resources

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art of dj pon3 from my little pony: friendship is magic
art by bakalou

through my short (although it feels like its been very long) life, one of my biggest struggles has been finding out just how to do things. over time, i've gathered some resources that i hope can help you on whatever journey you are taking through your own life. i don't know much about anything, so the topics i have here are only a small handful, but i hope they are useful to you anyway ^_^

eventually, i'll split these topics each into their own individual pages, but for now i'm going to keep them all on this one page.

web safety

intro

today, most of us have been raised spending almost all of our time online. it's easy to forget how to keep ourselves safe online, or to dismiss it as something "not important". this is far from true!

social media... it's something almost all of us use. instagram, facebook, tiktok, they seem to be the biggest time sinkers of all. while you're spending all of this time on these sites, something is happening behind the scenes. i'm sure you've heard that if you're not paying for something, you're the product, and while this isn't always true, it's surely true here. social media sites (especially ones owned by meta) gather all of the information that they possibly can about you. this is also done by google, amazon, and many other big corporations. everything you click, search, watch, or look at, is shared between companies who pay to have your information. when they have this information, they use it to "target" you and guess what you like, so that you're more likely to click on their ads and buy their products.

this might not be concerning to you yet - but i encourage you to care at least a tiny bit. if you go into your account settings on these platforms, you can see just how much information they have on you. when i did this, it really shocked me. it prompted me to change my online habits, to stop making myself a product, and to stop giving corporations more power.

the basics

staying safe online and having good habits extends beyond advertisers and tracking. (writing more)

one of the first things you learn when using the internet is password management. until recently, i had the same passwords for every website, and i had been using this password since i was literally around 10 years old :P for some websites, password requirements were different, so many variations of the same password spawned and i lost track of my logins. (writing more)

alternatives

how can you start? great question! firstly, and one of the most easy things to do, is to stop using google. there are lots of alternatives to google products! it is also important to try to stop using services from other big corporations, too! here are some of my favorites:

youtube

 unfortunately, youtube has a monopoly. there is a great frontend called invidious. this website allows you to use youtube without an account, but you can still make playlists, subscribe to channels, and have a watch history - all while escaping tracking and being completely ad free! invidious runs on instances (something you will see more on later), which are basically individuals who host the website on their own servers. this splits up the cost of maintaining the site, and it gives power to the users. my personal favorite instance is tux :3

 another alternative to this is peertube. i personally don't use peertube, but i'm putting it here to have it as an option for you. peertube also functions on instances, except it is an entirely different video service.

google search

 there are many alternatives to google's search engine. my personal choice is duckduckgo, which i find to have good and relevant results. you can turn off ads, minimize tracking, and be a lot more invisible than you would be on google.

 another option to google search is brave. brave i have found to also yield good results, but i personally dislike the founder (brendan eich, tldr he is a massive bigot and cryptoguy) so i don't use the engine. aside from that, it's still a far better choice than google.

 an alternative that i have not personally used but have seen others speak positively about is searxng. i believe that searxng also runs off of instances, but im not 100% sure. there are no ads and you are anonymous.

gmail

 i personally use proton mail as opposed to gmail. proton mail has a quick and easy method to automatically import and forward your gmail emails to your new proton mail account. proton mail uses end-to-end encryption, has no ads, and blocks trackers for all incoming emails.

google chrome

 i cannot reccomend in good faith any other browser aside from firefox. i know there are alternatives like opera, brave, or even duckduckgo's own browser, but none compare to firefox in terms of privacy. if you are still using google chrome as a browser, please please download firefox now, even if you don't use any of the other alternatives i list on this whole page. google chrome monitors all of your online activity and takes up a ton of resources on your computer. i personally use librewolf, which is a version of firefox that has automatic settings for improved privacy. if you choose to download normal firefox instead of librewolf, you must edit your settings to be more privacy oriented.

windows

 switching from windows as an operating system is something that is actually quite simple, but can seem like an extremely scary or daunting task. i definitely plan on dedicating an entire page to this subject alone, but i'll have this section here as a shorter version. as the years go by, windows has become less and less usable for the average consumer. with the amount of bloatware and adware that is nearly impossible to remove on their operating systems, your storage becomes full of useless junk that you'll never use, and never asked for in the first place. windows also has shown signs of planning to introduce spyware, monitoring everything you're doing on your system and potentially sending it back to advertisers. linux is something that can fit anyone's needs, with hundreds of distributions to choose from. to keep it short, i use linux mint, specifically linux mint debian edition. mint is super easy to install, doesn't take much time to get used to, and will allow you much more freedom and will allow you to escape from the windows ecosystem. with switching to linux, there is a catch - much of your software will not work on your new operating system. there are many ways around this, with free and open source alternatives to your favorite software (such as libre office instead of microsoft office) as well as ways to emulate certain windows software with wine. again, very big subject to dive into, and i have much much more to say, but i'll hold off for now lol. look into linux!

i have a lott more i wanna write but it's late and i need to sleep, i will update this page very soon! ^_^