As convenient as the top tech dogs are, they aren’t very private or secure. Let’s look at some more big tech alternatives to master your privacy.
If you missed Part One, you can catch up here.
Gmail is the go-to email service for billions of people. It’s free, easy to use, and has many bonus features. But it’s not very private.
Your data is shared with third parties with every email you send.
Protonmail is one of the most popular big-tech alternatives to email out there. It’s located in Switzerland, so all your data is protected by strict Swiss privacy laws.
Your emails are encrypted on the client side under a zero-knowledge policy.
Encryption keys stay on your phone or computer and can’t be seen by anyone, not even the Protonmail team.
CounterMail takes security and privacy to another level. They use the longest encryption keys – 4,096 bits for max security.
Unlike other email providers, CounterMail’s servers don’t have any hard drives. Instead, they boot from a CD-ROM. CounterMail stores data on CD-ROMs to prevent data leaks.
Also, CounterMail only stores encrypted emails on its servers, and you can create additional encryption with a USB drive.
Your email attachments are encrypted, as well as plain-text messages.
It also has a built-in password manager called Safebox and scrubs all IP addresses from the header of emails.
Cloud storage providers like Dropbox and Google Drive make it easy to access and share files from anywhere.
But they’re not very private. When you put your files on these platforms, they encrypt your files but they also own the encryption keys.
That means they can see your files. It also means that if the government requested your files, Dropbox or Google could give them out.
MEGA is a zero-knowledge cloud storage provider. Zero-knowledge encryption means the service provider does not know your encryption key.
MEGA’s file management system is pretty detailed. There are separate tabs for recent and deleted files and incoming and outgoing shares.
The cloud management tab lets you view your cloud storage use statistics.
There’s also a feature called MEGAcmd that allows you to use a command line for advanced management of your files.
You can also set up things like scheduled uploads or automatic backups.
pCloud is one of the few cloud services that offer a lifetime subscription. You get a permanent, private, virtual cloud drive.
It’s based in Switzerland and has to adhere to strict Swiss privacy laws, meaning more protection for your files.
Just like MEGA and Sync, pCloud offers zero-knowledge encryption.
pCloud comes with a 30-day trash history and unlimited remote upload traffic (you only need the URL of the file).
There is no limit to the size of files you can upload.
Also, pCloud lets you choose if you want your files to be stored in the EU or US.
Microsoft Office is still the go-to productivity app for documents, spreadsheets, etc. But if you're looking for cheaper and more private big tech alternatives, there are options out there.
LibreOffice is a free and open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. It also has a vast library of free extensions you can add to help with your projects.
It includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing).
If you've made the jump to Linux, LibreOffice is already built-in, but it's also available for Windows and macOS.
FreeOffice is a full-featured Office suite with word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software.
FreeOffice lets you open and save documents in the Microsoft file formats DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX. You can share files directly with Microsoft Office users without having to export them.
And if you use a computer with a touchscreen, touch mode allows you to move seamlessly between documents and spreadsheets.
It's compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS devices.
Consider Protonmail or Countermail if you're looking for a private email option.
MEGA and pCloud are great places to back up your data if you're sick of Google Drive or Dropbox.
Ditch Microsoft Office for good with LibreOffice or FreeOffice.
And be sure to keep up with the latest trending tech and cyber security news!