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Windows 10: How to stop giving away personal information


 How to change Windows 10 privacy settings

Click the Start button and select Settings – Privacy. We recommend you read each of the options carefully, but the three below are definitely worth examining.

1: Change Privacy Options

Windows 10 privacy settings

Click General and you’ll see four options (below). We suggest turning the sliders next to 1, 3 and 4 from On to Off. 1: Let apps use my advertising ID; 3: Send Microsoft info about how I write and 4: Let websites provide locally relevant content. Leave 2: SmartScreen On – this is a filter that looks out for phishing websites.


2: Cortana

Windows 10 privacy - Cortana options

Click Speech, inkling & typing.  Personal assistant Cortana collects information such as contacts, speech patterns and typing history to create a picture of you so it can tailor search responses accordingly.

Click ‘Stop getting to know me’ to clear what it knows about you and turn off Cortana. This means it won’t collect information, but it won’t work either. It’s up to you whether you want to use this feature or not.


3: Feedback & diagnostics

Windows Privacy - feedback and diagnostics

Still in the privacy menu, click ‘Feedback & diagnostics’. When you use Windows 10, information is automatically sent back to Microsoft: this is performance data that includes any problems you may encounter, which Microsoft uses to make improvements.

You can’t opt out of sending updates to Microsoft, but using the drop-down menu it’s possible to limit how much information you send back.

Basic:  Data you send back here is vital to ensure Windows and its apps runs properly. It allows Microsoft to provide updates to Windows, but some apps and features may not work correctly.

Enhanced: The same information as above is provided, along with information about how you use Windows. This includes how long you use Windows and what apps you use. Microsoft collects diagnostic information.

Full data: Microsoft recommends this version for what it says is the best Windows experience. As well as the duo above it also collects extras such as system files, which can include parts of documents you are working on, although Microsoft says:  “If an error report contains personal data, we won’t use that information to identify, contact, or target advertising to you. “


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