Author Topic: Tactical Tech is an international NGO that has The Data Detox Kit & other help!  (Read 136 times)

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Tactical Tech is an international NGO that has The Data Detox Kit and more security resources.
Also See: Me and My Shadow is an online privacy resource website. - another Tactical Tech web site.

Data Detox
Essentials: Bring Harmony to Your Smartphone Data

Do you feel uneasy about ads that follow you around the internet? Don’t like the thought of all your online activities being recorded? Do you want to take care of your personal data but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help! There’s no need to throw away your smartphone and live in a cave. These easy adjustments to your mobile device will help you feel more at ease online.

Think of this as your Data Detox starter kit; if you only have time to do a few things, you can follow these simple instructions right now and already feel the positive effects of the detox. And since these are just the basics, if you’re feeling inspired, you’ll find links with even more tips to continue your journey toward a fully balanced online life. Let’s get started!

1. Clear Your Location Footprints

Let’s start by talking about your location data – something your phone generates all the time, even when you’re not using it. Because your location data can reveal so much about who you are and what you’re interested in, it’s also highly sought-after by big tech companies and data brokers: everyone wants a piece of it. Turn off your location information whenever you aren’t actively using it. This will also make your battery last longer – bonus! You can easily turn it back on again when you need to use your map or weather app, for example.

2. Don’t Call Me by Your Name

At some point, you may have “named” your phone for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or both – or maybe the name was automatically generated during setup. This means that “Alex’s Phone” is what’s visible to the Wi-Fi network owner and, if your Bluetooth is turned on, to everyone in the vicinity who has their Bluetooth on as well.

We recommend that you change the name of your phone to something less personally identifying, yet still uniquely you.

3. Tidy Up Your Apps

Every once in a while it’s good to remind yourself of what apps are installed on your phone so you can do an app cleanse – especially for those apps that you never use and those that collect way more data than they should. It’s natural not to think your social media apps, games or weather apps are interested in your data … but they may be collecting quite a lot of it. Removing apps can be a powerful way to detox your digital self. Plus, tidying up can also decrease data and battery use or increase overall performance, depending on the app.

If you’ve opened an account for an app that you no longer wish to use, be sure to close your account by going into your settings or profile and selecting the option to “delete” or “close account.”

You can even send a message to the service requesting they delete your data, then delete the apps you don’t use, or that are too data-greedy – they’re just contributing to your data bloat.

    If you’ve paid to use a service, ensure you’ve canceled any potential future charges (so you don’t get a surprise bill). The steps for ensuring this will vary depending on each service, so check out their Frequently Asked Questions page or reach out to their customer support for guidance.

Cleaning up your apps can make a significant difference in how much of your data you’re putting out there, and that can affect how much companies may collect and use your data to make assumptions about you. For many apps, there’s an alternative out there that performs a similar function, but doesn’t collect or sell your data to others.

You can find recommendations in the Alternative App Centre.

If it feels overwhelming to replace the tools you use, just start with one or two. For starters, look at your browser: can you replace it with Firefox, Chromium, or another more private service?

4. Fortify Your Browser

Your browser is your portal to the internet, and if you suspect it’s another big contributor to data build-up, you’re right. Browsers know quite a lot about you – your location, what you search for, which websites you use – and may give that information away. We recommend that you install some little extras known as “add-ons and extensions” (these are easy-to-install mini-programs for your browser that can make your browsing more private).

    In either Firefox or Chrome:

        To block spying ads and invisible trackers, install Privacy Badger.
        To make sure your connections to websites are encrypted where possible, install HTTPS Everywhere: a browser extension that ensures that your communication with many major websites is encrypted and protected in transit.
        To block advertisements, install uBlock Origin: a browser add-on that is more than a simple ad-blocker, but a general-purpose blocker.

5. Pass It On

Have you contributed to your friends’ data build-up by tagging them in photos and posts in the past?

Lighten their data load (and your social conscience in the process) by un-tagging them in as many photos and posts as you can.

    Note: Behind the scenes, Facebook and Google may still identify faces and track identities to connect the dots of our social webs. The best thing to do going forward is not post pictures of other people onto these platforms, or share photos in private group chats only. (Try the private chat apps Signal or Wire.)

It’s not just your information that’s collected. Analysts connect the dots on sets of data to create profiles of the people you know as well – whether they’re on Facebook or not. It’s important that we encourage our friends, family and colleagues to join us in controlling fly-away data. If we all work together to control our data traces, we can better protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

If these steps worked for you and you’re feeling lighter, then why not try to Degooglise Your Life or Renovate Your Social Media Profile? Or, if you just want to use your phone a bit less often, check out Smartphones Call for Smart Habits.


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