I've recommended Telegram in the past and I continue to recommend it. If you need a way to communicate in a group or with another person in private, it is (IMO) the best way to go.
The GUI is smooth and easy, the privacy settings are simple to figure out. All you need is a telephone number to set it up. It does not have to be your personal phone number - Although, that's just fine too! You can set up an account with a temporary/disposable number, a number from Google Voice (not connected to your account) or with a number from a burner phone.
Telegram has a desktop version for Windows, Mac and Linux. It also works on iPhones, iPads and Android devices. You can also add it as an APK on Android from both F-Droid and APKPure (reputable APK sites) if it becomes unavailable on Google Play.
It's free and an excellent way to add some privacy to your social media.
If you need help with the download or the privacy settings, give us a call. Or check out the web version of Telegram and contact either Tim or Joy on Telegram!
Friday! Today I'm just going to post a video that gives great privacy instructions for your Android phone.
The video is for things that almost anyone can do on their phones by following instructions. Clearly the video is meant to be paused. He's not selling anything. At all. In fact, just the opposite. He's trying to make it easy for people to reclaim at least part of their private life back from big tech. A great side effect of doing these things is that your phone will run faster and your battery will last longer. The links you need to implement the changes are all listed below the video. You can implement one or all of the changes he recommends.
Loads of people have given up privacy for convenience and it's a fair trade-off, IMO. We all do it in some form. It just depends on who you are willing to trust. I have never had the Facebook app on my telephones, but I've accessed it through a browser with good tracker and ad blocking on my phone. OTOH, I can't shake Google and I use a lot of their apps. There is always a trade-off.
The guy who made the video - The Hated One - Is fantastic. He does a lot of privacy videos and talks a lot about giant corporations and tech law (politically, he's neutral) in ways that most people don't find reassuring. Browse through his back catalogue to see what I mean.
It's Friday! I've got VPN for you today.
Firefox and Cloudflare came together and created a VPN that's built into Firefox Desktop browser. I tried it out yesterday and it is pretty fantastic.
First you have to set up a Firefox account. If you don't want to use your real email account, set up a free account at one of the myriad providers available (Proton, AOL, Yandex, Mail. com, etc.) and then set up an account at Mozilla/Firefox. After you do this you will be asked to verify the account at Firefox. (This is not as involved as it sounds.)
After you've verified the account, head on over to The Firefox Private Network.
It's dead simple to use. On and off. If you need more granular control, you should seek out a paid VPN. When I used it yesterday, the speeds were excellent. Upload suffered a bit, but download speed was nearly as good as my non-VPN connected speed. Unlike most of the other free options for VPN, this one is actually usable.
The Firefox Private Network is in beta and it is free right now as an extension. Mozilla says that they may have a paid version in the future, so this is an opportunity to give it a try for free.
Mozilla is doing some awesome stuff lately. I am pleased.