(1/2) Lemmy does not allow too long post walls
UPDATED 16/8/2020: Major edit, replaced closed source App Ops and Shizuku with AppOpsX (Free Open source) on F-Droid.
This guide is nearly FOSS supported now.
UPDATED 17/9/2020: MAJOR EDIT, replaced closed source Access Dots with Privacy Indicator (FOSS) on Izzy’s F-Droid repo. This guide is completely FOSS.
Hello! I am the founder of /r/privatelife . Finally my smartphone non root guide is back, and there are some big upgrades. I was taking time to test everything myself on my daily driver, so apologies for keeping everyone in the wait, but stability and ease of use is the important goal to strive in my playbook. Privacy must be accessible to maximum amount of people without being annoying or tedious.
A kind request to share this guide to any privacy seeker.
#User and device requirement
#Why not Apple devices?
iPhone does not allow you to have privacy due to its blackbox nature, and is simply a false marketing assurance by Apple to you. Recently, an unpatchable hardware flaw was discovered in Apple’s T1 and T2 “security” chips, rendering Apple devices critically vulnerable.
Also, they recently dropped plan for encrypting iCloud backups after FBI complained. They also collect and sell data quite a lot. Siri still records conversations 9 months after Apple promised not to do it. Apple Mail app is vulnerable, yet Apple stays in denial.
Also, Apple sells certificates to third-party developers that allow them to track users, The San Ferdandino shooter publicity stunt was completely fraudulent, and Louis Rossmann dismantled Apple’s PR stunt “repair program”.
Also, Android’s open source nature is starting to pay off in the long run. Apple 0-day exploits are far cheaper to do than Android.
ALL users must follow these steps before “for nerdy users” section.
Firstly, if your device is filled to the brim or used for long time, I recommend backing up your data and factory resetting for clean slate start.
Sign out all your Google and Huawei/Samsung/other phonemaker accounts from your device so that Settings–>Accounts do not show any sign-ins except WhatsApp/Telegram
Install ADB on your Linux, Windows or Mac OS machine, simple guide: https://www.xda-developers.com/install-adb-windows-macos-linux/
Use “Universal Android Debloater” to easily debloat your bloated phone.
NOTE: Samsung users will lose Samsung Pay, as Samsung has been caught and declares they sell this data: https://www.sammobile.com/news/samsung-pay-new-privacy-policy-your-data-sold/
Make DIY camera covers, for front camera notch use a tiny appropriate-sized thin opaque plastic cutout and use an invisible tape to stick it in place, replace every month (cost: tape roll and one minute of your time per month). My rear camera cover
Install F-Droid app store from here
Install NetGuard app firewall (see NOTE) from F-Droid and set it up with [privacy based DNS like Uncensored DNS or Tenta DNS or AdGuard DNS]
NOTE: NetGuard with Energized Ultimate HOSTS file with any one of the above mentioned DNS providers is the ultimate solution.
NOTE: Set DNS provider address in Settings -> Advanced settings --> VPN IPv4, IPv6 and DNS
Go back to F-Droid store home screen, and hit the update button beside the 3 dot menu.
###LIST OF APPS TO GET
Get Firefox Preview web browser from F-Droid (install uBlock Origin addon inside (if technically advanced, try doing this)). Also get Firefox Klar if you like a separate incognito browser.
Get Aurora Store from F-Droid for apps from Play Store without actually using Play Store, use Anonymous option to sign in
for 3rd party APKs source them only from APKMirror OR APKPure OR APKMonk, quite trusted, BUT TRY AND AVOID IT IF POSSIBLE
Get Privacy Indicator from F-Droid for iOS 14 like camera/mic dot indicator feature
Get OSMAnd+ from F-Droid or Qwant Maps inside web browser for maps and/or print physical maps if you live and travel in one or two states or districts.
NOTE: Qwant Maps has better search results than OSMAnd+
Get PilferShush Jammer from F-Droid to block microphone (use this in malls, restaurants or such public places if you can to prevent beacon tracking)
Get OpenBoard (user friendly) OR AnySoftKeyboard (nerd friendly) from F-Droid instead of Google GBoard, Microsoft SwiftKey et al, they are closed source keylogger USA spyware
Get FTP Server (Free) from F-Droid and FileZilla on computer for computer-to-phone internet less file sharing
NOTE: for phone-computer sync or sharing, can TRY KDE Connect, available for Android, Windows, Linux
Get TrebleShot instead of SHAREIt for phone to phone file sharing
Get K-9 Mail or FairEmail as e-mail client
Get NewPipe for YouTube watching, or YouTube in Firefox Preview/Klar
Get QKSMS from F-Droid as SMS client app
Get Shelter from F-Droid to sandbox potential apps that you must use (eg WhatsApp or Discord or Signal)
Get SuperFreezZ from F-Droid to freeze any apps from running in background
Get Librera Pro from F-Droid for PDF reader
Get ImgurViewer from F-Droid for opening reddit/imgur/other image links without invasive tracking
Get InstaGrabber from F-Droid for opening Instagram profiles or pictures without invasive tracking (seems like a revived fork is here, thanks u/sad_plan )
Get GreenTooth from F-Droid to set Bluetooth to disable after you have used it
Get Material Files or Simple File Manager from F-Droid for file manager app
Get ImagePipe from F-Droid if you share lot of pictures, and want to clear EXIF metadata snooping (often photos contain phone model, location, time, date)
Get Note Crypt Pro from F-Droid for encrypted note taking app
Get Vinyl Music Player from F-Droid for music player
Get VLC from F-Droid for video player
###CRITICAL FOR CLIPBOARD, LOCATION AND OTHER APP FUNCTION BLOCKING
I would say this is one of the critical improvements in my guide, and will solve the problem of clipboard and coarse location snooping among other things.
AppOpsX is a free, open source app that allows to manage granular app permissions not visible normally, with the help of ADB authorisation without root. This app can finely control what granular information apps can access on your phone, which is not shown in app permissions regularly accessible to us.
Now that you would have set up your phone with installing apps, now is a good time to perform this procedure.
Step 1: Install AppOpsX from F-Droid. (https://f-droid.org/en/packages/com.zzzmode.appopsx/)
Step 2: Plug phone to computer, and enable USB debugging in Settings --> Developer Options (you probably already did this in the starting of the guide)
Step 3: Keep phone plugged into computer until the end of this procedure! Open AppOpsX app.
Step 4: On computer, type commands in order:
adb tcpip 5555
adb shell sh /sdcard/Android/data/com.zzzmode.appopsx/opsx.sh &
Step 5: Now open “AppOpsX” app, and:
NOTE: Most apps that have text field to copy/paste text require this permission.
disable “modify clipboard” for every app except for your virtual keyboard or office suite app or clipboard monitor/stack special apps.
disable “GPS”, “precise location”, “approximate location” and “coarse location” for every app except your maps app (Firefox and OSMAnd+)
(2/2) in comment below.