New to the privacy world, need some guidance!

What do you want advice about?
What steps can I take to reduce my dependence on big tech services and integrate alternative privacy-focused solutions into my daily life? This goes for both my phone and my desktop environment.

Especially for my phone. It’s a OPPO a54s and it has no support for any solutions I tried finding online. Ideally I’d like to use a custom ROM like /e/OS but that seems to be out of the question. So - What are the alternatives without going ‘just buy a supported phone’. Money is a constricting factor unfortunately.

For my desktop environment, Linux ain’t a option. I rely too much on certain software that isn’t available on Linux, plus I’d like to play games when not working. I ran CTT’s winutil but I’m not 100% sure if that covers enough ground to

Basically I’m trying to look into removing all privacy invading companies/things from my life, but especially my phone seems to be a issue.

In addition, I’ve tried sending out emails and such about data removal, including for parties and services I don’t use anymore of haven’t used in years. The replies I have gotten was; Log into your account. Is there another way to force them to reveal what they have and delete my information? For context; I live in the Netherlands.

What have you considered or looked at already?

  • I have switched over from using big player cloud solutions to Mega as a interim until I can afford a Proton Ultimate plan.
  • Segment emailing through alias addresses.
  • Use CRC32 obfuscated usernames for services I do use.
  • Data poisoned my old gmail account by signing up to 100’s of newsletters.
  • Logged out of all Google Services on mobile devices.

In brief, tell us about your privacy threat model?
My threat model involves mitigating the risks associated with data privacy and surveillance (Duh). My goal is to minimize data exposure and make informed choices about the services I do choice to use, opting for those that respect privacy and have been audited for it.

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Welcome to the forum.

I’ll give you some broad ideas about solving your issues, if you want me to get specific, just reply to this post and tell me what you want to know more about.

If you can’t install a secure and private custom ROM, I would advise you to uninstall as much bloatware on your phone.
For those apps you can’t uninstall, use an ADB command on your computer.
Only leave the applications that are essential for Android to work (trust me there are a small number)
Be careful though when removing apps, start with the obvious ones (like for example your phone doesn’t need to have candy crush preinstalled to function).

After that you can install a DNS level firewall like nextdns.

Is dual booting an option?
What kind of games do you play?

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Have you tried using Linux inside a virtual machine

I have debloated it as much as possible. This is mostly a common practise for me anyway, since I don’t like to have that unneccecary stuff installed. I have a ADB Appcontrol premium key to manage that.

How does NextDNS compare to a solution like TrackerControl? With TC I get a good overview of who’s phoning to where, but I also noticed it kind of breaks notifications.

I tried dual-booting once and bricked my windows install in the process. I have no clue how, as I have done installs before… I don’t game all that much, but it’s nice to know I can download and play something whenever I feel like.

For the windows inclined: might secure boot have messed up the dual boot?

I’ve never used tracker control.
Try nextdns and see if it works for you, there is an awesome guide on the techlore channel.

What was that Linux distro?
Is it possible to add a second drive to your computer?

I asked you what kinds of games you play because if you’re into offline single player games, a lot of them work on Linux now.

I’ll give it a look!

It was EndevourOS (Arch-based) and I tried a second drive as well, but it just refused to do it’s thing. But, I’m currently 60% convinced to switch. I’m currently messing around in a VM to check out different distros and what different DE’s offer

There is a few games. Planetside 2 for example (which uses BattleEye… yuck) but other then that I mostly play offline games like Stellaris.

If you can have 2 drives, try to install Windows on one and Fedora Workstation on the other (try fedora :grin:, it is good)

Here is a guide on how to dual boot Windows 11 and Fedora: