FOSS, meaning Free and Open Source Software, is a term used for software that is a) Free as in Freedom (privacy respecting) and b) Open Source (the code is available to the public under a license).

Why is this important?

As technology progresses and becomes more corporate focused, the need to harvest "big data" from their users is more valuable than oil at this point. This has become easier to do with Windows/Apple harvesting ALL THE USAGE you do on your OS as well as programs (such as Audacity now) sending usage reports back without the consent of the user and search engines such as Google (yeah surprise, googling with a VPN doesn't "protect" you if you are using google as the search engine!)

With the consent of the user...

This is a massive concern that I think needs to brought up more - a lot of software will start harvesting your data with out needing to say!

"Well how do you know that they are tracking me?"

With a closed source program, they could be doing ANYTHING! Tracking IP, connections, microphone usage, webcams, typing speed, what other programs are open, usage time, internet activity - the list goes on unfortunately...

Many times in the past, software and companies have been found-out to be tracking way more data then they "need" in a creepy way just to make a few more bucks from selling that information.

Window's many issues

What can I do?

Use FOSS software! Here I will create a small list of alternative software you should swap to straight away that I currently use!

thousands more software can be found here!

(Note: Not all of the software here follows the FOSS principle to an exact tee)

Operating System

Web Browsers

Office Programs

365 is an awful paid service that does nothing but launch office programs in the browser - leading to clunky and slow software. Also it's Microsoft...duh.



PDF Viewer

Fun fact: Adobe actually invented the PDF format! They just suck at making decent software that opens the damn things and is actually a terrible company

Image Viewers / Manipulators