We throw our data around as if it were worthless. You can read here how I keep my data on my own systems and what I use for it.

We would never give strangers the house key to our house when we are on vacation. So why do we give our data to every service provider on the Internet that comes along? With a little practice, every service is available as an open source solution for your own PC, server or NAS.

I want to have switched completely to open source by the end of the year, which will probably not work because I use products and services from Apple, Cloudflare and others. However, I was able to implement this for the core components already.

Communication

If you want to communicate with me, you have 4 options. Telephone, email, Telegram and Nextcloud Talk.

Phone and email are necessary for my business and hosting my websites. I keep in touch with important friends via Telegram, and Nextcloud Talk is currently reserved for communicating with my family via video or text chat. Telegram gives the opportunity to view the source code for apps, servers and web apps on its website, my emails run through my server, as does the Nextcloud Talk installation.

As a VPN, I use a self-hosted Pritunl installation on a second small V-Server, which is located at Hetzner’s data center in Nuremberg.

Cloud & Organization

As a cloud replacement for Google, Microsoft Office or iCloud, I use my own Nextcloud installation on my server in Nuremberg. In addition to my calendar, tasks, contacts and notes, I also set up the family chat there, as mentioned above. The advantage of your own Nextcloud is that files on the devices are encrypted end to end (End2End Encryption). The EU plans to ban this at the moment.

Time tracking

I use Timecase for time tracking in my media agency. The tool is not open source, but you still get access to all files after purchase and can understand what the tool does and how. By the way, adapting the timecase is child’s play, because almost everything in template files can be edited using an text editor.

Finances

I’m currently using Akaunting, a tool that was actually designed for business accounting, for my private household book. However, you can turn the tool into a simple budget book in a very short time by simply switching off the billing options.

Tracking

I defend myself against the already perverse tracking with an app from the app store. Lockdown is open source and acts as a firewall that blocks all domains of the usual tracking tools. However, you have to save Facebook as an exception if you want to use services like Instagram or WhatsApp.

As you can see, it’s relatively easy to keep your data with you. One V-Server is sufficient for all of the tools that I have mentioned here. A server like this does not cost a lot of money, and management also uses a maximum of 30 minutes a week.

All tools (except for the VPN) can be installed using a graphical user interface, so anyone who uses Facebook on their laptop or PC should be able to set up a similar setup. You just have to deal with it for a day.

Picture © Daniel Wenzlik