Not so Brave

Around three months ago I made the switch from Firefox to Brave for my default browser. Brave seemed to offer more rigorous ad and tracker-blocking functionality, and it told me how many trackers it had blocked, how much hadn’t been downloaded, and how much time had been saved by not downloading ads and trackers. One of the ‘features’ of brave is the ability to view ads and earn points (‘Brave rewards’) for the privilege.

Phone appdate!

It’s now been a little over two weeks since I installed LineageOS on my Samsung A5 phone. During that time I’ve installed, removed, replaced and set defaults and permissions for the apps I use. I thought it may be useful for posterity to describe what apps I am using (and why). First off, I didn’t install the so-called Gapps (Google Apps) package on my phone so I don’t have the Play store directly available.

Google and Samsung-free

After a couple of hours of spinning my wheels going nowhere this morning, my Samsung A5 2017 android phone is now free of all Google and Samsung apps. After some consideration of both privacy concerns particularly relating to google described here and more general security concerns described here I looked into replacing the Google-provided operating system on my Samsung phone. One of the side benefits is to rid myself of all of the annoying and bloated Samsung apps that can’t be deleted by an everyday user.

Internet Security

Around twelve months ago I came across a reference to a website, have i been pwned?, which details data breaches where user data such as ones email address, password, date of birth and other information had been stolen and then made available to other people. I entered the main couple of email address that I use1 and discovered that I had, in fact been pwned. I couldn’t tell anyone because I didn’t know how to pronounce ‘pwned’.