Previous articles took a peek at the advent of Web 3.0 or Web3. Decentralization, openness, and greater user utility are at the core of this paradigm shift. One of the reasons why Web 2.0 is evolving into Web3 is for users to reclaim data privacy. Web 2.0 was defined by giant tech corporations collecting huge quantities of user data and utilized them without the consent of users. Companies like Facebook or Meta and Google profited from this practice. Web3 promises to give back users control over their data, and the use of the blockchain is an assurance of privacy.
Privacy is every human being’s right and everyone has the right to keep any personal information confidential to protect themselves. Privacy International describes it as “an essential way we seek to protect ourselves and society against arbitrary and unjustified use of power, by reducing what can be known about us and done to us, while protecting us from others who may wish to exert control.”
You don’t have to wait for the full implementation of Web3 to regain privacy online. There are Web3 apps available now that you can utilize to protect yourself while connected. Please note that this is merely a list, not a recommendation. Researching for more information about them before installing will be a smart move.
Google has become so ubiquitous that most people use it as a verb. “If you want to find out more cryptocurrency, Google it.” Brave is the alternative. You can surf the internet without ads and trackers following your around. It’s based on Chromium, just like Google. New user will easily feel at home as it’s similar to how you navigate on Google. You can easily import your settings and bookmarks from your old browser. Brave is ad-free, but it will pay you in the cryptocurrency Basic Attention Token (BAT) if you choose to receive ads. Content creators can sign up for their content creator program and receive tips in BAT. You can send tips to your favorite creators as well.
The most popular ones are Google Drive and Dropbox. Storj is the Web3 cloud storage platform version. It is open-source, decentralized, and based on blockchain technology, delivering data protection and privacy. It automatically encrypts files before being uploaded. Storj then splits the files into pieces and distributes them in a global network of storage nodes. You can retrieve files anytime, anywhere.
Instead of WhatsApp, use Status. It’s an Android and iOS app that can be used as a private messenger, crypto wallet, and browser. Status uses an open-source, peer-to-peer protocol, and end-to-end encryption to ensure the privacy of your messages and protect them from third parties. The crypto wallet allows you to send, store, and receive crypto, including ERC20 and ERC721 tokens. The third feature is a decentralized browser where you can access and run decentralized applications (DApps).
Upwork is the most well-known freelancing platform, while Ethlance is its Web3 variation. It is built on the Ethereum blockchain, uses cryptocurrency only for payments, and has no service fees. Ethlance is part of the districtOx Network, which is a collective of decentralized marketplaces and communities.
As you might have noticed, all of these apps are decentralized. Does decentralization ensure privacy? Jun Li answers this question in an article on Forkast, “By facilitating end-to-end technology run on blockchain, decentralized solutions enable private information to be shared securely, while users remain in full control of their data. In contrast to centralized solutions, decentralized systems ensure private data remains immutable and secure and is only able to be shared when outlined users consent to provide information.”
It may be quite some time before DApps are widely adopted. As more people realize how their privacy is at risk, shifting to DApps will be inevitable. It’s also the reason why cryptocurrency users who value anonymity make sure they have Monero or XMR tokens. The technologies Ring Signature, RingCT, and Stealth Addresses make privacy possible. They ensure Monero remains private, secure, untraceable, and fungible. The identities of both sender and recipient remain secret. The transaction amount is concealed. A public ledger exists and records the transaction, but there is no way for anyone to link the parties, discover the transaction amount, or how much each one has.
Apart from using decentralized apps and privacy-centric coins such as Monero, a secure wallet is also of vital importance. Use XMRWallet, an open-source free Monero wallet that allows you to send and receive XMR instantly while remaining in complete control of your coins and keys.