Take back control
Over and over various corporations have shown that they are either incapable of or have little to no interest at all in keeping our (= their users) data private or safe. Previously this was almost only a problem with online services ("the cloud") and a few "classic" data-heavy companies, but as everything gets more and more connected, this threat grows even further.
Suddenly you can't use a truly local program without a third party knowing of it; in some cases (Windows 8, I'm looking at you) you can't even use a local program talking to a private service (IMAP) without giving up your account data to a third party (Microsoft). This is not some limited issue. It spreads all over the place.
Take back control.
Reduce your footprint in private databases. Don't expose others.
- Refuse to give your account data of a service to a third party.
- Refuse to sign in using social data kraken on sites that demand it.
- Refuse to "link" your accounts between companies/services. (I.e. Facebook to Steam)
- Refuse to give other peoples data to data kraken. (I.e. addressbook syncing via Google)
- Refuse to have your private email on a companies server.
- Broader: Refuse to have your communication controlled by companies (instant messaging).
It's not easy to live up to all of this. Please don't suggest using Android; don't suggest App.net; and so on, these are just bad replacements that don't fix anything. The tradeoff remains the same.
For email and IM, please find somebody in your trusted circle who already runs their own email and IM stuff - or become this person and provide trusted services to your circle.