awesome-privacy

Awesome Privacy

</img>

Awesome Mirror</img>

List of free, open source and privacy respecting services and alternatives to privative services.

About | Contributing | Quotes | Discussions

⚠️ Privacy Shields are provided by TOSDR. They analyse Terms of Service and Privacy Policies but you should know they don’t take into account other things like **trackers, source code, historic record, etc.**

Contents

2FA

</img> Avoid using apps that won’t let you export your keys easily.

</img> Instead use

Analytics

</img> Avoid any analytics service that comes from Google, Facebook, Microsoft or any private service. These kind of analytics hurt user privacy.

</img> Instead use

Android App Store

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Alternative Google Play Store clients

Android Dialer

</img> Avoid

Third-party dialers found on the play store. They may contain ads/trackers and may ask for unnecessary permissions.

</img> Instead use

Android File Manager

</img> Avoid

Preinstalled file managers and third-party file manager apps found on the play store. They may contain ads/trackers and may ask for unnecessary permissions.

</img> Instead use

Android Keyboard

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Android Launcher

</img> Avoid

Third-party launchers found on the play store. They may contain ads/trackers and may ask for unnecessary permissions.

</img> Instead use

Bookmarking

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Book and web annotations/highlights management

Captchas

</img> Avoid

Google captchas use cookies to track users and rank their IPs.

</img> Instead use

Commenting Engines

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Cloaking

Images

Text

Cloud Storage

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Other useful tools

Databases

</img> Avoid using privative databases which you don’t control such as Google Firebase.

</img> Instead use

Developer Tools

IDEs

</img> Avoid using privative IDEs that are full of trackers and telemetry.

</img> Instead use

Dating Apps

Apps such as Tinder collect and sell your personal intimate information. Tinder in particular has been found to charge users up to five times more for same service, extrapolate estimations on your intelligence and other psychometrics and sell it to third-parties, it may know more about you than yourself, and many more bad things you can find on the internet.

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Domain Registrar

</img> Avoid using domain registrars who are privacy invasive.

</img> Instead use

Download Manager

Encryption

Remember: Without strong encryption, you will be spied on systematically by lots of people.

OS Encryption

File Management and Sharing

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Fitness and Health

</img> Your health is a very important piece of your private data and you should care a lot about it. Also, health related data is among the most coveted. Please don’t use apps from Google, Fitbit, Huawei, Xiaomi or any company that seeks the gathering of your personal data.

If you need an app for menstrual cycle tracking please don’t use any apps like Clue, Period Tracker, etc. Those cute pink apps are greedy for your menstrual cycle and intimate life data and will sell it for sure, protect your private life. Check the list below and you will find nice alternatives.

</img> Instead use

Fonts

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Google Fonts Replacements

Foundries

Forms

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Games

Mario Kart

Nintendo collects user data, and if you disable it, they can turn it back on. Also, it has a paid plan that is not accessible to everyone economically.

</img> Instead use

Minecraft

The game is owned by Microsoft. If this is not enough, you need a Microsoft account to play Minecraft since March 11th, 2022. Microsoft locks accounts some time not long after account creation and forces the user to provide a phone number. See: Minecraft FAQ, 1, 2

The game has telemetry embeded in it since v21w38a which you can’t opt-out. Also, it is tied to the Microsoft privacy terms which are a privacy nightmare.

</img> Instead use

Plugins for Minecraft

If you still want to play Minecraft, you can add some plugins that can help you preserve a bit your privacy. But still consider that you are supporting Microsoft this way.

Pokemon

Nintendo collects user data, and if you disable it, they can turn it back on. Also, it has a paid plan that is not accessible to everyone economically.

</img> Instead use

Sonic the Hedgehog

Home Assistants

Don’t use Google Home or Alexa. Please don’t. Don’t gift them to anyone. They open the homes doors to surveillace. They can turn these auto-updating devices into surveillance devices at will.

Interesting articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

</img> Instead use

Instant Messaging

*Check out this site for comparisons.

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Decentralized

No single point of control or failure. A decentralized network operated by different servers from different volunteers around the globe. You choose where your data stays or you can self-host your own server. Somewhat more complex protocols (because of federation between servers) and some extra metadata is added to the messages (without compromising privacy).

Centralized

The service is in charge of running the servers that allow users to communicate. Single point of failure and control, but still 100% safe and trustworthy if the protocols and code are open and audited.

P2P

No servers involved. Everything goes directly from one peer to the other peer. No point of failure or control. The features are reduced because of the lack of server, messaging can be slower. Best option for critical chats.

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Location tracking

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Tracking

Find My Device

Mail Services

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Third-Party owned

Self-Hosted

Clients

Android / iOS

Desktop

Email Alias Services (Anonymous Forwarding)

With email aliases, you can finally create a different identity for each website. Defend against spams, phishing and data breach. You can choose self-hosting any of the following options or you can also use their own platform as a service.

Maps and Navigation

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Media Streaming Platforms

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Video and Audio

Audio

Spotify alternative clients

These clients, although will have less tracking, still DO NOT protect your privacy at all as you will still be streaming from Spotify servers from you own premium (paid, identified) account.

* Premium required.

* No premium required.

Youtube Music alternative clients

Deezer alternative clients

Podcasts

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Notes and Tasks

</img> Avoid

These providers offer apps and services filled with data trackers. Also, most of them store your notes on their servers and do not offer any kind of encryption.

</img> Instead use

Music Recognition

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Shazam alternative clients

Office

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Online Phone Providers

Many websites require phone number verification. These services offer a way to receive (and sometimes send) SMS messages in a privacy-focused manner.

No email verification, accepting monero

Email verification required, accepting monero

Email verification required, accepting crypto

Operating Systems

Android

</img> Try to avoid using Google Android or any Android that has been modified and tuned by any manufacturer such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung, etc. Android is an Open Source project - AOSP - Android Open Source Project - and it has many versions that will respect the user privacy and data and won’t share it with private servers from manufacturers or service providers.

</img> Instead use

Note on Android app compatibility: Although all of these Operating Systems are Android, app compatibility may not be perfect due to a lack of GMS (Google Mobile Services) which some apps require. You can check how well apps work with microg (a free and open source alternative to GMS) or no GMS at all with Plexus where the community can report how well android apps perform in those environments.

Note on Android security: Custom ROMs can improve your privacy the same as they can decrease the Android security, always use ROMs that support verified boot and encryption and DO NOT have root enabled by default. If possible, don’t use userdebug builds. If your threat model requires security, buy a Google Pixel and install GrapheneOS on it. Read more on PrivacyGuides.

Based on Linux

</img> Instead use

PC / MacOS

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

GNU/Linux

GNU/Linux is a family of free (as in freedom and as in free beer) and open source Operating Systems mostly developed by the community. If you don’t know where to start these are good options for begginers:

If you want to try it out without installing it to your computer, you can use a Live USB Stick. You can also investigate Ventoy to easily download and test linux distros with a USB stick.

If you want to install Linux but keep your current operating System, you can set up dual boot.

Note: Not all Linux distributions are free (as in freedom), free (as in free beer) or respect user privacy. There are tons of GNU/Linux distributions and you should investigate a bit before jumping into one of them!

Other OS:

Password Managers

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Pastebin and Secret Sharing

These tools are useful when sharing secrets, code snippets or any other kind of text with others in a private way.

Payments

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

USE WITH CAUTION

Personal Finances

FIAT

CRYPTO

</img> Avoid using any exchange portfolio tracking or any app like Blockfolio as they do not respect your privacy in any way.

</img> Instead use Rotki, an awesome, feature-rich and open source app:

Photo Editing and Management

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Web

Desktop

Android

Photo Storage

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Self-hosted

Third-party

Local

Privacy Tools

This section is dedicated to some tools that may help users analyze the privacy status on their devices.

Desktop

Android

Remote Access and Control

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Search Engines

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Social Networks and Platforms

NOTE: The fediverse

The fediverse is a “federated” “universe” of social network platforms that are able to talk to one another through a standard and open protocol. This means that you can consume content on any network from any of these networks. You are not locked to a single provider, you are free to choose. Please watch this video by FramaSoft that illustrates the concept very good.

Ideally, we should all move to the fediverse and abandon the centralized and monopolized social networks that are now the most popular (Twitter, Reddit, Instagram…).

All the apps compatible with the Fediverse (ActivityPub) are marked with a 🧩

NOTE: About alternative frontends and clients

Alternative frontends are good to protect your individual privacy. You can still consume the contents of privative and privacy-harmful services with protection over your privacy and some anonimity. Even using most these alternative frontends, still, the privative services will receive requests about the content you are consuming (even not knowing it is you). This sitll harms the collective privacy and adds data to their algorithms in some ways. Only the alternative frontends (or clients) that act as a proxy will hide your real IP from the content provider.

You can use these browser extensions and apps to automatically redirect any links to privacy-respecting alternative frontends:

Blogging platforms (Medium)

</img> Avoid:

</img> Alternatives:

</img> Alternative Medium frontends:

Instagram

</img> Don’t use Instagram (or at least the official client). Instagram is a very privacy-invasive app with biased results and feeds based on user profiles, it is also used as a manipulation tool and has a lot of censorship going against free speech. Lastly, it has an addictive and toxic UI design.

</img> Instead use

Alternatives to Instagram

LBRY and Odysee

Odysee website contains some trackers and is a heavy site. You can use these alternatives to avoid trackers and have a more minimalistic and lightweight UI:

Quora

</img> Quora’s website has ads and trackers that are used to get your data which is then sold/shared to third parties. Their privacy policy is bad.

</img> Quora alternative frontends (web-based):

YouTube

</img> Don’t use YouTube (or at least the official client). YouTube is very privacy invasive, it generates a very accurate profile based on your interests. Also it is a radicalization tool which shows biased content to users in order to get more engagement and to get them to watch more and more content creating an addiction. It never shows you alternative opinions to your ideology/bias. YouTube censors a lot. YouTube collects a LOT of your data: interests, free time, ideology, likes, dislikes, music taste, etc.

</img> Instead use

</img> YouTube alternative frontends (web-based):

</img> YouTube alternative clients (apps):

TikTok

</img> Avoid using TikTok, it is a toxic-designed application that harms not only the user privacy but also user integrity. You can take a read on these several posts.

</img> TikTok alternative frontends (web-based):

Twitter

</img> Avoid using Twitter official app / website. It tracks users and creates user profiles based on what they follow, retweet and like. Twitter harms and violates user privacy with their policies by default.

Self-hosted

Decentralized

Federated social networks: A federated social network isn’t a single website like Twitter or Facebook, it’s a network of thousands of communities operated by different organizations and individuals that provide a seamless social media experience.

Alternative Frontends

Reddit

</img> Try to avoid using Reddit or at least avoid their official clients as they are plenty of trackers, ads and share unnecessary user data with their servers.

</img> Reddit alternatives:

</img> Privacy respecting Reddit clients:

Streaming Platforms (Twitch)

</img> Avoid using platforms as Twitch, Patreon, YouTube as they are very privacy-invasive with your viewers (and you!). Instead, you can try using some self-hosted platforms that do take care of everyone’s privacy.

</img> Alternatives:

Wikipedia

</img> Read more about the issue with Wikipedia on the Wikiless manifesto.

</img> Alternatives:

Imgur

</img> Imgur website is plenty of bloat, gifs, cookies, javascript and trackers.

</img> Alternatives:

Teamworking Tools

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Alternative clients/modifications of Discord:

Your IP and messages will still be shared and belong to Discord and they are not encrypted.
Also using any of these modifications/clients violates the Discord ToS so, we are not responsible of any suspension or termination of your account but, this should not happen yet.

Translation and Speech-to-Text

</img> Avoid

</img> Text translation

</img> Speech-to-Text

</img> Alternative Google Translate frontends

Uncategorized

Utilities

Video and Audio Conferencing

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Alternative clients/modifications of Discord:

Your IP and messages will still be shared and belong to Discord and they are not encrypted.
Also using any of these modifications/clients violates the Discord ToS so, we are not responsible of any suspension or termination of your account but, this should not happen yet.

Video Editing

</img> Avoid

Such programs come filled with trackers and telemetry. You can get a full list of reasons of why you should not use Adobe here. Almost the same apply for many privative editors.

</img> Instead use

VPNs

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Here are some open source and truly private (no personal data and/or credit card needed) options:

Web Browser

</img> Avoid

</img> Instead use

Android / iOS

Desktop

It may be interesting to learn what you can do to harden your browser. You can follow this Hitchhiker’s Guide to Online Anonymity section to do it. Please, if you don’t understand what you are doing, don’t do it as you may be causing more harm than good to your privacy.

Browser Addons

Anti-tracking

Please read about what the addon does before installing. If you don’t understand what you are doing you could end up damaging your privacy. Also, too many addons can slow down your browsing experience.

Useful Tools

Browser Sync

WebView