3 free tools for if you do have something to hide

(and how they get their money)

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Imagine you are in a queue at the bakery. Isn't it great that all your thoughts aren't flying through the shop to be heard by everyone? Whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, things could soon become unpleasant for you. And for everyone else in the room! In other words, of course, you have something to hide*. At a busy bakery, but especially online.

Fortunately, there is an increasing number of tools that give a credible shape to this idea. They are alternatives to tools that have become indispensable in our daily lives and that everyone uses: Whatsapp, search engines, and the internet on your smartphone. Who can still live without them? These free replacements are more credible when it comes to your private life, for one very important reason:

Money


They don’t earn anything from your data. These tools are successful without needing all your data. Actually, they don't want it at all! I have been using the following three tools for a long time and they haven't even slowed me down for a second. But how do they earn money?


A search engine that doesn’t follow you:

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo helps you find answers. In other words, it’s a search engine. Just like Google.

How does DuckDuckGo earn money?

DuckDuckGo earns money by finding and showing ads. In that too, it resembles Google. But there is a big difference. DuckDuckGo proves that it doesn't need a complete profile with your search history to find those answers. It doesn't need to know who you are. Your current search term is all it needs. Simple and efficient. And after your search, your question disappears from the digital universe again.

DuckDuckGo

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A WhatsApp substitute that does not (and does not intend to) give data to third parties:

Signal

Signal is a smartphone app that allows you to chat and call encrypted. You can send personal messages and chat in a group. A big difference is that with WhatsApp, anyone can study the source code. Does Signal really do nothing with my data? No, really. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and has very different plans for you.

How does Signal earn money?

Signal relies on donations. With 50 million dollars in hand and one of the co-founders of WhatsApp as CEO, things should go well for the time being.

Signal Private Messenger

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A mobile browser that blocks followers:

Firefox Focus

Any average internet page that you visit from your mobile phone contains many secret bits of code to track you. Firefox Focus stops these automatic 'trackers' and makes the webpages faster. 

How does Firefox earn money?

Firefox relies on donations. The money can always run out, but for now, the app on my phone works fine.

Firefox Focus

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*

For those who still have doubts (or for anyone who is looking for the right words): read Je hebt wel iets te verbergen by Maurits Martijn & Dimitri Tokmetzis (You Do Have Something to Hide). ‘This important book shows that privacy is the most threatened human right of our time. It exposes all the data you give away and to whom. And, more importantly, what far-reaching consequences this has.’

 

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3 indispensable privacy tools

Want to know more about privacy? Luc will be only too happy to help


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