Privacy as a service

So as of late I’ve been trying to think of some side gigs. What I think I am leaning towards is privacy as a service. Here is my idea and maybe it would be an interesting topic.

There are a lot of tinfoil hat wearers out there or less techy people who are starting to worry about google, facebook, microsoft,etc…getting to far into their business.

So I simply want to offer my services by offering the following.

  • Get them on Linux if they are willing
  • Help them get setup using a VPN
  • Get them Migrated to an Email service that doesn’t data mine (fastmail for simple and protonmail for secure come to mind.)
  • Get theire browsers set up with the proper extensions to limit snooping(or get them on brave)
  • Coach them on how to do a proper backup and not throw everything but the kitchen sink on the cloud.
  • Then provide remote support for those who need it, ie new linux users.

And for these services I would either charge hourly or maybe have a fixed fee for getting started then hourly for support.

Any thoughts? Think this is marketable? What other options could I offer?What distro would you start people on (i’m thinking ubuntu-mate or mint)



This feels like a worthwhile service to offer. I don’t know if there’s enough of a market for it – or, more accurately, I think there is but getting in touch with that market might be difficult – but it certainly could work, and it’d be a good thing. And, hey, if it doesn’t take off, you haven’t lost much. I’d say go for it. I’d start people on actual Ubuntu rather than MATE because that’s where the momentum is (so most documentation they find online will be about that).


The good thing is I have a day job, I would be doing this on an experimental/hobby basis to see if I can get any traction.

Small beginnings. I wish you success. Or at least satisfaction.


What you’re describing sounds very marketable, but—and this is me being a picky bastard, as per usual—I’d describe it more as “Internet privacy consultancy”. You sound like you’re wanting to offer a full-service, end-to-end privacy consultancy to customers, including advice. In that case, you have a very large base to cover: identifying and avoiding email attachment based threats, phishing threats, the same for social engineering attacks, using anti-virus, and so on.

Given that smartphones offer a different attack vector with potentially similar or better results for a bad actor, you should consider that avenue also.

I’m still of the opinion that Linux on the desktop as a mainstream computing option for “normal” users is a lost cause (cf Has the Linux Desktop missed its chance?).

In my mind, the best out-the-box option for a computer with strong privacy is a Mac. Apple are one of the few remaining heavily-privacy-focused computer companies out there. Safari is a very good browser with anti-tracking and anti-commercial features. On-disk encryption (another important privacy option which can be scary to implement on a Linux desktop-class system) is provided as standard. Backups are very, very easy to perform (plug in an external device or use a compatible local network storage device, boom, done).

I do look at this as an approach to introduce others to Linux, but I can still offer best practices and steps they can take whether they are on Windows or Mac… Linux is just another step a client could take if they were willing.

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