07/10/2020 By Dirk 0

Degoogled my Mobile

In an attempt to diversify my digital services and move away from giving away my data for little convenience in return (Google services are overrated and mainly gimmicks with little lifetime), I “degoogled” my mobile recently (and with that my lesser used laptop).

So what exactly have I done?

To start with, I changed my browser away from Chrome to Firefox, also removing any web password stored with Google. I also removed “autofill by Google” on my mobile. Firefox works really well on both mobile and laptop, with web passwords through Lockwise.

With it also went the default search engine, now using Ecosia by default, which does their search via Microsoft but you build up credits with trees being planted based on those. Of course with Firefox, the search engine selector makes changing the search engine simple if you must or want.

Chat is another area. I’ve been using Hangouts for many years due to its integration into Android. Google has had a number of chat like services but, typical for Google, none prevailed really. WhatsApp is something I only recently installed for contacting those who are otherwise not reachable (I use Greenify, a program on my mobile, to forcefully close WhatsApp when not in use, which is almost always). The few people I regularly chat with are now on Wire, based in the EU (well Switzerland but still governed by GDPR). Hangout is no more.

Next up was email. Too much went through Gmail for little in return. Cute to get your shopping emails but it means to have every email scanned and I get reminders by the delivery services anyway. So I am having now an EU based email account for my main services (keeping my decades old account for private email, no shopping). Now there’s hardly anything left on Gmail, keeping data between me and my correspondents.

After email, calendars are a huge source of giving away private data. With Caldav being supported by many email providers, I had to go no further than my new email provider in the EU (Ionos) to move all my Google calendars. Now all calendar data is mine again.

Of course, CardDav is another standard supported by many email providers, so moving all my contact info was simple and done with the same CalDav sync program on my mobile.

So what is still synced on my mobile? Only calendar, contacts and email I truly own. My Google sync is completely switched off and I’m quite happy about it!

So do it yourself. Own your data and let me know how it went for you.