There are many privacy guides out there. But almost all of them have flaws.
Though, one thing they all have in common is that they all provide you a reason to stay private.
Over the last 16 months, as I've debated this issue around the world, every single time somebody has said to me, "I don't really worry about invasions of privacy because I don't have anything to hide." I always say the same thing to them. I get out a pen, I write down my email address. I say, "Here's my email address. What I want you to do when you get home is email me the passwords to all of your email accounts, not just the nice, respectable work one in your name, but all of them, because I want to be able to just troll through what it is you're doing online, read what I want to read and publish whatever I find interesting. After all, if you're not a bad person, if you're doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide." Not a single person has taken me up on that offer. (Gleen Greenwald, Why privacy matters)
Big Tech excels at turning users into a product. Private data is a key ingredient to their business model, which is usually build around "free" services, lock-in, tracking and ad targeting. Google and Facebook have been most successful at this game. And while Apple, Amazon and Microsoft have not (entirely) built their business around spying, they are far from being on the side of privacy. In fact, they hugely benefit from doing business with data brokers and privacy offenders. All five companies — often called the "Big Five" or "Big Tech" — regularly face allegations or are condemned for tax avoidance, antitrust concerns, erosion of ethical standards, reported labor abuses, and so on. (Don Atoms, How Big Tech became a global economic force)
[T]echnology has its bad side too. In the current world, it is controlled by organizations who do not have our best interests in mind. They will not hesitate to use technology's great power against us. Spying on, and analyzing, our communication; control of the information we receive; emotional manipulation; modification of behavior - those are just a few things technology is being used for these days. All that with more coverage, accuracy, effectiveness and with less human effort. If this "progress" is not stopped, we will end up in a prison that we wouldn't find in our worst nightmares. (Dig Deeper, Technological Slavery)
It may sound paranoid, but it's actually proven that entire companies exist simply to collect your data and build profiles on you, and in their minds the ends will always justify the means. Often they collect data in ways that range from questionable to blatantly illegal, collecting information that no one would knowingly consent to. This massive trove of data is regularly abused. For example, in 2019 the Egyptian government tracked opponents and activists through phone apps, the the Moroccan government spied on the phones of human rights defenders, and the Chinese government hacked Asian telecommunications companies to spy on the Uighur, a minority Muslim ethnic group living in China. (Nate Bartram, The New Oil)
Ultimately, saying that you don't care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different from saying you don't care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say. Or that you don't care about freedom of the press because you don't like to read. Or that you don't care about freedom of religion because you don't believe in God. Or that you don't care about the freedom to peacably assemble because you're a lazy, antisocial agoraphobe. (Edward Snowden, Permanent Record)
My goal is to provide a guide that is consistent, and recommends software that is private, secure, anonymous, free (as in freedom), and low cost. Some software may not meet all of these qualities, in which case I will provide a disclaimer. This is because we live in an imperfect society. This guide is not perfect, and it is almost certainly not a panacea. Anyone claiming that their guide will make you completely undetectable is lying to you. I am saying this now to prevent any contradictions in the future.Next Page: Definitions