I thought I’d publish an update on my quest to create a computer set-up that eliminates tracking companies from my world. Basically, this infographic explains why (it’s a large graphic — you may have to zoom in). So far I’ve really only eliminated the following: Google, Facebook and various other data collection companies. I’ve made my web browsing relatively free of tracking using the techniques I explain in this previous article.
However, there are several other companies that are still tracking me: Verizon (my ISP), AT&T (my mobile ISP), HMA (my VPN provider which keeps logs), Rackspace (my email provider), Apple (I still use an iPhone), and various online stores that I patronize. I also use Dropbox, which means my files are not encrypted before they leave my computer, and are readable by Dropbox.
I still need to make these transitions:
- Install SpiderOak (eliminating Dropbox)
- Switch my email provider to Lavabit or CounterMail (eliminating Rackspace)
- Switch my VPN to Private Internet Access (eliminating HMA)
- Get rid of my iPhone
- Use Linux Mint exclusively on my home computers (eliminating Apple’s OS X)
- Stop using certain online stores with questionable privacy policies
Also, originally, I was using Google as my DNS provider, then I switched to OpenDNS, but now I’m using the DNS services listed on this page, because they are supposed to clear their logs regularly.