How to free yourself from the GAFAM? All the alternatives to the giants of the web

GAFAMs reign supreme on the Internet, but there are alternatives to their products and services. Here is the ultimate guide to free yourself from the giants of the web and preserve your privacy and confidentiality: operating systems, web browsers, search engines, email boxes, social networks, Cloud services…

The GAFAM: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. These five U.S. technology giants monopolize most of the technology industry.

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In the digital age, these companies are now ubiquitous in our lives. We use their services and products all the time.

For example, Google has taken control of the web, Amazon has a virtual monopoly on commerce, Facebook reigns over social networks and instant messaging, Apple is in every pocket with the iPhone, and Microsoft’s Windows OS is still considered a reference in the PC market.

With the emergence of new technologies such as the Cloud, connected watches or smart speakers, GAFAM diversifies its technology portfolio and occupies a leading position in the market. an increasingly important place in our societies.

Over time, however, this hegemony has proven to be problematic. On the one hand, because the AFSM are hungry for personal data. By collecting information about your digital usage, these 2.0 titans are able to draw your complete portrait and know your most intimate secrets. Ideal to offer you tailor-made advertisements, and push you to consume more and more.

Moreover, because the Internet is now indispensable, the GAFAMs have acquired a form of omnipotence. These American giants make rain or shine, and perhaps even have more power than the political leaders. This phenomenon has been illustrated by Donald Trump’s censorship on most social networks early 2021.

Faced with this worrying picture, many people are now seeking to emancipate themselves from the GAFAM. To free themselves from these technological oligarchs, in order to escape their influence and to protect their privacy from the eye of Big Brother.

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Through this complete guide, discover how to free yourself from GAFAM. You will find in this file all the alternatives to their services and products, in order to take advantage of an Internet less greedy in personal data .

PC and mobile operating system

Let’s start with the basics: your computer’s operating system. Like most people, you probably use Microsoft Windows or Apple macOS.

Actually, it is preferable to use Linux. The easiest way is to install Ubuntu in its most recent version. You can also opt for other distributions like Geeto, Debian or Arch Linux.

If you are video game enthusiastyou can install the open source platform Lutris to continue to play it under Linux. Be aware however that many games offered on Steam are compatible with this OS.

Concerning mobile operating systems, it is best to avoid Android, iOS and even Windows Phone. Simply put: it is best to avoid smartphones. It’s best to turn to an “old-fashioned” mobile phone from the 2000s.

A laptop without internet connection has the advantage of costing less, and also avoids the monitoring and siphoning of your data by GAFAM. Nevertheless, you can keep your switched-off smartphone in a drawer to use it when needed.

After having exported your contact list on a computer or have copied the numbers to a phone book, you can reset your smartphone to factory settings and turn it off.

The email boxes

Most Internet users use the services of GAFAM for their mailboxes, such as Google Gmail or Microsoft Outlook. However, there are alternatives.

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First things first, ask for a data backup linked to your account with the provider, and download it. Also make a list of the different important services to which you have provided your email address: taxes, electricity provider, eCommerce sites, etc.

It is also the opportunity to unsubscribe of all services and websites that you no longer use and to which you are registered with your email address. You can also create a list of all your important contacts so that you can notify them of your change of address.

Then create an email address with an encrypted email service like Protonmail or Tutanota. These are free mailbox services ensuring the protection of your data.

In addition, FastMail is a paid but independent service, including a calendar and contact directory service compatible with all your devices. You can also use PGP encryption tools to encrypt your emails on “traditional” mailboxes.

Keep your old mailbox for a yearso that you can notify your contacts and change your address with the services you might have forgotten. After this time, simply delete your email account.

I mean, come on, if your company requires you to own a GAFAM mailbox, use it only for professional purposes. For more security, you can use an external mail client such as Thunderbird to access it.

Websites, eCommerce and social networks

The GAFAM hold the majority of web services and most popular social networks. Fortunately, there are lesser known, but equally comprehensive alternatives.

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Social networks

Instead of using social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Tiktok, which are known as real data vacuuming machines, you can turn to the VK social network.

Likewise, you can abandon Twitter and opt instead for Gab or Parler. The latter platform has recently been banned by Google and Apple, and Amazon now refuses to host it. This is the proof that it disturbs the GAFAM, but its creators have promised to come back in force…

Instant messaging

On instant messengers such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, you should know that your conversations are monitored and your collected data. It is best to use Signal, open source and fully encrypted end-to-end messaging.

Video Streaming

When watching videos, it is best to avoid Google’s YouTube service. As an alternative, we recommend the Odysee platform based on the blockchain or Rumble. Vimeo is also a good alternative if you want to host the videos you create yourself.

GPS Navigation

You probably don’t feel like that Google tracks your every move tracks and remembers every place you visit. In this case, it’s best to give up the Google Maps GPS navigation application.

Alternatively, you can choose OpenStreetMap. This is a open source navigation system and therefore free from the influence of the GAFAM.

Cloud Services

Finally, instead of using Cloud services such as Apple iCloud or Google Drive, you can choose Framapad, Framaform and Framadate. These open source software are the best alternatives.

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Similarly, Resilio Sync offers a peer-to-peer file synchronization (P2P) that can be used for storage, backup or file sharing. This way, your files are never stored on a single Cloud server. This software is compatible with a wide variety of software platforms and devices.

For storage and other cloud services, consider a European provider as well. For example, pCloud allows you to store all your files on the servers of Data Centers located in Europe.

eCommerce

When it comes to eCommerce, you may have become accustomed to the comfort offered by Amazon. But remember that you can still shop in the comfort of your own home. in small local shopswhich also helps to keep the French economy alive!

Web browser and search engine

The web browsers and search engines of GAFAM collect extensive data and track your entire business on the web. It is therefore preferable to abandon Google Chrome, Apple Safari or Microsoft Edge.

As a browser, you can use Mozilla Firefox, Vivaldi or Brave. However, please note that Brave is based on Chromiumthe open source core of Chrome which is still partially maintained by Google.

For truly confidential browsing, the best choice is Tor. This software allows you to surf anonymouslyIt’s as if you were using many VPNs at the same time.

Finally, stop using Google Search or Yahoo! as a search engine. Instead, use Duckduckgo and select it as the default for your browser. Even if it doesn’t perform as well as Google’s search engine, it’s still the best. the price to pay to use the internet while preserving your privacy.

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Delete your GAFAM accounts

After replacing the products and services of GAFAM with alternatives, you can delete all your accounts Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. Thanks to the European DPMR, you should know that it is possible to request a copy of all the data held by these companies about you.

Be aware that many popular services you’re probably using are held by the AFSM. For example, the Twitch streaming platform is owned by Amazon, the Waze GPS is owned by Google, and the WhatsApp messaging system was purchased by Facebook.

It can be difficult to give up these many convenient services if you are used to them. However, if you want to maintain your privacy, it is best to a good old-fashioned road map a GPS application, and a book with yellowed pages than a Kindle reading light…

You now know all the main alternatives to GAFAM. By using these products and services, you can take advantage of the benefits offered by digital technologies without falling into the clutches of the American digital giants… if you know of other alternative solutions, feel free to comment them to help the LeBigData.fr community!

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