We recently posted some information for those considering upgrading to Windows 10. At the end of that blog, I made mention to the fact that Windows 10 is pretty aggressive when it comes to collecting your personal data by default.
If you’ve chosen to upgrade to Windows 10 using the Express Install, you might want to take a few moments and review the default privacy settings and make a few adjustments.
From here you can choose to update a myriad of settings and features, most of them pretty self-explanatory. For those with questions, however, here is a bit more information and a few suggestions for tweaks in some of those tabs:
- Advertising ID: There’s really no need to leave this on, unless you like Microsoft determining which ads to send your way based on how you use your computer.
- SmartScreen: Go ahead and leave this one on. It actually protects you from potentially dangerous websites.
- Tracking your writing: This can improve autocorrect suggestions. If you don’t like keyloggers in general, though, you should turn this off.
- Language List: This ensures that the ads you see are in English. Even better, use the link right beneath this to head over to Microsoft’s website where you can opt out of personalized browser ads altogether.
- Scroll down through the list of options and choose which apps (for instance, your preferred weather app) you want to allow to automatically see your location. Remember, this will be updated each time you move locations, so in essence you are giving Microsoft a running list of each place you visit. Obviously not much of an issue with a desktop, but if you have a mobile device and would prefer Microsoft not have a detailed log of your movements and share them with your apps, you can completely turn off this feature and clear your history.
Speech, Inking & Typing
- Getting to know you: Cortana, Microsoft’s new personal assistant can do all kinds of things for you such as push out calendar reminders, provide weather updates, check your flight status, and get you directions. In order to do this, however, she needs to monitor basically everything you do on your computer, read your emails, and track your location and search history to get to know you. If the thought of that doesn’t sit well with you, go ahead and turn off “Getting to know you.” If you choose to leave this on, there are also links here to personalize how much of the information collected is then stored in the Cloud.
Feedback & Diagnostics
- Here you can decide how often you want Windows to ask for your feedback, and what level of detailed information Microsoft receives about your device and how you use it. This is set to Full by default, and there is no way to disable this completely. The best you’re going to get here is “Basic.”
Updating Edge Settings
If you plan to use Edge, Microsoft’s new internet browser, you might want to head over there now and review those settings as well. To do that, open Edge and click on the three buttons in the upper right of the screen. Scroll to the bottom of the new screen that pops up and select Settings, then View Advanced Settings. Here you can scroll down to the Privacy and Services section and review these settings one by one. Some settings you may want to adjust are:
- Which Passwords you want Edge to remember for you
- Whether or not you want Edge to save what you type in the forms you fill out
- Cookies – turn off all cookies, or just third party cookies if you find that some of your favorite websites require them
- Cortana. Again, in order to learn to assist you she has to watch and remember pretty much everything you do. If you don’t plan to use her, go ahead and just turn her off completely where it says “Have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge.”
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