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I quit WhatsApp

Today I finally took the plunge and closed my WhatsApp account once and for all. I will continue to extricate myself from the Facebook ecosphere, with Facebook and Instagram being next on my hit list. First, I need to download my data from each account before changing the account name. The name change is to preserve my Insta-handle in case I decide to rejoin at a later date.

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THE PRIVACY QUINTET

Here’s a list of five go-to applications for keeping my data secure and private.

PROTONMAIL

My secure email provider, free to use, but a subscription is worth the money. Sign up here.

THREEMA SECURE MESSAGING

Threema is an instant messenger designed to generate as little user data as possible. All communication is end-to-end encrypted, and the app is open source. Chat Anonymously: No Phone Number Required. Each user generates a random Threema ID when setting up the app. Linking a phone number or email address is optional.

SIGNAL MESSENGER

This secure messaging app was recommended to me by a hacker friend of mine. If it’s good enough for him and the likes of Edward Snowden and Elon Musk, it is good enough for me! Sign up for free here.

INTERNXT DRIVE

Internxt Drive is a zero-knowledge file storage service that’s based on absolute privacy and uncompromising security. I store my important digital documentation with this service. Sign up for a free account here.

JOTTACLOUD

Jottacloud is a Norwegian company that operates under Norwegian jurisdiction. Norway has some of the strongest privacy laws in the world. Their cloud storage service is my go-to for all of my photos, videos and less secure documentation. Data plans are excellent value for money, we use the family bundle that provides a full 5TB of storage, but individual plans feature unlimited storage. Sign up for your cloud storage account here.

There really are some brilliant alternatives to the services provided by large american corporations. These are just a few. Cheers.

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EU’s resolution on encryption foreshadows likely anti-encryption push

On Monday, The Council of the European Union, which is made up of government ministers from the 27 EU member countries, released a vague, five-page resolution that calls for new rules to govern the use of encryption in Europe. Read the full article on the Protonmail blog.

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get Threema!

As you know, I’m very security conscious. My friend Steve recommended this app to me several years ago, and he knows a thing or two about cyber-security. Do yourself a favour, pay a couple of bucks and get one of the most secure messaging apps on the planet. Here’s a link (not an affiliate link, this is not an advert.)

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FCUK Social Media – Redux

The more I think about it, the more I want to take a month away from using social media, and from using my smartphone. If I am going to get Karta to spend one day-per-week without using his phone and social media accounts, I need to lead by example.

The only reason that I will pick up my smartphone will be to check my WhatsApp messages I can check my emails and Signal messages on my PC. I am also working to move most of my email over to Protonmail from Outlook, although this will take some time to complete.

The Punkt MP-02 will become my device of choice for making phone calls and for sending SMS messages. I have a decent compact digital camera for when I want to take photos.

Ultimately, I will stop using products from companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft. I am now taking time to seek out software from companies that have strong privacy values and will not share any of my information with third parties of any kind. Although rare, they are becoming easier to find.

I am making a concerted effort to slow down. I don’t need to check my email every five minutes. I don’t need push notifications, and I do not need social media.

That is all.