Google is great. It powers our phones, runs our emails, searches the web for us, stores our files, helps us find where we are and just about anything else you can think of. Google is so ubiquitous that it even a little disconcerting. Would we willingly allow any other company to infiltrate so many aspects of our lives? Yes, Google’s products are absolutely brilliant but they come at a cost. It might be time to De-Googlefy your life.
Google products are so great, why would I even want to De-Googlefy?
It is true that Google products are some of the best out there. On top of boasting a huge number of top quality services, Google also has some of the best integration on the market. You have the ability to link a multitude of services under a single account that can manage every aspect of your digital life.
Sadly there is no such thing as a free lunch. This convenience comes with a big price-tag. Google has to find some way to monetize their products. The main way they do this is through targeted advertising. Every Google service collates data about your usage and uses this in order to target ads at you. It is disturbing enough to find out that, for example, Gmail scans your email in order to create targeted ads.
Now imagine that every Google service you use is doing something similar. All that information put together can give Google an almost perfect picture of who you are. Your habits, preferences and personality. The only way to mitigate this is to stop using certain services and start to De-Googlefy your life.
There is more than just privacy at stake
Having all of your online life managed by a single company comes with more than just privacy risks. It’s not the staggeringly unlikely possibility of Google or Alphabet collapsing. It’s the risk that if you are locked out of that account you lose access to your entire life. Google services are all linked, so losing access to one can quite easily mean losing access to all of it.
Think about the nightmare scenario. Another provider you use has a breach and your password is compromised. If this company follows the standards of say, Yahoo, you might not even find out until it is too late. If you have been practicing lax Internet security and have used the same password on Google, you might find yourself losing access to your account.
This can be prevented through practices such as two factor authorization and it is usually possible to recover your account after the fact but is the stress and struggle really worth it? You could avoid this by beginning to De-Googlefy.
There are some pretty incredible alternatives out there
Google services are great but the competition might be able to offer something even better. There are some great Google Alternatives out there that might provide a better fit for your specific needs. A lot of them are also free and even open source, if you’re the idealistic sort. If you put the time in you can find a service that offers everything Google does but with a focus on something specific, like privacy.
Then again, Google is really convenient and who needs privacy anyway… Right?