Pragmatic guide to smartphone privacy
Your first step in reclaiming your digital privacy is most likely your smartphone. Modern smartphones collect a truly astonishing amount of data about their users, and are likely the single largest privacy offender any of us own. They know where we go, what we think, what we buy, what we wonder, and even what images make us linger. They beam it all back to headquarters 24/7, where all that information is assembled into a shockingly detailed profile of your mental landscape. This is definitely the place to start.
While the details may vary whether you have an Android or an iOS phone, our overall strategy when it comes to reducing tracking remains very similar, and is accomplished in similar ways:
- Remove/disable unnecessary apps
- Disable unnecessary permissions
- Replace common apps with less intrusive alternatives
If you'd like a more detailed walkthrough, check out the guides:
- Android privacy improvement walkthrough
- [coming soon] iOS privacy improvement walkthrough
Advanced: Alternative operating systems
If you own a popular Android phone there is a decent chance you can even go all the way, and replace the default Google OS with a community version of Android that can be installed without any Google software bundled into it. This is the nuclear option, and will yield massive privacy dividends, but is significantly more of a project.