Stop big tech from spying on and tracking user location data as it is a growing concern for all people. As of 2020, about 8 out of 10 Australians owned a mobile smartphone. That is roughly 79% of the total population using their phone for everything from checking their savings account balance to getting directions to the local pub. Think about the amount of data being shared and uploaded across websites, social media, and typical day-to-day text messages. That information has to go somewhere, correct?
That is precisely what Big Tech is counting on. The more info we volunteer about our personal shopping and living preferences, the easier it is to sell us more of the same stuff. The bottom line is as we use our phones, Big Tech continues to get rich off of data that should remain private. So, it is inevitable to protect phone from big tech
Is Big Tech Actually Tracking Us?
The simple answer is yes. There have been cases and cases of governments and private organizations suing Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, and more because of their data sharing policies and tracking profiles used on citizens like you and me. True, this information is primarily used to cater to advertisements we see online, but the fact that we do not know the entire extent of this data collection is a big problem. Who is to say the 40-year-old sitting behind a desk somewhere off the Gold Coast isn’t sifting through years of personal correspondence of his ex-girlfriend under the guise of corporate business?
These are not farfetched ideas. The most recent leak from a Facebook executive showed the social media giant was well aware of the negative effects its platform was causing younger teens and did nothing to mitigate those outcomes. This has been going on since the beginning. There have even been published scientific evidence that Facebook and other Big Tech companies are studying human behavior based on the personal data they are collecting.
The reality is if you want to protect your private activity, you are going to need to take some steps to revamp how you use and operate your mobile phone.
Steps to Stop Big Tech And Protect Phone From Being Tracked:
Let’s begin by working with an Android-based smartphone and run through some easy steps to separate your day-to-day activities from Big Tech eyeballs.
Please note, this will not result in an entirely deGoogled phone, but are great baby steps to take until you go all-in.
1 – Install F-Droid
Usually, whenever you want a new app on your Android-based smartphone, you would visit the Google Play Store and browse through the numerous games, productivity tools, and other applications. Google then happily stores what apps you viewed, read through, downloaded, and installed in their database of info related to your account for future reference.
To avoid this whole process, you should install F-Droid. This is an archive of free and open-source apps that can work on your device. Essentially, F-Droid works the same way Google Play does, but without the tracking. Everything is personalized and includes “anti features” that turn off things like tracking, location data, and other privacy concerns.
2 – Install a Free VPN
A VPN is a virtual private network that guards your online activity against hackers and Big Tech snooping by hiding your IP address, browsing activity, and personal data on WiFi networks. Usually, when you log onto a WiFi network, there is a record of every site you visit. A quality VPN disguises your IP so no one can tell it was you looking up the best dog sweater for Christmas.
We at Freedom Technology and Services suggest two free services: Proton VPN or Calyxvpn. Both have excellent ratings among privacy experts and are easy to operate and install. CalyxVPN and Proton Vpn are actually available on the F-Droid platform, making it even easier to manage once you have moved to an open-sourced repository.
3 – Install Aurora Store from F-Droid
F-Droid has a fantastic store you can download called Aurora. You get access to a ton of custom and elegantly designed smartphone applications, but also details about in-app trackers. Aurora lets you spoof your location data, so even if someone wanted to track your downloads, they would be redirected to a number of predetermined “fake servers” that could be from anywhere in the world.
Aurora Store was explicitly developed as an alternative to Google’s proprietary framework. This was because the company wanted to avoid the spyware we all hear about from Big Tech whenever a new case of privacy violates crops up.
4 – Find Equivalent Apps from F-Droid & Aurora
Now that you have two different app stores outside of the Google ecosystem, you can begin finding apps that will replace the ones you use the most. The good news is that Aurora Store has practically all the apps you would want from the Google Play Store but without those pesky trackers and location data updates.
5 – Delete Replaced Apps AND Play Store
Go through and remove those old app versions on your smartphone so they will no longer track your personal data. Both F-Droid and the Aurora Store should have provided you with plenty of options to make full use of your smartphone. It is time to cut the cord of spying Google, and other Big Tech companies have been using. Delete all the apps that do not have a replacement, and make sure you also ditch the Google Play Store.
You may need to ensure your banking apps work first, as many rely on Google to authenticate.
Yes, you have just taken some crucial steps to eliminate Big Tech from tracking all your activity on a smartphone, but keep in mind that the native operating system (OS) of your Android is still watching in on your activity.
Excellent research from a group of tech experts at Trinity College in Dublin shows that even when you remove all the snooping apps from your device, the native OS and pre-installed apps still try to communicate with the original developer.
Unless you are prepared to completely reconfigure your smartphone with a brand new operating system based on open-source software, you are going to need a Faraday bag. This is a mesh material pouch that surrounds your smartphone when you are not using it and blocks all signals from coming or going.
Faraday technology was developed a long time ago to protect sensitive electrical equipment and has since been acquired by government agencies and military applications to protect secrets. The general public can use this same technology to ensure no one from Big Tech can spy on us when our phones are inside the bags. We at Freedom Technology and Services have a line of Faraday bags available in our store.
What is the Best Way to Protect my Device?
The best route to stop Big Tech off your shoulder is to purchase a deGoogled phone from our technicians in Australia. A deGoogled phone has had all of the original OS and default apps removed. We install a privacy-approved open-source system based on GrapheneOS. We then go through and install all the applications and app store platforms you could want.
Everything we have outlined in this post is based on some of the proprietary steps we take to ensure your devices are secured at all times. To learn more about how we can transform your mobile interactions and enhance your online security from Big Tech, reach out to our team today. We are always happy to answer questions about how we help reduce phone tracking and stop Big Tech and government spying agenda against you.