Monday, June 12, 2017

Windows 10, Cortana Can Invade Privacy

Look at each Cortana setting, especially Permissions.
I recently bought a Windows 10 notebook and was shocked to discover how much personal information Microsoft extracts from us without our knowledge and consent. Microsoft sometimes doesn't let us opt-in. Most of the settings are on by default.

If you're concerned about personal privacy, you could...and probably should...opt-out of most of this stuff. The problem is that many people are unaware of their option to do this, or how.

The first place to look, if you're using Windows 10, is the Cortana settings. I've shut off just about everything I could. It wasn't fun and took a long time. The settings related to privacy must be unchecked individually.

According to the technology site CNet:
"Windows 10 is running on over 400 million devices, but it still has all sorts of privacy issues -- including mandatory diagnostic and usage data reporting to Microsoft, and a troubling amount of ads sprinkled throughout the platform. 
"Not all of Windows 10's problems can be fixed, but there are some things you can do to reclaim your privacy. Here are five privacy-related settings you can change for a less invasive and more secure Windows 10 experience."
I strongly recommend reading the CNet article 5 privacy settings to change in Windows 10. It helps you learn how to take back your OS...and your privacy. They recommend:

  • Stop Cortana from getting to know you.
  • Turn off your location.
  • Stop syncing.
  • Lock down your lock screen.
  • Turn off your advertising ID
Another extremely helpful site is fix10.isleaked, which also provides information about how to fix privacy settings in Windows 7 & 8.1.

As long as you and I use the internet, our privacy may be compromised. However, take the time and effort to minimize that invasion as much as you can.

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