How To Increase Your Privacy In Windows 10 By Turning Off Some Default Settings
There has been some recent concern that Windows 10 gathers too much private information from users. You may not believe that the latest Microsoft operating system crosses any privacy lines. After all, people have different perceptions of online privacy. Regardless, you many wish to ensure that you keep your virtual world predominantly private. There is no need for concern - Microsoft is not doing anything without your permission - but there are some aspects to consider.
There are situations whereby you may wish to consider whether you provide information about how you are using your computer or keep it private. One concern is that Windows 10 automatically assigns an advertising ID to each user. This ID makes it possible to gather information and use it for generating personalised ads for web-browsing and using certain applications. Another possible concern is a feature called Wi-Fi sense. Some personal data is synced with Microsoft servers, and information such as your Wi-Fi password can be encrypted and shared with your contacts. Of course, first you must to choose to share a network to make this possible. This is why we call it a "possible concern".
Cortana is also a consideration - Microsoft's personal assistant, which also collects data. You may find this feature helpful, or consider it a threat to your privacy when using Windows 10. If you have not yet installed your copy of Windows 10, note that you can adjust your privacy settings before installation. During the process, you will be able to choose either "Use Express settings" or "Customize settings". Choose the second option to customize your privacy settings. If you already have Windows 10 installed, you can change these settings manually at any time. In this article, we show some ways to increase your privacy using the Windows 10 Operating System.
Table of Contents:
- Turn Off Advertising ID
- Turn Off Your Location Tracking
- Turn Off Wi-Fi Sense
- Turn Off Feedback And Diagnostics
- Turn Off Cortana's Getting To Know Me Feature
- Watch Out For Windows System Updates
- Video Showing How To Increase Your Privacy In Windows 10
Turn Off Advertising ID
This ID gathers information about you when you are browsing the web and when you use Windows 10 apps. Turning this feature off will prevent personalized ads from popping up in Windows 10. Turn it off by going to the general privacy settings menu. Click "Privacy" in Settings, and you will find this option in the "General" section.
Turn Off Your Location Tracking
This lets Windows 10 know your location. If you do not mind, you can leave it turned on. This option lets your operating system provide relevant information such as local weather, nearby restaurants, and so on. If you do not want Windows to track your location, you can turn it off. Go to the same privacy settings and select "Location" under the "General" settings menu. Move the slider to "Off".
Turn Off Wi-Fi Sense
This feature enables you to share WiFi connections. You can share your network's bandwidth with specific people. This feature can also connect you to other WiFi networks that are shared with you by your friends or other people. If you would like to disable this feature, go to Network & Internet, choose "Wi-Fi", and then go to "Manage Wi-Fi Settings". To stop connecting to networks shared with you by your friends or other people, turn off the "Connect to suggested open hotspots" feature. If you want to stop sharing WiFi networks you log in to, uncheck "Outlook.com contacts" and other contacts below.
Turn Off Feedback and Diagnostics
Microsoft allows you to send diagnostic data to them so that they can better troubleshoot performance problems and improve services. This might mean that you are sending information you would rather not, such as memory snapshots or which apps you use most often.
Go to Privacy in Settings and select "Feedback & Diagnostics".
You will see two options: Feedback frequency and Diagnostic and usage data. Feedback frequency adjustment lets you decide how often you want Windows to ask you for feedback. If you do not want to be disturbed, turn it off.
The diagnostic and usage data feature can send a lot of data to Microsoft, which will include information such as how often you use apps, which apps you use the most, etc. Windows does not let you turn off this feature completely, except on the Enterprise version of Windows. You can choose from three options: basic, enhanced, or full.
Turn Off Cortana's Getting To Know Me
This setting allows Cortana to gather all kinds of data about you to help it deliver services. You can turn off this feature - this will delete any collected data stored on your PC, and also turn off dictation functionality. Go to Privacy settings in Settings and select "Speech, inking and typing". Click "Turn off speech services and typing suggestions".
You can stop Cortana from giving suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts, etc. Click the Cortana icon in the Taskbar, and then click the notebook icon, which should be the second icon from the top. Select Settings from the list of options that appear and slide to the top option that says "Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts, and more" to "Off". If you never used Cortana in the first place, then it should already be off.
Watch Out For Windows System Updates
Since Windows updates are enabled by default, they could revert your privacy settings to the previous state or add new privacy settings, giving more access to areas of your system. Go back and check your settings after each major update. You can also check if there are any new features installed with the update that might affect your privacy.
Video Showing How To Increase Your Privacy In Windows 10: