‘Don’t spy on me!’ How to opt out of Windows 10’s intrusive defaults

RT

Windows 10’s pre-installed settings are privacy-intrusive by default, so changing those setting is just a matter of self-respect – and also a message to Microsoft.

Following the release of Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system, experts pointed out that it has little care for privacy, collecting on factory presets all available information about you, be it your location history, text messages and any information your share via them, personal contacts and calendar notes about your plans for exact dates, among other things.  

“Microsoft collects information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks,” says the Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions nearly all of us accept without reading. “Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage.”

What is this all about? The first thing coming to mind is targeted ads bombardment as well as selling undesired services.

“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to,” the document says.

However, all is not lost. There are a number of steps you take to protect your privacy.

Immediately after installing the new system on your computer, you can deactivate most of the shameless default settings you would never turn on yourself if anybody bothered to ask your opinion.

Here is exactly what you could do first if you don’t want to feed your personal data to Microsoft corporate databases “voluntarily”:

– Read Terms and Conditions. For real.

– Turn off some of the default presets in the newly installed system (Settings – Privacy), as tech news outlet BGR suggests.

– Disable sharing your internet connection over Wi-Fi, it’s a bit too generous an invitation for everybody out there (Path: Start Menu / Change Wi-Fi settings / Manage Wi-Fi settings / turn off all the boxes you want to keep for yourself).

– Windows 10 syncs your machine with Microsoft servers by default, so things like web browser history, Wi-Fi network names with passwords, mobile hotspot, apps you install and favorites you choose are potentially being stored on their servers forever. This data “sharing” should be deactivated – in Settings.

Other Windows 10 features to be aware of:

– Windows 10 also generates a unique Microsoft ID for each and every user on a particular device. This ID can be used for targeted advertising – and it could end up with third parties, be it apps or ads developers, and they will all come to your laptop to sell what they think you need.

– By default, Windows encrypts the drive it is installed on automatically, generating a BitLocker recovery key that is backed up in the Microsoft OneDrive online account. This is also done automatically, so beware of this feature when your device encryption is on.

– All updates from Microsoft require collection of basic information about apps installed and networks you’re connected to.

– If you choose to use the Cortana Search Assistant, you should know that this feature will use any personal information it can get to tailor your online experience.

“If you open a file, we may collect information about the file, the application used to open the file, and how long it takes any use [of] it for purposes such as improving performance, or [if you] enter text, we may collect typed characters, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spell check features,” the Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions users accept says.

Windows 10 does contain a great deal of extremely handy and helpful features that can really make your web surfing and data management easier than it is now. However, this comes at a price of certain loss of privacy, which could be involuntary.

But if you have the slightest suspicion that you’d better keep your life a private undertaking – you should go to the Windows 10 Start Menu and disable anything that looks inappropriate for public sharing.

The problem is that even if you ask Windows 10 to stop collecting your data, will it really listen to your plea?

http://www.rt.com/usa/311383-windows-opt-out-privacy/

5 thoughts on “‘Don’t spy on me!’ How to opt out of Windows 10’s intrusive defaults

  1. There is NOT ONE electronic device which is capable of connecting to another, with said connectivity ” open “, that is secure. And even then, you can select an option in a pop-up window, BUT, that doesn’t ensure it’s been implemented, UNLESS you can inspect and comprehend the ” source code ” for the software in question. PERIOD. Windows 95 had an NSA registry key, and every version since ( back door ). Think about it.

    However, hiding or attempting to is self-defeating. It demonstrates FEAR to the enemy. You see, if WE ALL stood up and said: NO, guess what ? WE THE PEOPLE outnumber them, the self-appointed controllers, and it would be game over. FEAR in most is what’s holding us ALL back. There is talk, and there is walk, and talk don’t walk . . .

    That is why I use my birth name, I want the enemy to know who I am and that I harbor no fear. They can cause my temporal vehicle ( body ) to cease to function, but they can NEVER have my spirit or soul.

  2. Windows 3.11 anyone?

    but that is one reason i have windows XP still.. installed the base stock OS and then turned off everything in the registry or deleted that the OS didn’t need to function.. i also keep the computer disconnected from all phone lines unless im using the connection..

    i also build my computers myself to avoid the hidden microphone syndrome and i have no WiFi connection..

    a little on the hidden microphone… a few years back i had a HP with Windows ME.

    i also had the game Delta Force Land Warrior from Novalogic. well the game has what is called VON or Voice Over Net function where you can talk to other players in the game.

    the VON setting had a test microphone threshold in the Menu. i accidentally hit that while playing around in the menu and it did the auto playback of what would have been recorded if i had had a microphone connected to the PC, i did not have a microphone connected to the PC.

    well what it played back was disturbing. the thing used the internal computer speakers as a microphone.. i tested it again and tapped on the case. it played back the tapping..

    it was at that moment i ripped out every speaker and pezo buzzer in the case. that stopped it from recording.. from then on i build my own computers so i know what is in them..

  3. ““We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to,” the document says.”

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Good faith belief that doing so is necessary to.

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! As if Microsoft knows anything about “Good faith belief”. Oh man, that’s rich.

    “But if you have the slightest suspicion that you’d better keep your life a private undertaking – you should go to the Windows 10 Start Menu and disable anything that looks inappropriate for public sharing.”

    Doesn’t make a difference. Windows will always have a backdoor to take your information anyways and no one will ever know the difference until it is too late and Microsoft knows this.

    “The problem is that even if you ask Windows 10 to stop collecting your data, will it really listen to your plea?”

    I rest my case. Switch to Linux. I’m planning on doing that very soon.

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