Abercrombie & Fitch This company is a well known retail chain. Hower their apps secretly record the screen, swipes, keystorkes to supposedly make their app better. The issue with this is that it is obvious spyware and the user is ignorant of the fact that Abercrombie & Fitch's app is spying on them.
AirBNB AirBNB sells user data to Facebook. It doesn't really mention this clearly in the Terms of Service. Also it has violated multiple clauses in the Geneva Conventions as it allows rooms to be rented that are located in in Israel colonies in Palestinian territory. Finally you can get permanently banned from AirBNB if you don't sign up for it with a Google, LinkedIn, or Facebook Account. Finally they have updated their Terms of Service multiple times without notifying users
Baidu Back in the day Baidu created a PUP toolbar. This toolbar collected a lot of information about the user, and often users never consented to installing the toolbar on their computer. Their app requests more permissions than it actually needs to run. It is unknown whether or not the app punishes the user for not enabling all the permissions.
Cheetah Mobile Apps Cheetah Mobile or CM are developers of known snake oil and suspicious apps. Almost every single app they have developed requests more permissions than its needs to function and will punish the user for not giving their apps every single requested permission.
Discord Discord is fairly new chatting program oriented towards gamers and PC enthusiasts. But has recently become mainstream. However, the entire program is closed source, and the API is constantly changing, almost as if they are trying to hide something. Leaked documents claim that the client program keeps tabs of running programs on the system and reports them back to Discord. Because Discord doesn't serve up adverts, this is the main way they make money. Please read this article if you would like to learn more about the Discord spyware
Dolphin Web Browser The Dolphin Web Browser is very shady web browser that requests too many permissions for a web browser. It even punishes the user for not allowing the app all of the requested permissions.
DU App Suite The DU App suite is a suite of apps devoloped for the Adroid platform. They claim they do useful features. But in fact, almost all their apps are snake oil and contain very intrusive ads. Furthermore, several DU has had apps removed from the Play Store and F-Droid in the past
Emoji Keyboards/Third Party Keyboards Many teenagers for some random reason are obsessed with emojis. Anyways, there are many emoji keyboards and third party keyboards available for phones. Avoid Emoji and all third party keyboards at all costs and boycott them. Almost every single one of these keyboards records keystrokes and sends them back to the developer. Rather tap on the smiley face or web browser icon at the bottom of the keyboard that came with your phone and use the emojis there
ES File Explorer ES File explorer used to be a very useful tool for Android. But, in recent years, PUPs and intrusive ads have come bundled with the app. A substitute file explorer app should be used from hereon out
GO App Suite The GO App suite is a suite of apps devoloped for the Adroid platform. They claim they do useful features. But in fact, almost all their apps are snake oil and contain very intrusive ads. Furthermore, several GO has their GO Cleaner App removed from the Play Store and F-Droid.
Google Google is a well known search engine. However they collect way too much data. They even go and sell this data off to governments. They save logs of everything you search and than scan the logs and publish results using. Finally, they go as far as censoring anybody that has a right bias/viewpoint. They get removed from search results on all their platforms. Sadly, Google has gotten so embedded in our lives we must use some of its botnet products. But, here are the services to definitely boycott:
Firefox Mozillas Firefox web browser claims to offer better security and privacy features than other web browsers is untrue and a blatant lie. In fact, Firefox collects way more data than Google Chrome (Mentioned earlier as botnet). It the proprietary Pocket platform which goes through web history to find articles that you might enjoy. This cannot be turned off. By default, the browser injects tracking cookies and tracking scripts into websites so that it can collect information on users and sell it to 3rd party companies. Finally Firefox has close ties with google and uses Google Analytics to determine information about the user. This is probably the program to boycott the most and avoid at all costs, as Mozilla is stabbing you in the back with its false claims of offering better privacy and security features than other browsers
Instagram Facebook owns Instagram, so please read the Facebook section. But, Instagram goes further than Facebook. There is strong evidence and even more evidence that Instagrams bugs the devices microphone and listens for keywords. It uses the dected keywords to serve the unsuspecting user advertising. It does all this without informing the user at all. Facebook his claimed that they never listen into private conversations and never will despite overwhelming evidence of them doing so. Finally the app punishes the user by limiting thier posting privalige if they deny the app permission to use the microphone
Lyft Like Uber (which will be mentioned later on in this list), Lyft is a rideshare service that acts a lot like a taxi service. However, the require people to identify themselves using their full real name. The app, like most apps on this list requests way too many permissions and punishes the user if they don't allow the app all the permissions it demands. Finally, the company behind Lyft has a team of employees that skim through users ride history and other sensitive, private data.
Microsoft As the producer of Windows, Microsoft a massive company. Microsoft used to run a campaign that attempted to harm free software. They have also attempted to deface the GNU/Linux Operating System by scaring users into thinking it has a extreme learning curve. Now, the pretend that are pro free software despite their main product, Microsoft Windows remaining completely closed source. Below is an alarmingly large number of reasons to completely boycott Microsoft as a whole.
Netflix As the biggest video streaming service, it may be impossible to avoid Netflix. But, just buy the DVD and use that to watch movies. Netflix is possibly worse than Microsoft! Not only do you have to pay with money, but you have to pay with your privacy. Netflix uses machine learning to collect information on the user and sells that information to the film industry and unknown 3rd parties. Also, Netflix uses digital resrictions management to restrict the user when they are on their website and watching a movie. Finally, Netflix attempts to monopolize by attempting to restrict sharing of material on the internet and by working in cahoots with video streaming services to block acsess to the Netflix site via TOR or a VPN.
nVidia Drivers (Win32) In order to get the best perfornance out of your nVidia video cards you must install the nVidia driver suite. Sadly the drivers are propritary. The first issue with the drivers is the fact that the installee attempts to inatall nVidia GeForce experiance, a program the probes the hard drive looking for certain files. The GeForce experiance is closed source so no one knows if it scans for anything else besides games. The other issue is the fact that the drivers install telementry services. These services can be disabled easily in Windows services by looking for this service and disableing them. After opting out of GeForce experiance and disableing telementry, the nVidia Win32 drivers can be used safely and are not botnet
Snapchat The app Snapchat is popular amoung teenagers and millennials alike. But there is a huge privacy issue. While the app claims to be in complience with COPPA it knowingly collects personal information of children under 13. However, the biggest issue with the app is the fact that the app collects GPS locations and uses it to build information on the user. It than uses sells this information to ad companies and other unkown 3rd parties. To top things off, the Snapmap is downright creepy, showing a persons every move and now even shows when a person travelled and how long it took. It shows this by default to all your freinds, although it can easily be turned off. Finally, the app requests too many permissions including acsess to the call log which is unwarrented for a "simple socail media app". If you want to stay in touch with your freinds, send them an SMS text message
This list is and always will be a work in progress. Please email me at email@example.com to reccomend an addition to the list.
Accessed February 7th 2019
All hyperlinks in article were used as sources