We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about.
~ Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO
If you are still wondering why you should get rid of Google — read this article first. It's interesting that Google removed their famous Don't Be Evil motto, well, it's now time to remove them from our lives.
I know it's difficult to imagine not using Google, but I promise you that after just a few days without it, you will realize that you, actually, have much better (and more secure) arsenal in your hands. Let's get down to business!
There is a problem with mobile phones and real privacy would be to completely get rid of them, but many people can't do that, so I advise you to ditch Android-based phone and switch to iPhone. I don't trust Apple either, but they seem to have better privacy than Google. At least they are not marketing company. Here is another article how to make your iPhone more secure. I know that some privacy experts will now make fun of Apple privacy and I agree, but not all people can hack around with GrapheneOS or LineageOS, for example. IMO, moving to iPhone is one step forward. Unfortunately, price is another problematic thing here.
First things first — use Google Takeout to back up all your data. For example, I downloaded all my Google Contacts and Google Photos, but you can take out absolutely everything you have on Google.
Export your bookmarks from Chrome on your desktop and uninstall it. Then install Firefox, make it your default browser, enable Strict privacy, always send Do Not Track signal and always use private browsing mode. All these settings, and others, can be configured under preferences. You have enhanced tracking protection out of the box, but you can make it even more strict. I use uBlock Origin and HTTPS Everywhere plugin combo. Some additional plugins and alternatives: Cookie AutoDelete, AdBlocker Ultimate, Privacy Badger, ClearURLs and Privacy Possum. You also have TOR browser for additional protection.
Uninstall Chrome on your phone and install DuckDuckGo mobile app. It's absolutely amazing mobile browser, focused on privacy. Configure it to automatically clear data and you are good to go!
DDG doesn't give you personalized results like Google and that's a great thing — I don't want search engine to think for me and give me what he thinks I want, but rather give me objective results and I will pick what I really want.
Just try to compare results between Google Search and DDG on some controversial topic and you will be amazed how much censorship Google applies. By using Google, you are actually missing things because Google doesn't want you to see what they think you shouldn't see.
You can lose some settings after your cookies are gone, but there is Cloud Save feature to keep your preferences. Another great feature — !Bangs shortcuts that quickly take you to search results on other sites.
Install DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials Firefox add-on on your desktop, it will give you tracker blocking, smarter encryption and DuckDuckGo private search. Remove Google Search engine from Firefox settings.
If sometimes happens that you really need Google Search results, you can use Startpage search engine that is using Google under the hood, but will not track you and respect your privacy. They also have nice way of saving your preferences.
On mobile, if you are using DDG mobile browser that I already suggested — you are already covered!
Google is scanning and analyzing every email that you send and receive. Well, not anymore, welcome to ProtonMail! Service is based in Switzerland and all user data is protected by strict Swiss privacy laws. All emails between ProtonMail users are secured automatically with end-to-end encryption. For external users you can automatically sign your emails and attach your public PGP key. For users not using PGP, you can send password-protected emails. You can read more about security details.
I suggest you to use their beta version on the Web. It's perfectly stable, beautiful and I like it more than Gmail. Mobile app is working great and missing some features, like conversation mode, but here is the sneak peek of the upcoming new version that looks very promising.
They have free and premium versions. Don't forget — the price with Google is your data! I use Professional version which gives me more data, custom domains, multiple addresses and users.
If you are using plain Gmail and not Google Suite, you will have to change your g-mail on all online services that you use and inform your important contacts about your new Proton email address. If you already have custom domain for your Google email and opted out for ProtonMail premium, that's much easier and you just have to modify DNS settings.
Don't forget to uninstall Gmail mobile app, adiós!
This one was easy for me because I am (still) using Apple products, so I just migrated to Apple Calendar on Mac and iPhone. Simple, beautiful and integrated into Apple ecosystem. Another option is Calendar from ProtonMail! Don't forget to uninstall Google Calendar apps.
I didn't find anything better than Google Docs, but personally, I don't use it too much, so I replaced it with LibreOffice and Deckset. It's very likely that company you are working for uses Google Docs, so that's fine — you can do the work in private / incognito window when needed. Don't forget to uninstall Google Docs apps.
I don't have experience with Google Drive (other than Docs) or Microsoft OneDrive and I don't like Apple iCloud, but I was using Dropbox for a long time. Excellent privacy-focused alternative for cloud storage is Tresorit — end-to-end encrypted file sync and sharing, also based in Switzerland. It works like a charm, both desktop and mobile apps are great and I like more their concept of tresors than Dropbox. Don't forget to uninstall Google Drive apps.
This one is difficult — there is nothing better than Google Maps. I migrated to Apple Maps, although directions don't work in some countries yet. You can always use Google Maps on the Web in private mode to find what you need and bookmark it on Apple Maps which will get better over time! Waze is not an option because Google bought it. Don't forget to uninstall Google Maps apps.
You are giving Google your location, facial and other objects AI recognition and your private moments. I moved to Synology Photos. You can also use mentioned Tresorit to store and share all your photos. Tresorit mobile app will nicely format file names based on EXIF data and on Mac you can use very useful tool ExifRenamer for that purpose. Now you can upload your naked photos without worrying 😜 Don't forget to uninstall Google Photos apps.
Google Hangouts and Google Meet
There is no competition with YouTube content, but you can continue watching their videos in private mode and without (premium or any) account, just make sure to install AdBlocker for YouTube Firefox add-on to get rid of ads and video downloader add-on for offline viewing. On mobile use DuckDuckGo, it will get rid of their ads automatically. For making your collections, you can simply use old, good browser bookmarks. For publishing video materials use Vimeo. Check out Bitchute too. Don't forget to uninstall YouTube mobile app.
Fathom — simple, secure and easy to use analytics tool that collects zero-personal information about visitors. Don't forget to uninstall GA mobile app.
Without having the account it's not possible anymore to submit your website to Google, Bing or Yahoo. But search engines are crawling, so they will get to you anyway. If you absolutely have to submit your site, then you can create dedicated Google Account for your business, harden privacy settings and use it to submit your site.
With International OneSimCard eSIM you can have mobile data when traveling and second mobile number for calls and SMS in a matter of minutes via internet. Without even switching SIM cards due to the eSIM technology.
Google Cloud Computing
Google One and Google Suite
You can cancel subscription now 😆
If you have Google hardware in your home like Google Home or Nest Wi-Fi, I really suggest you to clean up your home from all smart devices.
Go to Google Account and delete it from settings.
Using Little Snitch tool, I found that Google Updater was still sitting on my machine and trying to communicate with Google servers. Block the process and search for Google on your disk. Delete it and restart your machine.
It's just impressive how many services we were using and how much data we were giving to one single company. New solution might cost you few bucks more, but don't forget that privacy currency is stronger than dollar. Congrats, you are now UnGoogled!