach of the world’s most used search engine. Some alternatives value your privacy and still lead you where you want to go online.
One of the most popular search engines for the security-conscious crowd is DuckDuckGo. The engine removes personalized results and cannot use personal information such as your search history or location to change the results.
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StartPage is another search engine focusing on privacy. The Dutch company displays Google search results, but does not store your personal information or search data. StartPage is like a privacy filter between you and Google.
Where should I spend your money
Avoiding Amazon can be stricter than you think. While shopping on the Amazon site is not the obvious first step, many other online sites use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host their activities.
Websites like Spotify, Airbnb, Etsy and Pinterest use AWS as their cloud hosting service.
An alternative to Amazon is to shop at major checkout stores like Target or Walmart. With a Walmart + membership, you get unlimited free shipping and fuel discounts for $ 98 a year. Click or click here to see what Walmart’s membership has to offer.
This may be the perfect time to support your local stores and grocery stores.
Social media is difficult
With so many sites and services implementing sign-ups via Facebook, this is a difficult connection to disconnect. This first big task is to get your data from Facebook. Tap or click here for how to quickly upload your photos and videos from Facebook.
Then go ahead and press that delete button. Where are you going instead?
You can start with the social media platform I created. Komando Community is an ad-free alternative for people who are interested in technology and get the most out of their digital lives. Click or click here to try it for free for 30 days.
Change operating systems
Windows and Mac computers are not the only game in town. The Linux operating system has been available since 1991 and is more widespread than you might think.
RELATED: This operating system may be more powerful, more secure than Windows and Apple
What sets Linux apart is its open source software. Since its original development and release, the Linux community has been building on the code ever since.
Initially, getting Linux running on your machine can be daunting. But unlike Windows, almost any element can be customized through various free and open source software packages.
The Deepin version is straightforward to install and operate. Find out how to do it here.
You can also use Ubuntu.
The bottom line
While it is possible to get away from Big Tech companies or at least minimize your dependence on them, it becomes a struggle.
From social media to online shopping, the largest technology companies are firmly rooted in the Internet. There are definitely alternatives, but what you gain in privacy, you probably lose in functionality.
It may be a good idea to get some hair growth serum before you pull everything out and try to get your new Big Tech-less life together.
PC slow, printer not printing or having Wi-Fi problems? Send your technical questions for concrete answers from me and other technical professionals. Visit my Q&A Forum and get technical help now.
What questions about digital lifestyle do you have? Call Kim’s national radio program and press or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or click or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn more about all the latest technology at The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio show. Kim takes calls and advises on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.