Open source products for privacy-minded companies & individuals
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There’s an endless list of software programs out there for both individuals and the corporate world to use – varying from paid and proprietary to free and open source. While there are pros and cons to each type, here are a few of the key benefits of using open source software:
- The opportunity for collaboration between a wide range of developers/users with different interests and abilities
- Communities are able to drive innovation – new features, bug fixes, etc.
- Offers a free alternative to other paid software programs
- Increased transparency and security
For privacy-minded users, increased transparency and security is perhaps the most significant benefit. From an individual perspective, having access to the source code allows you to assess the security of the software – giving the user more control. From a company perspective, this can take two forms: using and offering. Using open source products will provide more control and increased security for products that are used company-wide, just like it does for individuals. Offering open source products and services to your users can also strengthen relationships – ensuring transparency in an increasingly tense data privacy environment.
Want to start utilizing open source opportunities? We’ve put together a list of some of the best and most popular open source products available today:
The Linux operating system is one of the largest open source projects to date. It has become a variety of platforms through a process known as forking – people using the same source code to accomplish different tasks. Some of the most popular projects include Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, and Arch.
LibreOffice is a free alternative to the Microsoft Office suite. It includes apps for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. This software also plays nicely with common file types, making it easy to import and export files between platforms.
GIMP is a great open source photo editor. It offers a variety of tools for altering and enhancing images. Similar to Adobe Photoshop, GIMP allows users to work on images using layers, filters, and other powerful features.
If you spend time editing podcasts, music, and other audio files for personal or professional use, Audacity may be the best tool for you. It offers a long list of editing tools, including the ability to combine files, remove background noise, control echo, and more.
Stripe is a powerful internet e-commerce tool that makes running an online business easier. Their software helps streamline subscriptions services, e-commerce stores, crowdfunding projects, etc. It is easy to use and utilized by well-known companies such as Lyft, Kickstarter, and Slack.
Matomo is a web analytics platform that allows you to monitor traffic to your site and gauge user experience. With data ownership and user privacy as a key focus of their business, Matomo is a great alternative for managing tags and other online analytics.
Telegram offers cloud-based messaging on both mobile and desktop apps. Emphasizing security and speed, all messages are encrypted and can be sent quickly from almost anywhere. Their service is free, with no ads or subscriptions fees.
Discourse is a simple and modern discussion platform. With community and communication at the core of their business, this company fits well in the open source atmosphere. It offers an assortment of options to connect through discussion forums, chat rooms and more.
Email services are a basic necessity of any business. SendGrid is a one-stop shop for email services, serving a long list of big name clients such as Uber, Spotify, and Yelp.
Some may say we saved the best for last. The Ghostery Browser Extension is also open source! Ghostery helps you browse smarter by giving you control over ads and tracking technologies to speed up page loads, eliminate clutter, and protect your data. Try it free here!
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