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How to protect your privacy on Windows 10

With all the news about data breaches and companies collecting our personal information, it's no wonder that you might be feeling a little uneasy about using Windows 10. But don't worry, there are actually a few simple things you can do to help protect your privacy on this operating system. In this article, we'll show you how to change your privacy settings and what privacy features are available in Windows 10.





What information does Windows 10 track?

One of the most common questions we get asked is “what information does Windows 10 track?”.


Unfortunately, the answer to this question is “it depends”. Microsoft has been increasingly collecting data from users with each new release of Windows, and Windows 10 is no different.


While some of this data collection is necessary for the proper functioning of the operating system, much of it is used for targeted advertising and other commercial purposes.


Here are some of the main types of data that Microsoft collects from users:


- Location data: This includes your current location, as well as any places you have recently visited. Microsoft may also collect this data even if you have not enabled location services on your device.

- Search history: Microsoft tracks the terms you enter into the search box in Windows 10. This information is used to show you targeted ads based on your interests.

- Browsing history: Just like any other web browser, Microsoft Edge tracks the websites you visit. This information can be used to show you targeted ads based on your web browsing habits.

- App usage data: Microsoft tracks which apps you use and how often you use them. This information is used to show you targeted ads based on your interests.

- Device information: Microsoft collects information about the devices you use, including the make, model, and specifications. This information is used to show you targeted ads based on your device preferences.

- Contact information: If you choose to sync your contacts with Windows 10, Microsoft will have access to this information. This data can be used to show you targeted ads based on the people you know.


If you are concerned about the amount of data Microsoft is collecting from you, there are some steps you can take to limit the amount of information Windows 10 tracks.


You can disable location services, turn off search history tracking, and clear your browsing history in Microsoft Edge. You can also disable app usage tracking, and limit the amount of device information that is shared with Microsoft.

Windows 10 privacy at setup

When you first set up a new Windows 10 computer, you're given the option to customize your privacy settings. This is a great opportunity to choose which features you want to use and which ones you want to disable.


One of the most important things you can do is to disable the advertising ID. This will prevent Microsoft from collecting data about your online activity in order to show you targeted ads.


You should also disable SmartScreen, which collects data about the websites you visit and sends it back to Microsoft. This feature can be disabled in the Security & Privacy section of the Settings app.


Another important setting is the location service. By default, this is turned on and allows Microsoft to track your location. If you don't want Microsoft to know where you are, you can turn this off in the Privacy section of the Settings app.


Finally, make sure to encrypt your hard drive. This will prevent anyone from being able to access your data if they manage to get their hands on your computer. You can encrypt your drive by going into the Security & Privacy section of the Settings app and selecting "BitLocker."

Disconnect Cortana

1. Disconnect Cortana

If you're concerned about your privacy on Windows, one of the first things you can do is disconnect Cortana. Cortana is Microsoft's digital assistant, and it has access to a lot of your personal information. To disconnect Cortana, go to the settings menu and select the "Cortana" tab. Then, turn off the "Hey Cortana" feature. You can also turn off other features that allow Cortana to access your personal information.

2. Use a VPN

Another way to protect your privacy on Windows is to use a VPN. A VPN encrypts your traffic and routes it through a server in another location. This makes it much more difficult for people to track your online activity. There are many different VPNs available, so be sure to do some research to find the one that's right for you.

3. Install an ad blocker

One of the best ways to protect your privacy online is to install an ad blocker. Ad blockers block intrusive ads and prevent companies from tracking your online activity. There are many different ad blockers available, so be sure to find one that suits your needs.

4. Use private browsing mode

When you use private browsing mode, your browser does not save your history or cookies. This means that your browsing history is not accessible to others and your online activity is not tracked. Private browsing mode is available in most browsers, so be sure to enable it when you're concerned about your privacy.

5. Use a secure password manager

A password manager helps you create and manage strong passwords for all of your online accounts. This is important because weak passwords are one of the leading causes of data breaches. A password manager also helps you avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, which further reduces your risk of being hacked.

Review your Windows permissions

One of the best ways to protect your privacy on Windows is to review your permissions. You can do this by going to the Settings app and then selecting Privacy. Here, you will see a list of all the different types of data that Windows has access to. For each type of data, you can decide whether or not you want to allow Windows to access it.


If you're not sure about particular permission, you can always research it online. There are many resources available that can help you understand what each permission means and whether or not it's safe to allow Windows to access it.

In general, it's best to err on the side of caution when it comes to your privacy. If you're not sure whether or not you should allow Windows to access a certain type of data, it's probably best to deny the permission. This way, you can be sure that your privacy is protected.

Diagnostics & feedback

1. Go to Start > Settings > Privacy. 2. Under Diagnostics & Feedback, select Change privacy settings. 3. Turn off everything except the bare minimum required for Windows to function properly. 4. If you're not sure what something is, leave it off. Better safe than sorry!


By disabling all of the extra diagnostic features in Windows, you can help protect your privacy and keep your personal data safe. This is a simple and effective way to help keep your information private and secure.

Delete diagnostic data

1. Go to Settings > Privacy. 2. Under the Diagnostics & Feedback section, click on the View Diagnostic Data button. 3. A new page will open with a list of all the diagnostic data that has been collected about your device. 4. Click on the Delete button to delete all this data.

Open the Settings app

1. Open the Settings app by clicking on the Start menu and then selecting the Settings icon. 2. In the Settings app, click on the Privacy category. 3. On the left side of the screen, you will see a list of privacy settings. On the right side of the screen, you will see how each setting is currently configured. 4. To change a privacy setting, simply click on it and select the desired option. 5. Once you have made your changes, click on the Apply button to save them.

By following these steps, you can easily adjust your privacy settings in Windows 10.

Scroll down and select

1. Scroll down and select "Privacy." 2. Click on the "General" tab and make sure that the "Send Microsoft your device and app diagnostics" setting is turned off. 3. Click on the "Feedback & diagnostics" tab and make sure that the "Send your device data to Microsoft" setting is turned off. 4. Click on the "Location" tab and make sure that the "Let Windows track your device's location" setting is turned off. 5. Click on the "Camera" tab and make sure that the "Let Windows use your camera" setting is turned off. 6. Click on the "Microphone" tab and make sure that the "Let Windows use your microphone" setting is turned off. 7. Click on the "Speech, inking, & typing" tab and make sure that all of the settings are turned off. 8. Click on the "App permissions" tab and review all of the permissions that have been granted to apps. If there are any permissions that you are not comfortable with, you can revoke them by clicking on the "Revoke" button. 9. Click on the "Advertising ID" tab and make sure that the "Let apps use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app and web browsing activity" setting is turned off. 10. Click on the "Background apps" tab and review the list of apps that are allowed to run in the background. If there are any apps that you do not want to allow to run in the background, you can turn them off by flipping the switch next to them. 11. Click on the "Sync your settings" tab and make sure that the "Sync settings" setting is turned off. 12. Click on the "Language" tab and make sure that the "Speech, inking, & typing" setting is turned off.

Turn off the toggle switch next to

1. Turn off the toggle switch next to "Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps"

2. Go to "Choose privacy settings for your device" and select "Off" next to "Show me tips about Windows"

3. In the same section, scroll down to "Speech, inking & typing" and turn off the toggle switch next to "Get to know me"

4. Go to the section labeled "Location" and turn off the toggle switch next to "Let Windows track app launches to improve Start and search results"

5. Scroll down to the section labeled "Diagnostics & feedback" and turn off all of the toggle switches under both "Basic" and "Full"


By following these steps, you can help protect your privacy on Windows. Turning off certain features will prevent Microsoft from collecting data about you. This will help keep your personal information private.

Close the Settings app

1. Close the Settings app. The Settings app is where you can change your privacy settings. If you're not using it, close it to help protect your privacy.

2. Don't use Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Windows 10. However, it's been known to collect a lot of data about its users. If you care about your privacy, use a different web browser like Firefox or Chrome.

3. Use a privacy-focused search engine. When you use a search engine like Google, it can track your searches and build up a profile of you. If you want to keep your searches private, use a search engine like DuckDuckGo instead.

4. Be careful what you share on social media. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are great for staying in touch with friends and family. However, they can also be used to collect data about you. Be careful about what you post on social media and consider setting your privacy settings to "Friends Only" or "Private."

5. Keep your antivirus software up-to-date. Antivirus software helps protect your computer from malware and other security threats.

How to know if your privacy is being protected

1. How to know if your privacy is being protected

There are a few ways to tell if your privacy is being protected on Windows. First, you can check the Privacy settings in the Control Panel. Second, you can install a third-party privacy tool and check its settings. Third, you can look for signs that your privacy is being invaded, such as unexpected pop-ups or changes to your homepage.

If you're not sure how to access the Privacy settings in the Control Panel, here's a quick guide:

1. Open the Control Panel. 2. Click on "System and Security." 3. Click on "Privacy." 4. Review the privacy settings and make sure they're set the way you want them.


If you want to install a third-party privacy tool, there are many options available. Some popular choices include Privazer, CCleaner, and Spybot Search & Destroy. Be sure to research each option before deciding which one is right for you.

You should also be on the lookout for signs that your privacy is being invaded.


Unexpected pop-ups, changes to your homepage, and new browser toolbar are all red flags that something may be wrong. If you see anything suspicious, it's always a good idea to run a virus scan just to be safe.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a few key things you can do to protect your privacy on Windows 10. First, make sure to adjust your privacy settings in the Privacy section of the Windows Settings app. Second, install and use a reliable third-party security suite like Norton or McAfee. Finally, be cautious about what personal information you share online and with whom you share it. By following these tips, you can help keep your personal information safe and secure.

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