I remember when I subscribed to Gmail years ago. It was still based on invitation (did I already said that I hate such deal: either you have a working and well tested product or just get away) and I was happy to be one of those cool kids who get have a @gmail.com. My previous email provider was GMX, by the way. I have had multiple accounts in the last few years, mainly for websites I hold or (help to) maintain, and of course I have an Apple account—old enough to be an @mac.com and not those funny @me.com (is that really you?!) or @icloud.com (well, there are many like you in the cloud!). I will stick to the latter for the time being. I suppose I now to build my own server. I don’t want to switch to Fastmail or ProtonMail. Why would I pay for managing hundreds of emails, and why should I rely on strong encryption techniques if this is for checking a private appointment? I mean, this is just text over the internet. I just don’t want that bots analyze my data in order to provide me with more targeted Ads. By the way, I found astonishing the information that Google record for each of their users for all their products, including Youtube. You don’t necessarily need to remove your Google account, but be sure to check the Google Dashboard and to (de)activate wherever you see fit. I should admit that it is well done since we can opt out from many services easily. However, in the end who know what remains stored on Google servers?
Anyway, I am done with most of Google. As I said, I’ll keep my account opened, even if I am going to reduce its use. If you are interested, there is a good overview of what it means to protect our privacy in this Medium article: Untrack Yo’self: How to step up your digital privacy.
So here is how/what I did:
- I am now using DuckDuckGo instead of Google for crawling the web. Instead of Google Translate, I am now using the DeepL translator, which is pretty good.
- I removed Google Analytics from my web pages. Huh, who use it these days? I replaced it with Matomoto (formerly Piwik), and this was a good opportunity to upgrade to PHP 7.x on my OVH-hosted server.
- I cancelled my Dropbox Pro plan, as well as my subscription for Google extra storage. I don’t plan to use Gmail anymore (other than as a catchup address for mailing-list and old recipients).
- Unrelated to Google, I also deleted my Feedly (which I used to replace Google Reader) since I prefer a native app for reading my feeds.
- Likewise, no more Skype or Google hangouts (it no longer works on iMessage app and it looks like it is now defunct anyway); just Telegram for brief chats. And, I unsuscribe from Youtube too.
Candy-O • The Cars