Let’s say you’ve come to your senses and you’ve had it with Google. Enough is enough. No more spying, no more tracking, no more in-your-face advertising designed to manipulate you based upon the dossier Google has compiled of your online habits.
How can you replace Google? How can you get better privacy and security without living the Google life? It’s all about the business model comparison. Google vs. Apple.
Let’s say you’re somewhat invested in Google, but you want to cash in that investment and move to a safer neighborhood; perhaps one that has a pleasantly attractive walled garden. You get what you pay for. With Google, you pay nothing and get no privacy in return. With Apple, you’ll pay more, but you get to keep who you are from Google’s manipulating advertiser platform.
How can you kiss one goodbye, while moving to another?
Google has account settings which give you options, but you won’t find it easy to simply delete the collected information and then delete your account.
Got iPhone? Got iPad? It’s easy to delete all the Google apps, but data that has already be collected remains. Got a Mac? Again, it’s relatively easy to delete Google’s Chrome, but if you use Safari to browse the web, or use third-party apps, Google still has tracking mechanisms in place, and those are more cumbersome to delete.
A similar website tracking issue works the same way with Safari on iPhone and iPad, so I recommend switching to Brave or Firefox. Both are good choices on the Mac, too, but you’ll need two more steps to squeeze the life out of your Google account.
The first is obvious. A VPN. Check out Wil’s list of “A Few Words On A Few Good VPNs.” The list remains our gold standard. A VPN prevents Google and others from tracking you via an IP address.
The second is less obvious, but for Mac users, it’s even better. “Little Snitch Is For The Mac Paranoid.” Think of Little Snitch as an inside out firewall. It prevents apps on your Mac from phoning home; they can’t send data to Google unless you authorize it. You may not be able to do that on iPhone and iPad, but you can on the Mac. Highly recommended.
Does that mean you cannot stop Google’s tracking on iPhone and iPad? Not necessarily. As it turns out, there is an app for that. This one is called Guardian Firewall and it uses a VPN as the firewall. Very clever, but another price tag for the privacy-conscious to bear.
Now, what about Google?
Once the replacements are in place, visit Google to Delete Your Google Account.
Try it. It’s fun.