The beginning of 2021 is not promising. For one, there is a huge disturbance in the tech world about what is censorship and what is free speech. The future of Alt Tech and Section 230, the US law guiding them, for the average consumer will have more to do with personal security than anything else.
Alt Tech, or alternative technology, came as a term for companies and services that are direct competitors to the tech behemoths such as Google, Amazon, Twitter, or Facebook. While many users are willing to switch to competitor options like Telegram or Parler, they are concerned about their security.
Although the information is purposefully made to be confusing and the mass media and social platforms are not helping in that process, there are a few things we can discern:
- People will be switching to smaller platforms.
- Large social media platforms will become more aggressive.
- Private information will be under more attack.
For us as worldwide consumers, this means a couple of things.
Primarily, we will need to take more care of our personal data; with the tech giants eroding in power, they will try to find alternative ways to force rather than draw consumers.
Thankfully, most of the solutions that already exist will be enough for future protection. With a bit more focus on digital hygiene and anonymity, we should be safe from anything Big Tech, hackers, or other malicious entities want to do with our information.
The cornerstones are still the same. Namely, you will need good VPN operators like Le VPN to keep your IP address hidden on all devices. Also, installing good anti-spyware and anti-virus software will be needed.
What are Alt Tech and Section 230
Alt Tech is an umbrella term for companies and services outside of the large corporations that offer the same services. Simplified, they are social media platforms that don’t dominate the market.
Although Alt Tech companies can be quite large and popular, they only have a fraction of the biggest app’s market. For instance, while Telegram has a whopping 400 million users, this is still only a fifth of the 2 billion accounts on WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook.
The main reason why users are switching to smaller platforms is the fear of data sharing between the dominant forces. With Google and Facebook (owns Instagram and WhatsApp) selling your information to Amazon, we can all be in a bit of trouble.
Section 230 of the United States Code allows platforms to publish and cut content without being libel. That was originally made to protect platforms from the liability of their users. But, as the industry has changed now, it can be used to force users to see and buy what the companies want.
This line of events is not pretty and will be dangerous if it festers.
Liberty through Anonymity
Reading about squabbles between large companies might be fun but is not as important for the average user as is their security and liberty. And while it is too early to claim that anyone’s rights are being affected, staying vigilant about the issue is always recommended.
Currently, the best way to ensure that you can do what you want on the internet without being banned or canceled is for no one to connect your IRL person with the account using online. This alone will solve half of the problem.
The other part is using as many types of services at the same time as possible. This includes the media and the tools we use for work.
#1 Hide Your IP Address
This is as easy as it is important and is usually the first step if you don’t want your cookies to leave a trail back to you. You can check your IP address at any time, and it will tell you exactly where you are.
In this case, a good VPN will save you in just a couple of seconds. Even if you pick a server in the same country, you will still be protected.
#2 Use an Avatar
Even if you are using your real name and picture for Facebook, switching to Alt Tech might be the time to build your online persona. By using a character and not your real information, you can enjoy the service without fear of identity theft.
Not to mention that it is good for creativity.
#3 Change Banking Details Often
Finally, you should practice diversifying your banking and keeping money in multiple places. Also, you might want to change those places from time to time.
Although using cryptocurrency is not a bad idea, that solution might be too volatile for daily expenses. It is better to simply change your banking details from time to time to prevent any potential leaks from hurting you.
Keep Calm and Carry On
While it may be true that both what is happening online and what appears to be going on in the physical reality are not ideal, it is nothing we have not seen before. Threats to personal information, security, and liberty is something online users face quite often.
And that means that we already have solutions. If you are using a provider like Le VPN to hide your IP address and common sense not to share your personal information on Twitter, you should be free and safe to enjoy online spaces.
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