The reason Windows 10 is Free
Windows 10 is spying on almost everything you do – here’s how to opt out
Windows 10 is amazing. Windows 10 (external - login to view)
is fantastic. Windows 10 is glorious. Windows 10 is faster, smoother and more user-friendly than any Windows operating system that has come before it. Windows 10 is everything Windows 8 should have been, addressing nearly all of the major problems users had with Microsoft’s (external - login to view)
previous-generation platform in one fell swoop.
But there’s something you should know: As you read this article from your newly upgraded PC, Windows 10 is also spying on nearly everything you do.
DON’T MISS: Windows 10: The first 5 things you need to do immediately after you install it (external - login to view)
It’s your own fault if you don’t know that Windows 10 is spying on you. That’s what people always say when users fail to read through a company’s terms of service document (external - login to view), right?
Well, here is Microsoft’s 12,000-word service agreement (external - login to view)
. Some of it is probably in English. We’re pretty sure it says you can’t steal Windows or use Windows to send spam, and also that Microsoft retains the right to take possession of your first-born child if it so chooses. And that’s only one of several documents you’ll have to read through.
Actually, here’s one excerpt (external - login to view)
We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications (external - login to view) or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to.
If that sentence sent shivers down your spine, don’t worry. As invasive as it is, Microsoft does allow Windows 10 users to opt out of all of the features that might be considered invasions of privacy. Of course, users are opted in by default, which is more than a little disconcerting, but let’s focus on the solution (external - login to view)
Rock Paper Shotgun has broken things down (external - login to view)
into four main bullet points that will guide you through regaining control of your personal data.
READ MORE: 5 common problems people are having with Windows 10 – and how to fix them (external - login to view)
First, you’ll want to open Settings
and click on Privacy
. There, you’ll find 13 different screens — yes, 13 — to go through, and you’ll want to disable anything that seems worrying. The blog notes that most of the important settings can be found on the General
tab, though other tabs are important as well. For example, you’ll definitely want to adjust what types of data each app on your system can access.
Next, users should consider dumping Cortana. Yes, the voice-driven assistant is easily one of the best new features in Windows 10 (external - login to view)
, but it also plays fast and loose with your data. As a result, many users will find that the benefits do not outweigh the risks.
For the third task, you’ll have to venture outside the confines of your PC and hit the web. Perhaps this is a good opportunity to check out Microsoft’s nifty new Edge browser. In it, click on this link (external - login to view)
and set both “Personalised ads in this browser” and “Personalised ads wherever I use my Microsoft account” to off. This will disable Microsoft’s Google-style ad tracking features.
The last tip is one that most users will likely forgo, as it is a bit excessive. Rock Paper Shotgun
recommends removing your Microsoft account from Windows 10 completely and using a newly made local account instead. This way, Microsoft doesn’t grab hold of all your data to sync it across machines. To us that’s a great and useful feature, but if you want to kill it just follow the link below in our source section for complete instructions and plenty more details.
Windows 10 is spying on almost everything you do – here’s how to opt out | BGR (external - login to view)