Stop Windows 10 Spying On You
Concerned about your privacy? Fed up of paying a fortune for a computer that then spies on your shopping habits (after all, you don’t even let your husband know how many pairs of shoes you’ve bought this weekend, so why the hell should Microsoft get to find out?!).
Sorry, that sounded like the start of a corny ad, but stick with me, you’ll be glad you did.
Now lots of people have taken the plunge and got the upgrade to Windows 10 – particularly as it was provided for free (thanks Microsoft!). But in the post-Snowden leak era, people are understandably getting a bit more picky about who they share their data with and where over the wondrous Internet it is transported to – particularly as data protection laws outside the EU aren’t necessarily as strict as we’re accustomed to. And Windows 10 likes data – your data to be specific.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Windows 10 isn’t suddenly going to publish your files on PasteBin – but it probably is, as you’re reading, collecting information about your computer (and therefore you) to “make Windows better” and to offer targeted advertising.
If, like me, you go by the premise that you already do enough to “make Windows better” and that if you wanted to purchase something you’d Google it rather than wait for an advert to pop up feel free to read on – you no longer have to share your personal information with Microsoft.
Now the default options, which many people stick with, while installing Windows 10 are not privacy orientated. There more “share you info so we can provide some cool features” orientated. Cool features are nice, an over familiar friend (read stalker) not so nice – I’m looking at you Cortana!
Thankfully, there’s no need to wade through 3,000 menus in control panel and try to decrypt Microsoft techno-babble. There’s a fantastic tool by Safer Networking, the creates of the acclaimed Spybot – Search and Destroy software.
Spybot Anti-Beacon provides a light-weight, easy to understand, simple interface that helps you share only what you want to share – in most cases, that’s probably nothing. Don’t worry, even if you block everything Windows 10 will still full work – you may just notice things like Cortana doesn’t seem as creepy by knowing your office extension or when you’re going to be home from work.
For most people, on the ‘Protection’ tab, you’ll just want to Immunize all. You can take a look at the ‘Optional’ tab as well if you like but read the caveats to deactivating each one and things that it may affect.
After you’ve immunised all you should see:
And then you’re all set – no more Windows 10 spying!