DO YOU REALIZE?
Almost everything you do on your phone is compiled and sent off every few minutes to the likes of Google and Apple? They have collected so much information about you including your precise location history. They know where you have been and they know who you have been with. They know what you are browsing, typing, sending and buying. Your phone may be ruining your life in many ways - this isn't good. Perhaps you need to De-google your life.
The absolute best thing you could do to take back your life and protect your privacy would be to get rid of your phone altogether. As you might expect most people are not able or willing to go quite this far. As such, we suggest the following two alternatives:
- Get a Flip Phone (the kind from 20 years ago)
- Get a De-Googled Phone
Even though we sell De-Googled phones, we will tell you that option #1 is the better of the two. This is because a Flip phone is less likely to run your life (all you can typically do is make phone calls and maybe send a text) and there is also no Google or Apple to track you. If you cannot find (or don't want) a Flip phone then the next best option (and the only other one according to our list) is a De-Googled phone.
WHAT IS A DE-GOOGLED PHONE
In short, a De-Googled phone is an Android based phone without the Google. It has the basic Android system installed (Android Open Source) but does not have the additional Google software and applications embedded into the device as do most Android phones. Rather, it has an open-source system such as LineageOS or GrapheneOS installed to provide you with a highly functional phone that runs most applications available today. A De-Googled phone cannot be physically tracked by way of WiFi triangulation or scanning and does not give up your phone identification number. Also, it does not run Google Services (as do typical Android phones) which collects significant information about one's phone activities. To summarize, the De-Googled phone protects your identity and provides no information to Google about your location or activity history.
HOW TO DE-GOOGLE
The first step is to get yourself a De-Googled phone. There are a couple of options:
- De-Google existing phone - If you already have an Android phone you could look to de-google it. There are a number of open source operating systems you can install, the most popular being LineageOS, GrapheneOS and CalyxOS. If you happen to have the correct phone model to work with these systems and if your phone is OEM unlockable and if you are a 'techno geek' of sorts then perhaps you can get this done on your own. Otherwise, you should consider option 2 below.
- Purchase a De-Googled phone - We suggest that canadafree is a good company from which to purchase a quality De-Googled phone that is ready to use.
With your new De-Googled phone in hand, the following steps will get you started and ensure that you are safe and secure:
- If you are moving from an iPhone it is important that you turn off iMessage on the iPhone before you move your sim card over (on iPhone go to 'settings' then 'messages' and turn iMessage to off). This will ensure your sms messaging on your new phone will work properly.
- Install your new or current sim card into your De-Googled phone.
- Power up your De-Googled phone and check that it has connected to your mobile service (you could try making a call).
- Connect to your WiFi.
- Setup VPN service on your phone (we typically install ProtonVPN - setup a free acount and you will be ready to go).
- Setup your contact list by way of the Contacts app (note that you can export contracts from your previous phone and import them into the Contacts app on your new phone).
You are now ready to do a number of things on your De-Googled phone while also maintaining your privacy. In particular, you can:
- Browse the internet via one of the browsers that exist on your phone (eg. DuckDuckGo, Brave).
- Send / Receive text messages via one of the messaging applications that exist on your phone (eg. Messenger, Signal, Telegram).
- Send / Receive email via the K-9 email client application (or you can use something like ProtonMail or Tutanota applications).
- Listen to podcasts via the AntennaPod application.
- Watch videos via the Newpipe youtube player.
- Access a number of additional phone applications via F-Droid or Aurora Store (as a second resort).
LESS IS MORE
What we mean by this is that the fewer things you put onto your phone the better off you will likely be - probably safer and also not so tied to your device all the time.