Although most Linux distributions come with a large selection of software already installed, you have many more choices when you have more control over the applications installed on your system and the information those applications pass through while you use them. want to take over.
Below are some of the best free alternatives to standard Linux applications that will help improve your privacy in today’s hyper-connected, data-hungry online environment.
The best privacy-focused web browsers
Web browsers are probably the most used applications on any system. As such, it also poses the highest risk for privacy issues. Each of the following alternative web browsers takes extra steps to protect your sensitive data from spying eyes:
LibreWolf is a fork of Mozilla’s popular Firefox browser, which is installed as the default web browser on many Linux distributions. While Firefox is known for being more privacy-conscious than most Chromium-based web browsers, LibreWolf goes a few steps further.
Designed to increase protection against modern tracking and fingerprinting technologies, LibreWolf also offers some basic security improvements. According to the developers, “This is achieved through our privacy and security-focused settings and patches. LibreWolf also aims to remove all telemetry, data collection and harassment as well as disable anti-freedom features like DRM.”
Some users refrain from using more privacy-oriented browsers because they are incompatible with the impressive array of extensions available for Chrome. If you are one of these users, Brave is the browser you have been looking for.
Brave has many privacy features enabled by default, such as: B. blocking ads, trackers and cookies and protection against fingerprints, malware and phishing sites.
Brave is a Chromium-based browser alternative that remains fully compatible with all Chrome add-ons and extensions while offering enhanced privacy protection. Like Chrome, Brave supports syncing data between your devices. You can share extensions, open tabs, history, and more across any device you have Brave installed on.
3. Tor Browser
If you’re looking for the ultimate tool for truly anonymous web browsing, then Tor is it. Tor is a combination of a specialized web browser and an anonymized network of proxy servers located around the world and run by volunteers.
The Tor network and browser work together to encapsulate all your online communications in multiple layers of encryption, routing network packets through a series of servers before they reach their final destination (both ways). Each server along the route removes a layer of encryption, reads instructions for where to send the packet next, and then sends it.
The end result is that no single server in the chain knows where the packet came from and where it’s going, nor does it know what data is contained in the encrypted packets. Communication in both directions becomes completely anonymous and untraceable.
Privacy oriented email clients for Linux
Our email inboxes contain some of the most sensitive information we possess. Keeping email content private and secure is one of the biggest security concerns most users have. If you use Linux, there are several privacy-friendly email clients available to you.
Thunderbird comes from the makers of the Firefox web browser. This secure and private email client has been available for free for more than 20 years and is trusted by millions of users.
Thunderbird comes with many subtle but important privacy settings enabled by default. It automatically blocks inline email images to prevent IP address tracking and includes several anti-phishing measures to ensure that nobody can trick you into revealing your personal information.
It also includes features like message encryption, calendar, address book management, RSS feed management, instant messengers, and more.
KMail is the official KDE email client. You can use it on its own, but it also integrates seamlessly with the KDE suite of office and productivity applications.
KMail’s default settings do a good job of keeping your personal information away from email marketers, phishing scammers, and others who may be trying to collect your information.
Among the many privacy-enhancing features, KMail sets up automatic end-to-end encryptions with OpenPGP and uses secure TLS/SSL connections when sending or receiving messages. It imports emails from almost every existing email client and also includes an automatic backup feature to protect you from data loss.
Privacy-oriented private Linux messengers
There are several popular instant messenger services. The problem with all of them, however, is that they’re owned and operated by some of the largest data-hungry, privacy-abusive companies in the world.
Signal is a free and private, open-source messenger app that you can use on both your phone and PC. It’s a great alternative to apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
The Signal interface is very similar to WhatsApp. It’s intuitive and easy to use. All information exchanged via Signal is end-to-end encrypted and completely private. Communication is via Signal’s own open source protocol. You can use it to send text messages and exchange files, as well as make audio and video calls.
Privacy-focused Linux password managers
You’ve probably seen, and maybe even use, one of several excellent password managers for Linux. Unfortunately, most popular password managers that were once free, or at least had a free version, have either severely limited their functionality to free users or stopped offering free versions altogether.
Bitwarden is a free, open-source password manager, similar to apps like LastPass and 1Password, that you can use across all your devices. It’s a full-featured password manager that you can use over the web, install as a browser extension, or run as an app on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. You can use it on as many devices as you like to keep your passwords safe, secure and in sync no matter where you are.
In addition to passwords, Bitwarden lets you track secure notes, credit card information, and more. Best of all, if you’re already using another password manager, it imports all of your existing info so you can switch in literally just a few seconds without missing a beat.
Exercise your right to privacy with Linux apps
These tools allow you to regain control over who can access and use your personal information. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. If you’re using an application that doesn’t seem to care about your privacy as much as you do, there’s almost always another choice when using Linux.
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