Windows 10 Privacy Settings You Should Change
Microsoft gave us a lovely free upgrade (which is expiring soon!) to Windows 10 if you were on Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. This was to persuade people to use the latest operating system (OS) but was also a good way to make people forget the disaster of Windows 8! With the upgrade, however, there are a few privacy settings which you might want to consider changing from the defaults.
If you haven’t installed Windows 10 yet this first section is for you. If you have already installed it and want to check and/or change your settings there is a section below that will help you. Please note that disabling certain settings may in turn disable some features such as Cortana.
Before Installing Windows
Before you complete the installation there are a few settings you will want to take a look at. You may want to disable some of these to prevent the operating system from accessing too much of your data. When prompted to continue using express settings you should definitely not click next and instead select Custom Settings. From here you can block access to certain information such as location as well as restricting Microsoft from using targeted adverts across applications and transmitting your typing data.
If you have already installed Windows you can change these settings using the following steps:
- Click on the Start button
- Click on Settings
- Click on Privacy
- Change settings as required
We would highly recommend that you take the time to go through all of the settings in the Privacy window and determine which settings to change and which to keep.
If you are particularly worried about sharing information I would recommend that you create a local account to log in to Windows rather than using a Microsoft account. This will mean that certain settings are not shared across multiple devices running a Microsoft OS (if you have them) but it will also mean that these same settings are not shared to Microsoft’s servers.
Setting up a local account is easy but the setting has been hidden away a little bit when you are setting up for the first time. When you get to the account login screen you need to click on create account after which you can scroll to the bottom of the page where you will see an option to sign in without a Microsoft account. This is the option you will want to select.
This is a feature which particularly had us worried. WiFi Sense allows Microsoft to suggest WiFi hotspots, automatically connect to them and then share the hotspot information with your contacts. It achieves this by accessing your Outlook, Mail and Skype contacts and your Facebook friends. Obviously, this only affects computers that have a WiFi adapter installed.
You can change these settings by going to Settings, Network & Internet, WiFi and scrolling to the bottom. You will see an option to Manage WiFi Settings. Here you can disable the ability to connect to open hotspots and the ability to connect to networks shared by your contacts.
So In Conclusion…
With all the settings listed here you can manage your privacy they way in which you are comfortable. Changing some of these settings may result in some functionality not working or in some tasks becoming slightly less convenient but at least you will know that you are in control of the settings on your computer!