Okay so I want privacy, What do I do now?
DisclaimerThis is for tech-illiterate people.
It's a simplified guide for them. I don't need you nerding me out telling me that they need to load TailsOS on their USB stick while using SearX on Tor. You need to balance privacy with simplicity. I don't expect these people to even know how to load an operating system let alone do the nerd stuff in your room. Hence if you are looking for something more in-depth. I suggest you look elsewhere.
So you want privacy in the digital age? There are some things you have to note. Firstly, total privacy in the digital age is impossible even if not using any such devices to CCTV, government survalliance and even Facebook spying people in pictures without accounts. The best thing you could do is limit your digital footprint. And it's better doing that than doing nothing, it's a healthier way of using the internet
Secondly, becoming private includes lots of different lifestyle changes and following whatever deluded boomers do like "not putting your name online" (made that mistake before. But also you'll lose lots of the convience that spyware has allowed us to have such as the browser saving passwords and such.
On your computer, install Iridium then follow the easy Mitigation guide
On Mobile, install DuckDuckGo privacy browser.
If you somehow use Linux already? Install Ungoogled Chromium
Use uBlock, Cookie AutoDelete and Decenteraleyes
Switch to Linux Mint
No annoying scripts to block Windows trackers, nor a restrictive MacOS eco-system. Have something totally free. It could also improve your computer skills.
If you play video games, check how to run Windows applications and Steam compatibility works here.
Click here to check what games runs on Linux. Click here for WINE (allows you to run Windows apps).
I'd be lying to you if I were to say that any Email service for that matter is "private". The technology that email is based on simply isn't fit to be "private", this stuff was developed back in 1995, okay?
A first and most important crucial step is to of course kill off your Google account as... Well it's Google. After which you may consider some alternatives to Gmail or Outlook and such.
You can take this quote from cock.li which is actually a open, honest and professional email service. Surprisingly...
The easy way of having some sort of private email service is to use ProtonMail or Tutanota. However they may be fed honeypots. But are totally okay with dealing bank transactions, purchases and such. Only use email for verification codes, signing up for sites, transaction reciepts etc... Don't use it for communication.
No VPN is safe, especially if it's run by a company.
A company is out there to make money, if the VPN is free then you are the product. Secondly, if you do pay for a VPN another problem arises. Sure, the VPN may claim that it could keep you out of watch from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). However that also means (since the traffic is going through them). They can see everything you do, whats worse is that it may even make HTTPS redundant in some cases (and trust me you want HTTPS).
An alternative is to use Tor. It's run by a non-profit and even feds use it too. It's free and runs on everything.
The main ones of course you want to avoid is Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger. Those are the worst. Stuff like Viber and Tango are basically on the same level as them (if you even use those, if so. why?).
Telegram is another you may want to avoid as it gives people a false sense of security. Telegram does jack shit in even remotely protecting chats unless you manually switch on a function to do so.
The solution to this problem for now is Signal. Signal is open source (for the most part) and is a great Whatsapp and general texting replacement. New features are being added so it's totally usable. Secondly for mass communities. Element should be a good alternative to Telegram.
Cloud StorageGet one of these.
For desktop, just stick to YouTube logged out.
Use NewPipe on Android
Passwords and Password Managers
I have talked about this on here. However I suggest you keeping your passwords on pen and paper. If you'd wish to copy paste passwords. You should settle with KeePass Password Manager.
Social Media itself inherantly is a privacy risk. However I'd suggest reader apps instead of the original apps such as Slide for Reddit and Frost for Facebook. However it is best if you have less social media as much as possible. It's healthy for the mind and soul.
If you use an iPhone, throw it away.
Grab your old Android phone that's in that drawer somewhere and load LOS on it, there are lenty of ROM tutorials online.
If you own a Pixel load Graphene. Or buy a Pixel just to load Graphene.
Use F-droid instead of the App Store/Google Play because it has open-source and private apps.
PROTIP: Get a phone with a removable battery, so at least you know your phone is actually off. How do you know if your phone's really off if there's still power to the thing?
You can't be completely private these days, but at least you're trying to do something about it. You can be freer than most people are in this time of big tech.
Just follow the steps provided above and you can make yourself more secure and maybe improve on your computer skills.