A guide to the privacy settings of Windows 10

Are you one of these users who upgraded their operating system to Microsoft’s latest release? If you are, then you are surely enjoying the attractive user interface of Windows 10 but there are a few things you should know about its privacy settings.

We’ve gathered a list of privacy features that are quite concerning:

1) Advertising ID

Upon Windows 10 registration you are provided with a unique identifier, called Advertising ID. Microsoft used this Advertising ID in order to create a behavioral profile based on the ads you click on. Microsoft’s search provider -Bing- then comes in, evaluates the most relevant ads and presents them to you. Apparently, this action is not considered as invasion of privacy.

2) Wi-Fi Sense

Microsoft has invented this new feature called Wi-Fi Sense, which they have embedded in Windows 10. Wi-Fi Sense allows your friends and contacts to connect to and make use of your Wi-Fi network. Many Windows 10 users may find this bad, as they would not want anyone to automatically connect to their network, no matter who it is. At least there is a good thing in this option, which is that the Wi-Fi credentials are not being shared directly.

3) Cortana

You probably have heard of Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant. Although Cortana has some user friendly features, you should know a few things about the way it operates.

Each time you use this app and request information, Cortana sends out relative information to Bing which then uploads this information to Microsoft servers and eventually a comprehensive profile with your ID is built. Cortana also records your location and updates it every time you move from one place to another.

4) Getting to know you

This is a Windows 10 embedded feature and it provides the OS with the ability to remember your typing history without specifying when the recording takes place. According to Microsoft, they gather this type of information for product improvement purposes only.

5) Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is the new web browser introduced in Windows 10. It has a set of tracking tools enabled by default which again are being used in order to collect data and upload them to Microsoft servers for analysis.

6) Microsoft Account Sync

Microsoft account sync is by default enabled in Windows 10. It syncs your Microsoft account with your Windows 10 computer but you have the option to create a local account login for your computer and we advise you to go with this option instead of synchronizing your personal data and system settings over an internet connection.

7) Windows Update

Windows 10 introduced the “Forced Automatic Updates” feature as they are sending compulsory updates to the Windows 10 machines and not allowing you to turn this option off.

8) Feedback and Diagnostics

Windows 10, as was also done in previous operating system versions, sends out system diagnostics containing a complete analysis of your computer system, with the purpose to reduce OS errors. Well, one thing you should know is that even if you turn off diagnostics, you cannot turn off the “feedback” option.

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