Let me start by saying I’ve had my personal information compromised when large companies were hacked twice. I used my debit card to make purchases with Home Depot and with Sony shortly before they were each hacked a few years ago.
Because I think internet privacy is important, and also because I don’t intend on having my identity stolen I’ve started using a few different free, secure communication services that I’ll post here in case you also plan to prevent identity theft.
The first and maybe most important is an email provider called Proton Mail. All servers are hosted in Switzerland (who has much more stringent privacy laws than the US) under 1000 meters of rock. I’ll be using this account to replace my google account for everything connected to my bank accounts, Paypal, Venmo, etc.
Second I would recommend installing Signal. It’s an encrypted text messaging / calling app endorsed by Edward Snowden.
Third, because I don’t have a company cell phone and my cell number is connected to several accounts that should be more secure, I’ve started using Sideline. It allows me to have a second phone number on the same phone that I can give out more freely or put on a business card and not worry about it being used to access my personal information.
It feels like we’ll never really have the tools to maintain 100% private online lives. Hopefully by using a few of these we can make a few hacker’s jobs more difficult.