Thursday, September 24, 2015

Protecting Yourself From Microsoft - Windows 10 Privacy

In July 2015 Microsoft released Windows 10, the latest version of their operating system. Windows 10 is a significant improvement from Windows 8.1 and if you haven't already, you should upgrade to Windows 10. However, there are some privacy settings you should change immediately after upgrading. This post describes the Windows 10 privacy settings and how to change them.

Customize Settings

1) Under Browser and Protection, turn off "use page prediction...". Yes, this does speed up your browsing but with this enabled you are sending all your browsing data to Microsoft.

2) Under Connectivity and Error Reporting, turn off both options. These options will automatically connect your device to open hotspots and networks shared by your contacts. These network connections may not be secure and could compromise your device. Additionally, you are sending this data to Microsoft.

Privacy Settings

1) Open your Settings menu and go to the Privacy settings. Click on the General tab on the left and turn all the options off. These settings are the most intrusive because they allow Microsoft to share your data with third-parties AND allows Microsoft to collect your keystrokes meaning every key you press on your keyboard is logged and sent to Microsoft (i.e., keylogger).

2) Click on the Location tab on the left side. In Windows 10, location tracking is enabled by default. If you do not want Microsoft tracking your every movement, turn this off by clicking the Change button under "Location for this device is on".  Next, just below the previous setting, flip the "Location" button to off.

3) Now, click on the Speech, Inking, and Typing tab on the left. This is another location where you can allow or disallow Microsoft to collect your keystrokes and personal information. Click Stop Getting To Know Me to turn this off.

Wi-Fi Sense Settings

1) Click on the Start Menu and search "wifi". You should see "Change Wi-Fi Settings" somewhere in there, click on it. Under Wi-Fi Sense, change both settings to off. These settings will share your wifi settings with all of your contacts and connect you to open hotspots. Both are dangerous situations if not managed properly. 

Microsoft has provided a good operating system with Windows 10 but with this new operating system, they introduced several new or improved features that can steal your data and invade your privacy. Always review your settings when you get a new device or operating system because the default settings are usually invasive and not what you want.