By the Editor …..
Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 10 has been getting positive reviews for being easier to use over Windows 8. But Windows 10 has turned into a huge privacy disaster. Many would even go so far as to call-out Windows 10 as Spyware.
If you choose to upgrade in these last few weeks, don’t mindlessly click through Windows 10’s automatic installation process. You’ll be giving Microsoft access to just about all your personal information, and you won’t even realize you’re doing it. Many times Microsoft has even upgraded home and small business computers to Windows 10 overnight, without the owner’s permission.
At TechViews.org we want to keep you updated on privacy issues that affect you directly. This time, it’s really important because Microsoft is making it quite complicated to take your privacy out of their hands.
As in any software installation, don’t use Windows 10’s “Express install.” Use “Custom install.”
Turn off all the settings where Microsoft is asking you about Personalization and Location. Read through Browser and Protection and turn off those settings if you don’t want to send Microsoft information about what you’re doing.
Also, turn off the buttons about sending Error Reports back to Microsoft. Sending Microsoft error messages may sound harmless, and useful. But you’re just giving Microsoft permission to access your data.
To really protect your privacy, you need to do a bit more work. Go to the Start menu. There, select Settings then Privacy, then Feedback and Diagnostics.
Choose Basic. Then you’ll have to spend some time reading through about a dozen pages. I know it sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but Microsoft is banking on the premise that if it’s too confusing for you to shut them out, then you’ll let them in.
But it’s really important that you see the personal information that Microsoft wants to collect from you. It’s also important that you decide which information of yours Microsoft gets, and which information it doesn’t get. If you leave the setting on default, then most everything you do with your computer is collected by Microsoft. That’s why power computer users are calling Windows 10, Spyware.
Here’s Microsoft’s intro to its pages-long Privacy Statement.
“Your privacy is important to us. This privacy statement explains what personal data we collect from you and how we use it. It applies to Bing, Cortana, MSN, Office, OneDrive, Outlook.com, Skype, Windows, Xbox and other Microsoft services that display this statement. References to Microsoft services in this statement include Microsoft websites, apps, software and devices.” (Read Microsoft’s full Privacy Statement here.)
So, if you haven’t already fallen for the upgrade trap that Microsoft throws at you, please think twice. Windows 10 has the potential to be a fine operating system, but it still has bugs and privacy issues that need to be worked out. And don’t fall for the comment, “it’s the future, so we should get on board”. That’s like following lemmings over a cliff. Take your time and do your research. We’ll keep you updated on progress with Windows 10 here.