control your data

1. Back-up your social data. Download everything from your networks and get a private paid blog instead. Be in charge on what happens to your posts and connections. You don't want to be one day locked out of your social circle due to some algorithm blocking your account with no way getting it back. 

2. Use channels that you have control over. Don't let someone nudge you on whom you should connect to and how. Companies optimize for their own objectives, make sure their true agenda aligns with yours. Better yet, control channels yourself. Some good channels are Twitter, Zoom, Signal or even vanilla email.

3. Get control over your news channel, get RSS or Feedly. Choose how you get news yourself, be that in chronological or other way. Choose sources yourself. If you get suggestions, keep the only source of suggestion that you decide is worthy. Control what you see, how you see and when you see.

4. Keep a single cloud service, purge everything else. Use Apple Image Capture to purge Photo library on iPhone. It is easier to manage and reduces attack surface. Use cloud service that allows you to download and delete all your data back in bulk, some providers force you to do it file-by-file. Don't upload to cloud raw data, pack it and encrypt it first by yourself. Don't use cloud as a transport between devices, connect devices directly, it is fast and secure. One day cloud provider can lock you out, get offline back-up. External SSD or HDD is perfect. Apple Photos works well with stand-alone offline libraries and has all the regular nice features. You can also use shared albums without uploading everything. Back-up photos, videos, music and iPhone settings separately, it makes back-up fast and consistent. Apple Photos Import has nice option for "delete after import". Remove duplicated photos and the ones you don't care about, the less data you have to carry around the better. Don't do hoarding of things "you like" or "will check in the future". Chances are, you will not check that at all, it wastes your time and space.

5. Harden your OS.

6. Use email client that respects privacy and doesn't serve ads. Apple's Mail is good option. It has rules and compact interface that is one-to-one match to gmail, before they switched to Inbox. Turn it on at "Mail > Preferences > Viewing > classic layout".

7. Get to know "private mode", Privacy Badger, HTTPS Everywhere, uBlockOrigin. In some cases, you might want to consider Tor and Tails.

8. Get MFA for key services. Get Google Authenticator in case you change phone number. And get YubiKey in case you lose your phone altogether.

9. Use only apps you trust. Check periodically what they are doing in Activity Monitor or even better - Little Snitch. If your music streaming app is downloading and sending tens of MBs per hour of data even if you don't get new songs, there is something wrong with it. Get to know VLC, Transmission, Firefox.

10. If you use CLI, know what you are running. Open source does not automatically mean secure. Use your own judgement™️.

11. Get self-hosted VPN. Make it a default when you connect to the internet. With few exceptions, almost nearly all web is accessible just fine with it. Your network speed may actually improve.

UPD: 2019-07-06

12. Disable loadable content in your email client. 3rd parties can track time, email client (and thus platform), IP address, geo information, fingerprint from your emails. And whether you opened email and how many times.