Make your New Year's Resolution to ditch creepy digital surveillance.


This year has shown us all that we must take back control of our digital privacy. From Big Tech releasing privacy features to the shift to working from home due to COVID-19, digital privacy concerns are now regularly getting attention in the news. In a recent article, Mozilla calls 2021 "the year privacy went mainstream." While true, unfortunately, most articles about privacy cover the actions of mega-corporations. Let us help you address your privacy issues where they matter most: in our own day-to-day lives.

Here at Fastmail, we want to ring in the New Year by encouraging you to make a New Year's resolution focused on being a better digital citizen. It doesn't have to be large or overwhelming: we've written a list of four privacy-forward services that you can feel good about using in 2022 to upgrade your digital privacy where it matters most to keep prying eyes off of your personal data.

1. Email Provider: Fastmail

Email stores a lot of your most personal information. From where you go to what you buy, you likely use your email address to log in to all of your accounts. Reclaiming your privacy may seem like a big project, but it doesn't have to be. If you just do one thing to invest in privacy protection, moving your email to a privacy-first provider is the biggest step you can make.

Fastmail is the email provider of choice for people who want better privacy without losing out on productivity. Rock-solid and reliable, Fastmail is thoughtfully designed, easy-to-use, and trusted by customers around the world. The hidden cost of free email services is that the real customer is the advertisers who pay for access to you and your personal information. Fastmail leaves advertisers out so that you get all our efforts and the best privacy protection. As the leader in email privacy for the past 20 years, you can trust Fastmail's commitment to privacy and email expertise. We've introduced email innovations that power many products other than our own and move email forward for everyone.

Benefits:

  • Easy import/export from other email services
  • Proprietary anti-spam filters
  • Highly effective mail search features
  • Keep your email anonymous with Masked Email
  • Up to 600 aliases and sending identities
  • Use your own domain

2. Password Manager: 1Password

Reusing passwords is bad. You don't want to use the same password for your bank as for a shoe store because then your bank account is only as safe as the shoe store's security protections! It's also important to use a strong password; the best ones are a random string of letters, numbers, and symbols. Unfortunately, with the volume of services we use, it's impossible to memorize all of those long complicated passwords. That's where 1Password comes in.

1Password is a secure, scalable, and easy-to-use password manager that's trusted by the world's leading companies. 1Password helps you generate and store unique, strong passwords for every account. Don't use or reuse easy passwords that contain information about you, just use 1Password.

Benefits:

  • Native apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS
  • Intuitive password organization
  • Secure yet simple authentication method for adding new devices
  • Supports multi-factor authentication
  • Easy onboarding & setup

3. Search Engine: DuckDuckGo

Do you ever feel like the internet knows too much about you? Like when you're shopping for clothes and that one shirt you had your eye on follows you to every website you go to?

DuckDuckGo is the solution: a search engine used by people who care about who has access to their personal information online. Common search services, such as Google and others, capture a lot of information about you when you perform a search. Much of this information is provided to advertisers or passed around to other websites. DuckDuckGo, however, enforces its policy of not tracking its users—it doesn't collect personal information, use cookies, or capture your computer's IP address.

Benefits:

  • Won't save your search history
  • Doesn't store user information
  • Includes a detailed, transparent privacy policy
  • Lets you block data-tracking websites across devices
  • Blocks advertisement retargeting

4. Web Browser: Get off of Google Chrome

Your web browser is your personal portal to the internet. It has access to a lot of your data and knows everywhere you go and everything you do online. So, it's important for you to use a browser you trust that won't sell your data to the highest bidder.

There are a few browsers we recommend for anyone looking to switch off of Chrome. Vivaldi is an easy-to-use browser that doesn't track you or collect any of your data. It also has innovative features like tab grouping and split-screen views. Brave is a privacy-focused browser with powerful ad-blocking features. It's reported to load websites up to six times faster than Chrome and Safari on both mobile and desktop. Firefox is the original independent browser. It has very transparent privacy principles and was produced by the Mozilla Foundation as part of its commitment to a healthy Internet. At the end of the day, as long as you're moving off of Chrome you're going in the right direction.

Benefits:

  • Keep your web browsing data private
  • Ditch creepy ads that follow you around
  • Disable third-party tracking cookies
  • Stop websites from reading your information
  • Don't share your location without your consent

Wrapping Up

2022 is going to be a big year for privacy! While the tactics used by bad actors and big-data corporations are evolving, it's worth noting that data privacy standards across the web are developing and growing to keep you safe.

Show corporations that privacy is important to you by taking your business, and your data, to privacy-first providers who respect you. If you have already made the leap, we encourage you to educate your friends, family, and community about what steps they can take to reclaim control of their data privacy too.

The team at Fastmail wishes you a very Happy New Year!