Steps On How To Change Microsoft Windows 10 Privacy Settings

Steps On How To Change Microsoft Windows 10 Privacy Settings
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This could be the best thing that you need to know about windows 10. With its new Windows 10, Microsoft has taken the concept of personalization to a whole new level. The software allows users to implement a slew of personalization features that have not been seen by PC users before. The software is designed to collect personal information from users, form their personal contacts and appointments to their location and Wi-Fi passwords. It utilizes information as a smartphone.
The information is accumulated to keep track of a user’s habits and likes, it is crucial for Microsoft’s voice activated assistant Cortana and other services which help out a user in performing routine tasks. Planning things ahead of time is one of the many ways Cortana can help a user out once their behavior pattern has been identified. In recent years, Apple’s Siri and Google’s OK Google have been designed to serve similar purposes.

However, Microsoft has now developed similar features to serve a similar purpose, its strategy though is centered on PC, yet it has been designed with the consideration that users work on multiple devices throughout the day.


Related: The Problem with Windows 10



Since PC users are not yet used to giving away personal information to this extent they might feel apprehensive about it, but that’s completely alright. Most of these prying features can be disabled in a few simple steps, so if that’s what puts you at ease here is our guide to get rid of these features:

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi Sense enables users and their friends to easily connect with a new Wi-Fi network. Users with Windows 10 can log into familiar networks automatically, which means a password will not be required by your friends when they visit.
Here’s how the feature works, it does not handover a user’s password to everyone in their friends list. Instead Wi-Fi Sense saves the password in an encrypted form online and provides it to your friends’ Windows 10 devices. Thus, people who have access can simply log into the network without having access to the actual password. Moreover, Microsoft claims that the feature does not allow other users to access the files on your network or computer, therefore it is pretty safe. However, the feature is criticized for sharing too freely, but if you wish to share the password with a selected group of people that too is possible.
To disable the feature follow the steps below:
  1. Go to Settings menu
  2. Click on "Network and Internet"
  3. Select "Manage Wi-Fi Settings"
  4. Now uncheck groups you don’t want to share access with.
  5. To block access to your network completely, change the name of the Wi-Fi network followed by "optout"

Cortana

Like Siri and Ok Google, Cortana too is a voice activated personal assistant; it answers your questions, performs tasks for you, reminds you of appointments, and even suggests the best restaurants nearby. The only difference being that Microsoft’s digital assistant is available for laptops and desktops. Cortana is an all-round digital assistant who ensures that a user does not miss important tasks and appointments.
However, in order to effectively stay ahead of schedule, Cortana has to keep track of a user’s information, search history, questions, preferences, and location as well as a certain chunk of contacts, messages, and calendar. It then uploads and saves all that information to stay updated with a user’s behavior pattern and assists accordingly.
According to Microsoft, the software is not designed to launch ads; neither does it utilize a user’s chats, emails, and personal files for advertising. However, if you want to find out how much Cortana knows about you, follow the steps below:
  1. In the lower left corner of your screen click on the search field
  2. Choose the "Notebook" icon and click on "About me" to review and edit items.
To turn Cortana off and clear out any personal information saved on the device, follow the steps below:
  1. Go to the "Notebook"
  2. Select "Settings"
  3. Toggle Cortana to "Off"
To clear out data related to you from Microsoft servers, follow the steps below:
  1. Click on "Notebook"
  2. Select "Settings"
  3. Choose "Manage what Cortana knows about me in the cloud"

Additional Privacy Settings

Other privacy settings in Windows 10 are different from the ones for Cortana. Every user on Windows 10 is given an "Advertising ID," this enables developers to keep track of how users use the apps and devices. However, this may seem to be an invasion of privacy to some people. But the good news is, users can opt out of it.
Here is how you turn it off:
  1. Head to "Settings"
  2. Open the "Privacy" section
  3. Click "General" in the left column and switch of the Advertising ID
To Switch off Location tracking:
  1. Go to "Privacy"
  2. Click "Location"
  3. Switch off location and delete the history if you wish
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