After covering iOS in our last entry, we are focusing on Android and  most specifically on Samsung devices...which could be a little tricky!

Let us start by stating that we think that Samsung is awesome! if you have a top of the line device like the Note 10 or the S10 series, then you have not only a great camera but many excellent tools and features. That said, some of these appear a whole lot less sexy after you discover  that they routinely 'phone home!' and unlike E.T this is not to be rescued but to send data, meta info and images/pictures to servers potentially in...China! It also probably goes to Facebook as well so the NSA and Mark have a copy too...if that sounded sarcastic then yes that was the point I wanted to make.

Luckily, if have a Samsung or are planning on buying one there are, as always (courtesy of the Privacy Cookbook), a few things you can do to address  this.

First step:
Enable Developer options on the device. Open Settings> About phone > Software information (on a Galaxy S10  for instance) and tap ‘Build number‘ 7 times. Upon reaching the 'Developer mode has been enabled” message, go back and tap 'Developer options'.

Scroll down and turn on ‘USB debugging‘,  tap ‘Allow‘ once prompted.

Since you have enabled USB debugging on your Galaxy S10, Note 10 or probably most other Samsung devices which work in the same way, your phone is  now ready to accept commands via ADB directly from your computer.

Second step:
You might need to install the Android SDK platform tools for Windows, Mac, Linux

Android SDK Platform Tools [Latest Zip] | Windows / Mac / Linux
Download Android SDK Platform Tools Zip for Windows, Mac and Linux. You can use latest ADB and Fastboot Platform-tools to execute ADB or fastboot commands.

Now you are ready to 'Debloat' the 'shit' Samsung kindly provided for your 'convenience' :)

Start the terminal and type:

adb shell

FACEBOOK
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.facebook.katana
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.facebook.system
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.facebook.appmanager
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.facebook.services
BIXBY
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.bixby.wakeup
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.spage
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.routines
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.bixby.service
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.visionintelligence
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.bixby.agent
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.bixby.agent.dummy
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.bixbyvision.framework
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.systemui.bixby2
AM/FM RADIO
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.dsi.ant.sample.acquirechannels
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.dsi.ant.service.socket
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.dsi.ant.server
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.dsi.ant.plugins.antplus
FLIPBOARD
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 flipboard.boxer.app

GENERAL
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.android.egg
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.android.dreams.phototable
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.easyonehand
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.widgetapp.samsungapps
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.app.launcher
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.mateagent
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.easyMover.Agent
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.android.dreams.basic
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.watchmanagerstub
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.daemonapp
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.social
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.messaging
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.vvm

GOOGLE:
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.gm
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.videos
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.ar.core

MICROSOFT
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.microsoft.skydrive

PRINTING
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.android.bips
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.printservice.recommendation
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.android.printspooler

SAMSUNG AIR COMMANDS
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.service.aircommand
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.aircommandmanager

SAMSUNG ALWAYS-ON DISPLAY
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.aodservice

SAMSUNG APPS
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.wellbeing
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.da.daagent
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.service.livedrawing

SAMSUNG AR DOODLES
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.ardrawing

SAMSUNG AR EMOJI
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.aremoji
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.mimage.avatarstickers
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.emojiupdater

SAMSUNG BROWSER
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.app.sbrowser
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.sbrowseredge

SAMSUNG CAR MODE
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.drivelink.stub

SAMSUNG DEX
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.app.dexonpc
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.app.desktoplauncher
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.desktopmode.uiservice
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.desktopsystemui
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.desktopcommunity

SAMSUNG EDGE
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.service.peoplestripe

SAMSUNG EMAIL
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.email.provider
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.wsomacp

SAMSUNG GAME LAUNCHER
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.game.gamehome
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.enhance.gameservice
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.game.gametools
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.game.gos
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.gametuner.thin

SAMSUNG GEAR VR
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.hmt.vrsvc
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.vrsetupwizardstub
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.hmt.vrshell
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.vr.vrcore

SAMSUNG GLOBAL GOALS
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.sree

SAMSUNG KIDS
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.kidsinstaller
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.camera.sticker.facearavatar.preload
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.app.kidshome

SAMSUNG LED COVER
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.ledbackcover
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.sec.android.cover.ledcover

SAMSUNG PAY
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.samsungpassautofill
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.authfw
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.samsungpass
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.spay
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.spayfw

SAMSUNG SECURE WI-FI
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.fast

SAMSUNG STICKER CENTER
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.camera.sticker.stamp.preload
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.stickercenter
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.camera.sticker.facearframe.preload
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.camera.sticker.facearexpression.preload
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.camera.sticker.facear.preload

SAMSUNG TIPS
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.android.app.tips

SAMSUNG TTS ENGINE
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.SMT

SAMSUNG VOICEMAIL
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.samsung.vvm.se

You can also use an app called package disable, which can disable this apps, but bear in mind that it is still there! Even with ADB you  have just moved them from the user's account! With the package disable app, which you can purchase with bitcoin, you can also safely disable all other Google apps including Chrome, Google framework etc, The beauty of this is that if you need them for a software update  or for any other reason, you can just  re-enable them in the app.

Sadly, you are not done yet!

We highly recommend one of these two apps!

1) Netguard

​https://www.netguard.me/

With Netguard, get the one from GitHub, pay in bitcoin and set it up with a total lockdown on apps then only allow apps that you totally trust! You can even allow some apps that only work when the screen is on!

or

2) AdGuard
https://adguard.com/en/welcome.html

We've tested both apps and both really well. Netguard is open source, super easy to use and setup in lockdown mode but then so is AdGuard, However, it has a few great, additional features:

Personalized DNS services via DNS-over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS which are two great, first steps to privacy, as you can read here

There is more though, for example, the Blocklist feature which both blocks an already impressive, pre-offered list but which also allows you to add  your own suggestions or lists!

We have a big list here

Privacy Cookbook - Chapter 3 - Ad and Bad traffic filtering
​The internet is one scary place. Most people wouldn’t know that as they go to their favourite website that they have no idea what else is connecting to their device. I have a crazy example: my Samsung Note 10 had most of the requested connections coming all day from Samsung.com.cn and from Baidu.co…

You can even block directly at a DNS level

Click on AdGuard -> Settings -> DNS Filter

Select the DNS server you like, or add your own

Click on DNS request blocking and add any of your recommended lists, however, we strongly recommend:

CHEFKOCH - NSA Blocklist
CHEFKOCH - Canvas font fingerprinting
CHEFKOCH - Audio fingerprinting
CHEFKOCH - Canvas fingerprinting
CHEFKOCH - Trackers
CHEFKOCH - Facebook
Samsung - Snooping
GoodByeAds - Great list of Ads blocked
Yhosts - Great list!
Crimeflare - Cloudflare domains
Android - Android Ads and Tracking

Use the same lists on AdGuard -> Settings -> Content Blocking -> Filters -> Custom Filters

Go to Settings -> Content Blocking -> Filters -> User rules and enter

||samsung.com.cn^
||dnsdelegation.io^
||crashlytics.com^
||samsungapps.com^
||baidu.com^
||360safe.com^
||360.cn^
||qq.com^
||samsungdm.com^
||samsungcloud.com^
||samsungimagine.com^
||secb2b.com^
||samsung.com^
||fbcdn.com^
||fasty.net^
||taobao.tw^
||taobao.com^
||localytics.com^
||medialytics.com^
||samqaicongen.com^

Now  this all sounded exciting, right? Nope! It ain't...for a 'business  phone', well, now comes the real reason why we want you to install  Netguard or AdGuard!

Again using the example of AdGuard:

AdGuard -> Settings -> Apps Management

Go over every app and choose if you want that app to go online on WiFi, Cellphone or not when screen off! This is an incredible feature to have and it is also a super spy saver as Samsung routinely connects in apps like Camera and Gallery to var.samsungapps.com or samsung.com.cn

We see no reason for this and can't think of any. Sure, Samsung might claim they are checking to see if you need an update but shouldn't that be done in the storeor via regular updates? So why, when you taking a picture or recording a video or looking through existing pictures does this need to happen....again we can't see why! So just take this off  the table and block internet access to the Camera and Gallery apps!

Lastly, but not least, we love to recommend use of the f-droid store as a Google alternative/replacement, it's all open-source and that's the way it should be! End of...

In the f-droid store, we suggest Fennec as a good browser option, Tor-Browser, if you're even more privacy orientated, Fedilab as your mastodon app, Feeder for your RSS reader, Green as a Bitcoin wallet, Scrambled Exif for metadata removal on pictures and OsmAnd+ as your  Google Maps replacement.

Enjoy your better, safer, more battery efficient and, best of all, less spying Samsung device.

In the next Privacy Cookbook entry we'll focus more on Android, so check back in, even as a Samsung user ;)