There's a lot of products offering fake privacy. The market is changing fast and I don't have time to track development in fake privacy products. As a rule, if something is not on this list, consider it suspect.
- Linux is currently the only popular and usable desktop OS that respects its users in every way, including protection of privacy. Any Linux distribution will do. Ubuntu and Fedora are popular. Getting Linux to work on notebooks might be a challenge (Microsoft monopoly in effect), so prefer buying hardware without preinstalled OS, or even better, hardware advertised as Linux-compatible. Or get help from IT friend.
- On Linux, avoid software downloads and instead use distribution's software catalog. If that's not enough, wider selection is available from Flathub and Snap Store, which distribute sandboxed apps, but here be dragons: the sandbox is often very loose. Still better that download from random website though.
- If you need to run something really untrustworthy, run it inside virtual machine, for example in Gnome Boxes, for perfect isolation.
- Use fully encrypted cloud backup. I recommend the reasonably priced SpiderOak ONE. There's also Switzerland-based Tresorit.
- As a rule, Android phones are data thieves. Apple phones are somewhat better, but if you are going to pay that much for a phone, you can just as well buy Librem 5 and get perfect privacy. PinePhone is cheaper, but it's intended for more technical audience.
- If you are stuck with Android phone, you can replace the OS with LineageOS, Ubuntu Touch, or Plasma Mobile, but only if you have compatible device.
- If replacing the OS is not an option, find Android privacy checklist on the Internet and apply all reasonable recommendations immediately after buying the phone. Be reluctant to install apps.
- Among browsers, Firefox is currently the best choice for privacy. On Android, there's Firefox for Android.
- Firefox has built-in tracking protection. Keep it enabled. Additionally, install some ad-blocker, for example uBlock Origin.
- Use DuckDuckGo instead of Google. Set it as default search engine in your browser.
- Signal is the gold standard for private chat and calls, including video calls.
- Wire is an alternative that is not tied to your phone number.
- Email is never secure. Tutanota at least encrypts you mailbox. Protonmail is a similar service based in Switzerland, but it's more expensive and the free version adds mandatory signature.
- Syncthing is perfect for syncing files across several devices, including phones and tablets.
- ownCloud is a rather heavy-duty solution for privacy-preserving document cloud. It works better in small companies than for individuals.