Windows 10 is running on 700 million devices worldwide right now. It is the most popular desktop operating system in the world! It has smarter features, faster shortcuts and smoother speech recognition. But, there is one thing that is still up to the user to manage efficiently: SECURITY!
Like any operating system, Windows will, by deafult try to gather data about its customers in sometimes unexpected places.
There are, a number of easy steps you can take to know exactly what Windows 10 has on you and to stop it from finding out more if that makes you uncomfortable.
Know what data you really want to share
Microsoft claims that it gathers some of your data to offer you customised experiences, improved platforms or personalised advice. If you dont really want any of these. Go to your settings, under Privacy and go to “Diagnostics & Feedback” Here you can see exactly what data the OS collects about you.
If it is switched to “Full,” Microsoft is looking at the websites you browse, as well as the apps and features you use. You can switch that to “Basic”, so that it only gathers information about your device and its configuration; and you can even delete all the information that has been collected so far.
Put an end to targeted advertising
In a similar vein, Microsoft collects information about its users to create personalised advertising IDs for them, which apps can access to tailor ads to individual preferences. If that unnerves you, make sure that you disable apps’ access to your advertising ID in the “General” tab of your privacy settings.
It is worth remembering that this won’t stop ads from popping up. You will keep seeing them in your apps, but they won’t be based on your previous searches and preferences.
Keep Cortana under control
There is a delicate balance to be reached between letting Cortana carry out all the tasks you don’t want to take care of, and letting the voice assistant access all of your data. If you wish to be on the safe side, though, you can stop it from knowing the details of your personal life.
Open the Cortana settings and click “Permissions & History” to turn off what you wish to hide from your assistant, from your location history to your contacts and emails. If you have, as previously recommended, downloaded Microsoft Privacy Dashboard, you can also manage a whole extra range of information that you want Cortana to stop tracking from the “Cortana’s Notebook” section. Plus, you can clear all data that it has already gathered.