Over the past few months I’ve been slowly moving into a mindset of keeping my data under my control when possible. When I talk about data I’m not just referring to my files. Through our adventures on the internet we create a fingerprint on various services. From your browser to your searching. I’ve slowly been changing what I use to try to reduce this. There is no way to eliminate it ultimately.
I’ve switched to using Firefox. Some people may hate the latest changes to it but after installing some add-ons I’ve made it into something I’m quite happy with. Why Firefox, though? Well! The sync software that Firefox uses is open source. This means they’ve added the ability to change the configuration to use your own running instance. My open tabs, bookmarks, and history are therefore stored in encrypted format on my own equipment. In many cases this data is even synced on a local network or over an encrypted connection to my home.
I like DuckDuckGo. They don’t track you and respect your privacy. The design is simple and their way of showing information from other sources (like Wikipedia) is useful.
I’ve mentioned this before but BitTorrent Sync is great. If you’d like to know more check out those blog posts.
I used to use the same password on many things. This is horrible as one site compromised means more potentially accessed by others. I opted for a password management solution that provides a unique secure password per site and stores these in encrypted format locally. Using BitTorrent Sync above allows this to be synced across all my systems without having them stored (even encrypted) with a service. This software is called 1Password. It can also store other things, like password information, credit cards, software licenses, etc.
This is just the start of my adventure into keeping data under my control but it has been quite fun and useful. What do you use (if anything) or do you settle for encrypted data stored outside of your control? Tweet me at @joshnet with your answer!