Similarly, you can also choose to replace the default MIUI launcher with the Nova launcher or any other Android launcher of your choice.
Sure, the alternatives also collect some form of data, but if you do not trust Mi applications, these alternatives should do the job.
#10. Do Not Login with Mi Account or Sync with Mi Cloud
Everything else that you opted out will simply go in vain if you start syncing your data with Mi Cloud for added convenience.
It is best to stick to your Google account for sync and backup.
If needed, you can opt for applications like Truecaller to backup/sync your messages, contacts, and call logs.
#11. Disable Ads
When enabled, your data/activity will be recorded and used to serve relevant advertisements that promote applications/services that you may like.
Even if you disable it, advertisements are supposed to be displayed no matter what (but irrelevant to your activities and no tracking).
I did not notice any advertisements popping up in my case (with MIUI 12.5 on board), but it is better to disable it.
#12. Use NextDNS App
NextDNS is a free and powerful solution to block trackers and advertisements. Unlike some security extensions that you find for your desktop, NextDNS can even block device-level trackers for various phones that include Xiaomi, Samsung, and others.
So, you do not need any adblocker extension for your mobile web browser if you use this.
You can directly install the NextDNS Android app and use it as a VPN connection. Or, you can set it up using the Private DNS feature on Android. You can find the instructions on their official website.
Do note that NextDNS is an effective blocking tool to improve your privacy; it is not replacing a VPN.
#13. Apply System Updates
No matter what device you use, it is important to make sure that you apply the latest updates available.
Many users tend to skip the update or wait for a long time, fearing potential bugs. While that is understandable, you need to do it as soon as possible.
In case you did not know, Mi branded devices usually offer two Android upgrades and four MIUI upgrades. And the Redmi devices offer one Android upgrade and two MIUI upgrades.
So, if you want updates for a longer time, the Mi series of smartphones should be your preferred choice.
Android Gives Great Control for Privacy
It is totally possible to tweak the settings of your MIUI device to stop Xiaomi from collecting data by following a few easy tips. If you do not care a lot about the specifications of a phone but privacy, Xiaomi phones may not be the best option.
However, if you want to go for an MIUI-powered device for its value for money, you may want to consider following the tips mentioned above.
After all, privacy is one of the biggest concerns regarding gadgets used as daily drivers. MIUI may not offer a privacy-friendly experience out of the box, but it does let you control every aspect of your smartphone, which is a good thing.
A computer science graduate with a passion to explore and write about various technologies. When he’s not writing, it is usually his cats who keep him busy.