In the wake of Facebook data fiasco and Googles collection for their own end, I thought it would be an interesting project to see if it’s possible to go Google free on Android, and Google free completely for my business. A lot of people use Google for a lot of things ranging from email to maps, drive (storage) to music and of course search.
In the wake of the passing of the AA bill through the Australian parliament, i have updated, amended and added to, to take this into account.
What are the replacements for the most common apps used and how does it effect the work flow?
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is th idea that nearly all of Googles apps are integrated, they are connected to each other, and on Android, many apps use the Play Store (Google) notification system. Some apps have reduced functionality without the Google connection.
|Chrome||Waterfox/Via/Orfox (requires Tor) Brave|
|Doc’s||Nextcloud/polaris office/Andropen office||LibreOffice/ Openoffice|
And for Android itself: LineageOS is probably the most well known and has the most available supported devices. Mokee (needs some modding) or Resurrection Remix OS (more found on xda-developers.com) are also good and generally kept up to date. There are more specialised android remakes that are far more secure.
Replacing the Android system is the only way to take Google off your device. It is a lot easier to do now than before and some manufactures are friendlier than others with this.
As I’ve put a non standard (manufactures) Android on all my phones, for this review I use my Sony Xperia Z. It’s not a new phone but still works well and the community support is outstanding.
The biggest part of Google is their free online apps that can sync across devices. It was revealed a while ago that they use AI bots to search through your email, docs etc for keywords so they can present you with more relevant advertising. I’m not keen on this. What to do about it? Well, most businesses these days have a website, which means they have a server. On my server I’ve installed an app called Nextcloud. Nextcloud can, with the aid of plugin and third party software do almost everything Google does, except look at your stuff, there is also an encryption plugin. Your calendars, photos, file storage, music and video streaming, encrypt it all, sync to all your devices and it’s open source software (and it’s free!).
Keepass is a password encryption storage system. Cross platform. Here will give you what is available https://keepass.info/download.html
As the new AA Bill is so invasive with it’s powers (I’m not going to get political here) what can be done to protect yourself from spying eyes and keep your privacy?
I researched most of this a while back. Besides the above, if you have a server for your website, move it to a safe country like Switzerland. Then for your finance and communication, I’d suggest using an operating system from a USB stick. There are a number around, one that is most recommended is Tails (https://tails.boum.org/) as it comes with almost everything you need to stay safe. On their website they even have an installer to take the hassle away. I’ve used Tails and can recommend them. Along with ProtonVPN, you’d be good to go. This is a bit of a hurriedly finished post, so I’ll be updating it over the next few weeks just to make sure I’ve covered everything.
Any questions or suggestions that I’ve missed are most welcome.
Stay safe 🙂