What to do instead of jailbreaking your phone

According to ExpressVPN, as jailbreaking or rooting is never an option for sane and security-minded folk like us, we must make other decisions when looking for the freedom to use our device the way we want. And to free us from poorly administered Digital Rights Management (DRM) or monopolistic restrictions.

1. Choose your device carefully

While it is relatively common to bundle software with hardware, not all devices are created equal. Some laptops and phones will make it relatively easy for you to install software, while others won’t.

Make a conscious decision before buying: Does the default software have the capabilities you expect, or can you install the operating system you want?

If you get a Laptop with Windows installed, do a quick search to see how well Linux runs on it. If you’re getting a phone, you might be interested in an Android alternative like LineageOS (formerly Cyanogen Mod).

2. Know what you are doing

If your device cannot easily be unbundled, make sure you know what you are doing. Cars and tractors, for example, also come with a proprietary operating system, but it can be more easily replaced than that of an iPhone.

It’s important that you know what you are doing, though, and what implications your alterations have on your safety and that of potential participants. Not all alternative firmware is well tested, and some might be outright malicious, too.

3. Campaign for the right to repair

Your fridge, car, phone, TV, or air conditioner is yours, and it should be yours to repair. Organizations like the EFF campaign to free hardware from license agreements, and to invalidate clauses that make it impossible for you to control the things you own.

You can also contact your local hackerspace or library about tips and communities (or even start one of your own).

Renna Michelle
Renna is freelance writer and security enthusiast based New Zealand. She likes to travel the world, read Yoga books, and she’s still doing it now. She believes that life always changes its own way, we need to catch it up by ourself.

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