In this case I’m referring to decentralization as not relying on one company for many different things, as many things could happen to that company, and that way the one company doesn’t get all your data.
With all the data that Google has collected on us, and not to mention all the things Facebook has collected it may freak you out and want to go in and completely delete your profiles. While that is a good reaction, there is a better reaction you can take and you can also replace almost all those services you use from there (and more).
While you can delete almost everything Google has on you, and Facebook has ways to delete all your posts and the data. What about using other services so those companies don’t have the data to begin with?
By decentralizing a ton of the services you use, each company will have less data on you, which means it’s worth less if they went to sell it. You could say that by doing this you are giving more companies your data (thus making it easier for someone to get your information).
Which other companies services are there to use? There are more than just other companies, there are other people running similar services, most of those people care about others privacy so they won’t sell or giveaway your data. I’m not going to tell you exactly which other sites to use, as that would defeat the point of decentralization. Instead I will point you to sites like switching.software, privacytools.io, the federation, and libreho.st to find sites that fits your needs and have open signup. These sites tend to highlight the most well-known and popular alternatives, so once you have understood about these alternatives go out and find one that has open signup and not very many users (the more users on one server may tend to make it more centralized rather than decentralization, which is the point).
When you decentralize as much as possible it will mean you will have more logins (don’t remember them, use software like Bitwarden, 1Password as two examples), and you may think that you will more data of yours out there since now it’s out with multiple companies / people. Many of the alternatives don’t require you to use your own information, you could give them totally fake information and they wouldn’t know. You can use sites like fakenamegenerator.com so you don’t have to think about what name to use then store that information in your password manager (many of them offer a notes section so you can include details like the name you sued in there).
When you decentralize you have to worry less when one of the services you uses goes out (or out of business) as you won’t have everything with them then you can switch to another site / company. You won’t have to be one of the many people who freak out when something like google goes down because they depend on it for so many different things.
All these other services do cost money (as the ones that aren’t for-profit still have to pay for the servers and everything else related to keeping the service up) so they may ask for donations to keep the service up, and if you can afford to please throw a couple of dollars their way.
I hope more people start and continue to decentralize, and yet can still be connected.
This post was inspired by Aaron Ogle’s post on De-googling.
I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload.
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