A few months ago, I had moved almost all of my storage into Google Drive, OneDrive, or iCloud depending on the usage. This allowed me to turn down my old Dell FreeNAS server in an attempt to save on my electric bill. I’ve never been completely on-board with this model, even though I know I’m keeping some physical backups for emergencies. It could be that I spend too much time listening to Michael Bazzell and Justin Carroll or the control freak in me, but not having control of my data really bugs me.
The revelations from the Cambridge Analytica debacle stirred up information on just what Facebook, Google, and Apple store. I won’t go into detail here, as The Guardian and TechDirt have two great articles on this. This all left me wondering what Google, Microsoft, and Apple are really doing with all of my files, photos, and email. All of these companies could hand my information over to the government without warning, or could be breached and I would never know. It’s definitely time to bring everything back in house.
My initial plan is to bring all of my files back down from the cloud and simply store them on my FreeNAS server. Once that is done, a NextCloud server should provide me a solid way to sync files across devices as well as online collaboration.
What I’m lacking is a plan to privatize my email. Do I ramp up my ProtonMail account? Or do I build my own email server? Both have their pros and cons, but what is really worrisome is what happens to ProtonMail if it simply disappears? What if our government decides to block access or make it illegal to store your email in another country? On the other hand, do I really want to take on managing my own email infrastructure? In the end, I think I will in-house the majority of my email and rely on ProtonMail for secure backup mail client.
I expect the whole process to take several weeks due to current time constraints. I have FreeNAS back up and running, however I need to get a solid back strategy in place before moving forward. Ideally, I would have an encrypted cloud-based backup like RSYNC.NET or Amazon S3 combined with a offline physical copy. I have some details to iron out yet.