DeGoogled Phones - How Secure Are They?

Mark Kreitzman
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February 28, 2023
Modified On
April 7, 2023

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Modified On
April 7, 2023

Are you concerned about your online privacy? Do you feel like tech giants like Google have access to your data? If so, you're not alone. As people become more aware of how their data is collected and used, there has been a growing interest in DeGoogled phones. In this article, we'll explore what DeGoogled phones are, how they work, and what benefits they offer those looking to take control of their online privacy.

How Does Google Track Our Data and How Does it Put us At Risk?

Google is known for its search engine but has expanded into numerous other areas, such as email, mobile operating systems, and even smart home devices. As a result, Google has become one of the most potent and ubiquitous tech companies in the world. However, with this power level comes an increased responsibility to protect users' privacy and data.

Google's ability to track users' data is a crucial reason for concern. One of the ways that Google tracks data is through its search engine. When users search for something on Google, the company collects information about the search query, including the user's IP address, location, and search terms. This data can build a profile of the user's interests and behavior, which can serve targeted ads or personalized search results.

In addition to search data, Google tracks users through its mobile operating system, Android. Android allows Google to collect location, device type, and app usage data. This data can provide personalized content and ads but also creates user vulnerabilities. Hackers could use a user's location data to track their movements if a user's location data is leaked or stolen.

Another way that Google tracks users is through its suite of productivity tools, such as Gmail and Google Docs. These tools are often helpful for work or sensitive information, but Google also collects the data generated from their usage. This data could include email content, documents, and other personal information, which could be vulnerable to hacking or data breaches.

Google's ability to track users' data has raised concerns about privacy and security. Organizations can use the collected data for targeted advertising but can also be vulnerable to hacking or data breaches. As a result, many users have turned to alternatives such as DeGoogled phones and private search engines. Mobile carriers such as Efani are also emerging to provide secure and reliable mobile plans for users concerned about privacy and data security.

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What is a DeGoogled Phone?

A DeGoogled phone is a mobile device modified to remove Google's proprietary services and applications that collect and store personal information. The process of de-Googling a phone typically involves installing alternative open-source software and applications that do not require Google services to function.

By removing Google's services and applications, DeGoogled phones can help users limit the amount of personal information collected and stored by Google, thereby protecting their privacy and reducing their dependence on large tech companies.

DeGoogled phones can also provide increased security, as they are less vulnerable to hacking and other cyber threats that exploit weaknesses in Google's proprietary software.

While DeGoogled phones have been around for 2-3 years and are a growing niche due to increased concerns about data privacy and hacking, most manufacturers of DeGoogled phones are out of business due to a lack of awareness.

Why Do People Use DeGoogled Phones?

People use DeGoogled phones to have more control over their data and protect their privacy. By removing Google's proprietary services and applications that collect and store personal information, users can limit the amount of personal data that is collected and stored by Google.

Using a DeGoogled phone also provides users with alternative open-source applications without Google services, giving them more freedom and flexibility in customizing their phones and choosing the applications they want to use.

DeGoogled phones can also provide increased security, as they are less vulnerable to hacking and other cyber threats that exploit weaknesses in Google's proprietary software.

Another reason why people use DeGoogled phones is to reduce their dependence on large tech companies and support the development of open-source software and privacy-focused services. This independence can promote greater diversity and innovation in the technology industry.

Finally, some people use DeGoogled phones for work or proprietary reasons. It allows them to use location, advertising ID, device ID, Google ID, etc., without the risk of their data being tracked or linked to their personal information.

How Common are DeGoogled Phones?

DeGoogled phones are still niche products and are less common than standard smartphones. While DeGoogled phones have grown in recent years due to increased concerns about data privacy and security, most smartphone users still rely on Google's proprietary services and applications.

DeGoogled phones are less ordinary because most manufacturers of DeGoogled phones are out of business due to a lack of awareness and limited resources. This situation has made it difficult for DeGoogled phones to gain a foothold in the market and attract a broader audience.

Additionally, some users may find DeGoogled phones less convenient than standard smartphones, as they may have limited app options and require a secondary phone number for voice and SMS services.

Despite these challenges, DeGoogled phones will likely grow as more users become aware of the benefits of protecting their privacy and reducing their dependence on large tech companies.

Disadvantages of Using a DeGoogled Phone

Before moving to the advantages of DeGoogled phones, there are quite a few disadvantages to using these phones. Understanding these disadvantages is essential to correctly decide about data security and preventing the spread of private information online.

Disadvantages of Using DeGoogled Phones

DeGoogled phones have become increasingly popular in recent years due to data privacy and security concerns. However, users should be aware of several disadvantages to using these devices before switching.

Limited App Options

The limited number of apps available is one of the most significant drawbacks. With a DeGoogled phone, you won't have access to the Google Play Store, the primary app store for Android devices. This lack of access means you won't be able to use many popular apps, including YouTube, Google Maps, and Gmail.

While you can still use some apps on a DeGoogled phone, they may not be the ones you're used to, and they may not work as well as the ones you're used to using. For example, some apps may not work without Google Play Store, which is unavailable on DeGoogled phones. This lack of access can be frustrating and may require you to find alternative apps that work with your DeGoogled phone.

Fortunately, alternative app stores, such as the Aurora App Store, specifically for DeGoogled phones, are available. However, the number of apps available on these alternative stores is limited, and you may not be able to find all the apps you need. Additionally, some of these app stores may not be as secure as the Google Play Store, and you may need to be more cautious when downloading apps to your DeGoogled phone.

Incomplete Protection from Tracking

While DeGoogled phones can limit data collection by Google, they do not necessarily stop devices from being tracked altogether. Users should still be cautious when using their phones on public Wi-Fi networks or when swapping SIM cards. Third parties can still trace their activity, which means that users may not be completely anonymous when using DeGoogled phones, which could be a concern for some users who value their privacy.

Need for a New Email Address

Users must create a new email address for their DeGoogled phone since their old email address may be linked to their previous phone and have data attributed to it. This situation can be inconvenient and require users to notify their contacts of the change. It can also make it more difficult for users to access old emails or contacts associated with their old email addresses.

Use of VPN Required

Users will need to use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi networks at home as there is a minor possibility that organizations could trace their Wi-Fi network. The traceability means that users may need to pay for a VPN subscription or use a free service that may not be as reliable as a paid option. Additionally, a VPN can slow down internet speeds, which could frustrate some users.

Possible Leakage of Data

Finally, if users share their phone numbers with friends and family, data leakage is possible. While DeGoogled phones can limit data collection by Google, other entities may still be able to collect and use data associated with users' phone numbers. This data collection could include web crawlers or other data collectors who can access information if it is accessible.

DeGoogled phones can provide some benefits in terms of data privacy and security, but there are also several disadvantages that users should consider before making the switch. These include limited app options, insufficient protection from tracking, the need for a new email address, the use of a VPN required, and possible data leakage.

Advantages of Using a DeGoogled Phone

Since news of data tracking from Google has become common, many people have used DeGoogled phones. Even though most people use it as a secondary phone, it still helps with online anonymity and preventing data leakage online. 

Invisible to Google

Being invisible to Google means that Google cannot track your activities on your DeGoogled phone. This invisibility can be particularly useful for those who value their privacy and want to keep their personal information out of the hands of big tech companies like Google. When you use a DeGoogled phone, Google cannot collect data from your device, track your browser usage, or link any collected data to you. It can give you control over your online privacy and reduce the risk of targeted advertising or data breaches. Additionally, being invisible to Google can prevent your data from being used for nefarious purposes, such as targeted political advertising or identity theft.

No data collection

Preventing data collection and data attribution is a significant advantage of using DeGoogled phones. When you use a DeGoogled phone, Google cannot collect data from your device, so any collected data does not attribute to you. This anonymity means that any websites or apps that track data cannot link that data to you, as your device is invisible to Google. Additionally, when you use a DeGoogled phone, your browser usage will be unknown to Google, further increasing your privacy and anonymity. By preventing data collection and attribution, DeGoogled phones allow you to take greater control over your data and keep it safe from potential attacks or misuse.


Online anonymity is another advantage of using a DeGoogled phone. With the increasing amount of personal data collected by tech giants like Google, maintaining privacy online has become a growing concern for many individuals. Using a DeGoogled phone, users can surf the web, access social media and messaging apps, and conduct online activities without leaving a digital footprint. This anonymity gives users a sense of security, as they can rest assured that their personal information will not be collected, tracked, or sold to third parties. Moreover, using a VPN with a DeGoogled phone can enhance online anonymity and provide users with a more secure online experience. By preventing data collection and attribution, DeGoogled phones offer users the peace of mind that their online activities remain private and secure.

Unknown browser usage

When using a DeGoogled phone, browser usage is unknown to Google. It means that any websites visited and searches performed are not linked to a specific user or device, providing increased privacy. It benefits individuals who do not want their internet activity tracked or their personal information shared with third-party companies.

More control

Using a DeGoogled phone gives individuals more control over their devices and data. They can choose which apps to install and prevent data collection and tracking by disabling certain settings. This control gives individuals more control over their online activity and allows them to protect their data privacy.

DeGoogled phones offer enhanced privacy and control over personal data. While there are some limitations to using these devices, they are becoming an increasingly popular option for individuals who are concerned about data privacy and want more control over their online activity. Individuals using a DeGoogled phone can protect their personal information and ensure their online training remains private.

The Importance of a Good Mobile Service Provider

Regarding DeGoogled phones, having a reliable mobile carrier is essential to ensure user data safety and privacy. There are several reasons why a good mobile carrier is necessary for DeGoogled phone users.

Firstly, SIM swapping attacks are a common method used by hackers to gain access to a user's accounts. It involves controlling their phone number, bypassing two-factor authentication, and gaining access to accounts linked to that phone number. You can prevent this by having a carrier that offers additional security measures, such as two-factor authentication and SIM card lock. DeGoogled phone users can have peace of mind knowing that their phone number is secure and protected by using a carrier that prioritizes the security of its users' data.

Secondly, a good mobile carrier should have strict policies to protect user data, including encryption and secure information storage. A suitable carrier is essential for DeGoogled phone users who have chosen to prioritize their privacy and limit the amount of data collected about them. Using a carrier that prioritizes data protection, DeGoogled phone users can ensure their sensitive information is not vulnerable to hackers or other malicious actors.

Finally, with the rise in cyber threats, having a mobile carrier that offers cyber insurance can provide an extra layer of protection in case of any data breaches or identity theft. This layer of security is crucial for DeGoogled phone users, who may be more vulnerable to cyber attacks due to the limited amount of data. Using a carrier like Efani, which offers cyber insurance, DeGoogled phone users can know they are secure in case of any unexpected security breaches.

Efani is a mobile carrier that caters specifically to DeGoogled phone users. They offer a secure mobile plan with SIM card security and secure voice and messaging. Their SIM card locking feature ensures that your phone number cannot be transferred or cloned without your permission. Their secure voice and messaging feature ensures your conversations are encrypted, and no one else can intercept them. Using Efani, DeGoogled phone users can have the peace of mind of knowing that a carrier prioritizing their privacy and security is protecting it.

To Sum It Up

The rise of DeGoogled phones highlights the growing concerns around data privacy and security. Many are searching for alternative solutions as people become increasingly aware of how their personal information is being collected and used by tech companies. DeGoogled phones provide one such solution, allowing users to take control of their data and limit the information collected about them. While certain limitations and challenges are associated with using these devices, they represent a growing niche in the market and a potential pathway toward a more secure and privacy-focused future. As technology continues to evolve and data collection becomes even more ubiquitous, it is clear that the demand for DeGoogled phones and other privacy-enhancing tools will only continue to grow.

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Mark Kreitzman
General Manager, Efani Secure Mobile

I am General Manager at Efani Secure Mobile. I have over 20 years of experience in enterprise cybersecurity, including 8 years focused on mobile security. I have a high level of achievements and expertise in the Service Provider Alliance/Partner space. I am positioned at senior levels with SPs/Resellers such as AT&T, Verizon, Cisco Systems, and many others. I have deep experience in SaaS, cybersecurity, telecom, mobile & blockchain.

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