7 privacy-focused alternatives to common Linux software

While most Linux distributions come with a wide variety of software already installed, there are many more choices available to you if you want to gain more control over the applications installed on your system and the information that passes through those applications. while using them.


Following are some of the best free alternatives to standard Linux applications that will help you improve your privacy in today’s hyper-connected, data-hungry online environment.


The Best Privacy-Focused Web Browsers

Web browsers are probably the most used applications on any system. As such, it also poses the greatest risk to privacy issues. Each of the following alternative web browsers takes extra steps to keep your sensitive data out of sight of spy eyes:

LibreWolf is a fork of Mozilla’s popular Firefox browser, which is installed as the default web browser on many Linux distributions. While Firefox is known for being more privacy-oriented than most Chromium-based web browsers, LibreWolf takes it a few steps further.

Designed to increase protection against modern tracking and fingerprint technologies, LibreWolf also offers some basic security enhancements. According to the developers, “This is achieved through our privacy and security-focused settings and patches. LibreWolf also strives to remove all telemetry, data collection and annoyances, as well as disable anti-freedom features such as DRM.”

Some users forgo using more privacy-oriented browsers because they are not compatible with the impressive variety of extensions available for Chrome. If you’re one of those users, Brave is the browser you’ve been looking for.

Brave comes with many privacy-protecting features enabled by default, such as blocking ads, trackers, and cookies, as well as protecting you from fingerprints, malware, and phishing sites.

Brave is a Chromium-based browser alternative that remains fully compatible with all Chrome add-ons and extensions while providing enhanced privacy protection. Like Chrome, Brave also supports syncing data between your devices. You can share extensions, open tabs, history, and more across all devices that have Brave installed.

If you’re looking for the ultimate tool for truly anonymous web browsing, Tor is it. Tor is a combination of a specialized web browser and an anonymized network of proxy servers located around the world and run by volunteers.

The Tor network and browser work together to encapsulate all your online communications in different layers of encryption and pass network packets through a series of servers before reaching their final destination (in both directions). Each server along the route removes one layer of encryption, reads instructions on where to send the packet next, and then sends it.

The end result is that no server in the chain knows where the packet comes from and where it goes, nor what data is in the encrypted packets. Communication in both directions becomes completely anonymous and untraceable.

Privacy-Focused Email Clients for Linux

Our email inboxes contain some of the most sensitive information we possess. Keeping email content private and secure is one of the biggest security concerns most users have. If you use Linux, you have several privacy-conscious email clients at your disposal.

Thunderbird comes from the makers of the Firefox web browser. This secure and private email client has been available for free for over 20 years and is trusted by millions of users.

Thunderbird comes with many subtle but important privacy settings enabled by default. It automatically blocks inline email images to prevent IP address tracking and includes several anti-phishing measures to ensure no one can trick you into giving up your personal information.

It also includes features such as message encryption, calendar, address book management, RSS feed management, instant messenger and more.

KMail is KDE’s official email client. You can use it on its own, but it also integrates seamlessly with KDE’s suite of office and productivity applications.

KMail’s default settings will keep your personal information well out of the hands of email marketers, phishing scammers, and anyone who might try to collect your data.

Among its many privacy-enhancing features, KMail enables automatic end-to-end encryption using OpenPGP and uses TLS/SSL secure connections when sending or receiving messages. It imports email from almost any existing email client and also includes an automatic backup feature to protect you from data loss.

Privacy-Focused Linux Private Messengers

There are several popular instant messenger services. The problem with all of these companies, however, is that they are owned and operated by some of the largest data-hungry, privacy-stealing companies in the world.

Signal is a free and open-source private messenger app that you can use on your phone as well as on your PC. It is a great alternative to apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

The Signal interface is very similar to WhatsApp. It is intuitive and easy to use. All information exchanged through Signal is end-to-end encrypted and completely private. Communication takes place using Signal’s proprietary open source protocol. You can use it to send text messages and exchange files, as well as make both audio and video calls.

Privacy-Focused Linux Password Managers

You’ve probably seen and maybe even used one of the many excellent password managers available for Linux. Unfortunately, most of the popular password managers that were once free, or at least had a free version, have severely limited their functionality for free users, or have stopped offering free versions altogether.

Bitwarden is a free, open-source password manager, similar to apps like LastPass and 1Password that you can use on all your devices. It is a full-featured password manager that you can use over the web, install as a browser extension, or run as an app on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. You can use it on as many devices as you want to keep your passwords safe, secure and in sync wherever you are.

In addition to passwords, Bitwarden allows you to keep secure notes, credit card information, and more. Best of all, if you’re already using another password manager, it will import all of your existing information so you can switch literally in just a few seconds without missing a beat.

Exercise your right to privacy with Linux apps

These tools allow you to take back control over who can access and use your personal information. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re using an application that doesn’t seem to care as much about your privacy as you do, there’s almost always another choice when using Linux.

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