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Eliminate Google from your lifeAre you afraid of how much information Google has about you? You can live without it.
As Google gets bigger and bigger, so do our privacy concerns. If you use Google search, Gmail, Google Docs, and YouTube, Google collects a staggering amount of data about you. And we only named a handful of the Google products. But you can live life without Google. Here's how. Let's start with search. You may think you can't find anything on the Web without Google, but you can. In fact, you have several worthwhile options to choose from. Bing is the next most popular search engine and it will soon power Yahoo search. You can also try out Ask.com or, for some old-school fun, AltaVista.com. I recommend Bing. Just change that default search engine in your Web browser and the majority of your Google interaction is probably gone. Next, let's look at Gmail. How can you live without free unlimited storage and POP3 e-mail access? Yahoo Mail. Yes, Yahoo Mail. It may not be the belle of the ball, but it does all those things and the interface, lifted from Zimbra, works just like a modern e-mail program--unlike Gmail. Along with Gmail, you may be using Google Calendar. You can export that calendar and then switch to Yahoo Calendar. With Yahoo, you can share the calendar, access it online, and sync it with desktop calendars. Another biggie is documents. If you may think no other company is doing online document collaboration better than Google, you haven't tried ZoHo. It does everything Google Docs can do and it does some things better. Replacing YouTube is trickier. If a video's on YouTube and your friend sends you the link, you might just have to click the link and be done with it. But you don't have to use it to share your own videos. For those, I recommend using DailyMotion.com. For still photos, replace Picasa with Flickr. And to replace Picasa's editing features, use Paint.NET on Windows and Acorn on Mac OS X. My list does hand over your calendar, photos, and e-mail to Yahoo. So if you want to diversify more, try using Microsoft for the e-mail or calendar. That's my list. Do you have suggestions for other replacements? Let us know in the comments for this How To on our blog at blog.cnettv.com. I'm Tom Merritt, happy un-Googling yourself.