Take a deep breath. You got this. :)

tldr: You can treat the internet like food (a vital resource) and just pick the healthier options or you can freak out about every privacy offense if you want to and retreat. No judgement either way. :)​long version: I’ve been seeing a lot of posts of people who are feeling defeated because “privacy is dead” and companies don’t respect us. There is absolutely a reason to be angry and upset by all of these companies who force themselves into our lives like cyber stalkers and I don’t ever remember being given a choice to opt out of the NSA prism program or social security despite paying for them with my taxes. In spite of that, I think there is still a lot we can do. Anonymity is mostly dead, but privacy isn’t.​There is a weight loss book called “eat this, not that”. In it they explain that most choices offer similar values, but a few are far superior in their caloric value. I think that this method might be good for those of us who want to take back privacy. Some examples:​-We have four major computer operating systems to pick. We have Windows, OSX/Mac, GNU/Linux, and chrome os. Pick Linux if you feel comfortable. If you need some Windows apps, look into Zorin or virtualbox. If Linux is out of the question, pick OSX. etc. By doing that you’ve cut out all of the malware that’s spying on a vast majority of people.​-We have functionally two phone choices. You can pick an android phone which siphons gigs of data or an apple phone that even the FBI has issues with opening. If you have some techical skill, you can take an android phone and flash a rom or even ubuntu touch on it. The fact is the more software there is on a phone the more it will connect to other servers so disable what you can’t delete and keep only what you use.​-For email you have outlook, gmail, icloud, protonmail, shazzlemail, and so many more. Pick whichever one gives you more privacy. The government can seize whatever server they want to with big guys with guns if they want and you can’t stop that. If that’s the case why not make it a pain in the ass for them and host it in Zurich and encrypt sitting data with military grade encryption? Or why not put it in your house and wipe it periodically? If you put your mail server on a virtual machine, you can block all outgoing connections. I’d like to see a tracking pixel call out to a server when it’s behind a firewall that blocks all outgoing ports.​I’m not telling anyone anything new. A lot of you have already made these kinds of decisions. What might be forgotten in all of these privacy scandals and such is that every decision we make with a service makes us slightly more difficult to target. Why spend millions of dollars to spy on a niche linux market when there are millions using windows and mac? You don’t have to outrun a bear. You just have to outrun your aunt Margaret.​Going back to the “eat this, not that” metaphor, all of us have to eat or we are going to be miserable. So since we are eating, why not choose the better options and stop worrying so much about the calories? Who knows. If enough people are spending money buying the “Healthier” options, unhealthier companies might start offering more healthy options (McDonald’s sells apple slices and salads now).​And hey, if you want a treat once in a while, why not splurge once in a while? Don’t cut off all contact with family. If they are using facebook, twitter, instagram, and whatsapp, just pick the one that’s the least offensive to you. Just stay away from Aunt Margaret. She posts everything.​​