I had gmail from the beta version. I was young and dumb and was lured in by the word free and unlimited. Eventually it was no longer unlimited unless you wanted to pay, and it was never truly free. They just wanted your data and we freely gave it to them.
If a service is free, you are the product.
I’ve been moving everything that is meaningful to me over to proton mail: http://www.protonmail.com
They have the shortened version “pm.me”
It’s perfect. I also pay for it. I’m happy to do that too. I get all the great features of any email including spam filtering, and they give me 5 aliases to use! This is perfect. So I can now use fake email accounts for a while, until they get spammed and then I just remove them from my life. That’s it.
iPhone has this built into their phones now and it is a great feature, but it Is still being potentially viewed, read, and stored.
How I did it
Use an obscure website. I have a lot of them. Pick something like: http://notbanking.com and register it. As of writing this, that website is actually available. Prove you own it to proton mail, simple enough to do, and then have all the email forwarded to the proton mail servers. Again, they walk you though it. Easy.
Now I can set up emails such as: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
JM = Junk Mail
What I have done is created a relay of email so it never exposes my personal proton mail address. No one will know what it is… Better yet, when I reply it comes back as if I’m replying to the email you set it to. Perfect.
Now with that in place, I’m slowing going through my email and moving all my accounts.
Godaddy, eBay, Capitalone, etc.
I’m not sure if I’m going to delete the email all together, or just let it exist just in case I missed something. Probably just let it exist for the time being.
On a Side Note
It really forces you to go through your emails and unsubscribe from the junk mail and advertisements you get and are no longer interested in.
Email Relay Services
In case you are wondering, yes they do exist, but once again, I’m not controlling it. While most likely safe, they can’t be guaranteed and best used for controlling junk mail or when forced to sign up at a grocery store.
As for the Google Search
Honestly, it was easier than I thought. I changed all my search engines to DuckDuckGo and logged out of gmail on my computer. The logging out was a good reminder. When I hopped on and searched or did google by accident, I would not be logged in and would remind me to use something else. Over the course of a month, it just became a new habit. I don’t miss it and it really did not add any value to my internet experience.
Gmail is gone, google is gone, and I don’t use android, so I have successfully removed them from my life with zero negative repercussions.