Windows 10 may have come with an improved interface, but it also came with some sketchy security settings that sent Microsoft more information that users would have liked. The company received everything from personal contacts, to appointments, to Wi-Fi passwords, to the users’ physical location.
Some of the data was related to user preferences, interests, and other information that can help Microsoft improve their products and make them more appealing to consumers, but some of it was juts invasive.
One way to avoid unpleasant surprises is to resist the temptation of choosing “Get going fast”, and actually spend some time installing the new operating system. However, if you already have Windows 10 on your computer, there are still things you can do to minimize the damage. Here are three (3) privacy settings to look into:
1) Wi-Fi, in particular a program called Wi-Fi Sense. It promises to allow consumers and their friends to connect their devices to new Wi-Fi networks a lot quicker and easier, without requiring a password. Windows 10 uses computer networks and contact lists to identify who your friends are.
Windows 10 does not send your password to friends, but rather encrypts it and stores it online, then passes the encrypted code to your friends. They never get to see the letters / numbers in your password.
But many have complained that the program shares too freely, without allowing users to choose which friends they want to share their password with or asking them if they’re ok with a sharing that Wi-Fi Sense wants to make.
If you’d like to disable this feature you need to go to Settings – Network & Internet – Manage Wi-Fi Settings. This will allow you to uncheck the groups that you don’t want to send your password to.
2) You may also want to keep an eye on Cortana, Microsoft’s version of Siri. When you ask the virtual assistant to answers questions, keep track of your appointments, or recommend restaurants, Cortana will take it upon itself to save and upload information about your preferences, browsing history, visited locations, search queries, information from your messages, calendar appointments and contacts.
This makes sure that the websites you visit will feature ads that you’re interested in.
If you’d like to take a look at the information that Cortana has gathered on you, you need to go to the “Notebook” icon – About Me. This will give you the option to edit or delete items.
And if you want to disable Cortana, you need to go to Notebook – Settings, where you’ll find the option of switching the virtual assistant off.
3) the “Privacy” section of the “Settings” menu is also worth looking into. To get here, click on the “Windows” icon found in the lower left corner of your screen.
Here you’ll find a program called Advertising ID, which allows app developers to also track your movement and usage of their program. But you can switch it off if you like. Go to Settings – Privacy.
You can also switch off location tracking by going to the same place.
Image Source: windowscentral.com