EDIT: Sorry for the title gore.
Hi. I'm looking to try and secure my phone against snooping as much as possible and try to remain as anonymous as possible online/in my communications. I realize that nothing is foolproof, but I would like to try.
I will be starting with a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S7. It is a warranty replacement - i.e. it's not brand new, but it is new to me and my data, it's has been sent back to to the factory (most likely it was sold to another customer who returned it, but after it was opened) and been refurbish, wiped, and restored. Maybe not ideal, but it's what I have. Anyway, I obviously can't hide the owner from Verizon, as obviously this handset is firmly linked to the account (I assume that it would be the same with a brand new phone too) - it is a the business account of a parent's company, where my name or info is not included, and there are multiple lines all registered to someone else (though obviously there is a family connection, even though we have different last names). OK.
So far, I have a throwaway Google account I plan to use to setup the phone - and will try to use Google products as little as possible (different companies for email, notes, calendar, etc - but certain things, like the google voice assistant, are hard to replace). I will be using an anonymously payed for VPN and Onion Browser (until I learn how to use the full version of TOR). Otherwise I'm at a loss and could use some help.
- Anything I should download before going online (I could possibly use a microSD to transfer files from another device): e.g. to prevent my device ID from being logged, etc.
- What do I need to do to my phone to root it, and to remove pre-installed spyware, malware, and bloatware. (FYI I'm not a tech expert, so I don't want to do anything that will mess up the underlying operating system, or the kernels, etc or make me unable to get OS updates, though I am willing to learn new things like app launchers, or themes, etc that will make my phone more secure/faster)?
- Any good recommendations for apps replace google products so I can still retain some smartphone functionality?
- I assume it's pretty impossible to shield your standard cellular communications (text and speech over the Verizon network), especially if people on the other end aren't doing the same, but I'd still like to here any ideas?
- Some good secure/encrypted apps to replace texting/calling (though sadly, no one I know currently uses these)?
- Anything else. I am looking for tips, guides, advice, whatever.
Thanks in advance.
Edited by TalonKey, 30 March 2017 - 08:04 PM.