To deGoogleify your life, it’s time to start thinking about alternatives to Gmail. I know how sentimental it can be, I’ve had a few Gmail accounts since perhaps 2006 or so after my oldschool Hotmail started feeling a little too old. Gmail is a comprehensive service provided by a large corporation and as usual, even if it’s free to use, you’re still paying for it somehow. Gmail can be especially egregious because if you thought Google was collecting information on you through your web browsing, you’ll be “really shocked” to hear that Google digs through your emails. Worse for me is if I’m sending you an email from my own email address and you have a Gmail of your own- Google is still reading my emails to you despite my dogged refusal to do business with the monolithic corporation.
So if you want to get out of the system, you’re either going to have to do it yourself, or pay. Fortunately, paying for truly private email is not only convenient but reasonably cheap. For example I have a protonmail account at $2/month which is a secure email service hosted in Switzerland and has its own email app for android and IOS (protonmail.com). Other secure email services include Tutanota (tutanota.com) from €12/year or Kolab Now (kolabnow.com) which may be the best deal as it’s a full software suite including email, calendar, addressbook, filesharing, task management and more for around $5/month.
Digital privacy is only as trustworthy as the company you’re doing business with, and money is a pretty safe guarantee that a corporation will stay true to its word.