The following are basic instructions for beginners on maintaining privacy on the Internet. I use most of these services myself and highly recommend using these. Most of these are open-source projects. Please contribute to the maintainers via donations/code if you find them useful.
* Slightly advanced tips
Understand why maintaining privacy is important. Start here:
Always look for well known open source alternatives to services that you use:
Start by using reliable open source web browsers:
Install privacy addons:
Use a search engine that doesn't log your search queries:
Quit using Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook products for personal/sensitive use cases.
These companies are great for security of your data, they hire top engineers from around the world but are worse for your privacy, esp. if they rely on advertisement for their revenue. If you have to use Google, go to your account settings and turn off all the activity controls and ads personalization. Go through similar settings on your dashboard for other accounts- Apple, Microsoft, etc.
Always choose "Sign up with Email" while signing up on websites.
I cannot stress this enough. Please do not ever, unless mandatory, choose "Sign up with Google/Microsoft/Twitter/Facebook/Apple/Amazon, etc".
If you are required to continue with social signup, take care of what scopes and information you are permitting the service to use. Platforms usually provide a way to manage this info from your account settings:
Research beforehand if the service you're signing up for allows for an (easy) way to delete your account. You might regret later when you find out you can't delete your account. Some websites have tricky account deletion procedure:
Make use of Email Aliases or Email forwarding services:
Use disposable email addresses for temporary signups:
Use alternative frontends for platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Instagram:
Use Privacy Redirect addon that redirects redirects Twitter, YouTube, Instagram & Google Maps requests to privacy friendly alternatives. For a long time, I used Invidition but it is now deprecated and Privacy Redirect is recommended.
Don't like/comment on anything on Facebook, YouTube and social platforms. Use end-to-end encrypted bookmark service like Firefox Sync.
Platforms these days track everything from what your see, what you click on, share or comment on, and even how long you looked at a particular item on your feed. Reduce your digital footprint as much as you can. Export your personal data from Facebook, Google from your account settings and work on deleting all of it.
Use decentralized services if you need:
Use E2E-encrypted messaging applications for communication:
Use E2E-encrypted email services:
Use E2E-encrypted note-taking apps:
Use E2E-encrypted cloud storage solutions:
Encrypt your files before uploading them to Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive:
Use a reliable VPN:
*Use a better DNS resolver:
*Use Linux/BSD. Any distro is fine:
*Switch your OS on your smartphone:
Use an open source password manager:
Monitor if you’ve been part of an online data breach:
This is just a list of the most popular and reliable options for getting started on digital privacy. There are comprehensive guides, articles, books and websites for more advanced tips:
Make sure to research every option thoroughly to determine what works best for you. Let me know if you found a mistake or want to add another service to this list.