Until recently I’ve always held the philosophy that as long as my data is going to Facebook and Google, that it’s safe. Maybe it was due to convenience. Maybe because of laziness. Probably because of lack of caring.

Earlier this year all the news broke about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica broke and I started thinking about my data and my privacy. Then I started receiving emails from sites that I use and their changes to comply with GDPR. And while I only indirectly benefit from GDPR, as I live in the states, it makes me happy to know that it exists. And sites that I’ve used comply with it, no matter where I’m located.

Still, big data owns me. So slowly I’ve been attempting to transition my data to my own computers, to open source solutions, where I know that I’m the one that owns it again. And it’s become staggering to realize how much of my personal information is out there for big data to analyze and sell. And while I’m not fully moved away from big data, and will never be, I’ve decided to start writing about the changes I’ve made, and maybe reading about it, maybe others will start thinking about changes they can make as well.

Today, how Nextcloud has helped me rely less on Google, Microsoft, and more.

Nextcloud, Contacts, Calendar

While I’m not using Nextcloud for cloud storage, I’m using it as a groupware suite to track my calendars and contacts. I’m able to transition away from Google’s calendars and contacts for storage, and use CalDav and CardDav (open standards) to sync to my devices (DAVdroid). Totally private and hosted on my own server. It has some great features as far as replacing Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc, but I’m not using it for that currently.

Links: Nextcloud, Nextcloud Contacts, Nextcloud Calendar

Nextcloud Mail

While my mail email address has been Gmail for some time, and secondary email addresses are hosted on my VPS, I’ve taken to adding them all to Nextcloud Mail (an addon inside of Nextcloud) which allows me to have multiple IMAP accounts in a single interface, with the option of a combined inbox. I will soon start transitioning my personal communications to my own address, and leaving Gmail for backup and spam.

Link: Nextcloud Mail

Nextcloud News

I’ve replaced Feedly with Nextcloud News for RSS reading. Really, nothing else to add.

Link: Nextcloud News

Nextcloud Notes

Nextcloud Notes has replaced my need for Google Keep, Evernote, and similar sites.

Link: Nextcloud Notes