4 Important Windows 10 Privacy Settings

Olivia S

Olivia S

August 4, 2015


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Windows 10 brings with it some annoying privacy invading features

No, this is not an excerpt from George Orwell’s 1984, but from the Windows end user license agreement. Agreeing to it is a compulsory part of installing the new Windows 10 but we’re guessing that most of the 14+ million people that have installed the update until now, haven’t actually read it. This paragraph is buried deep within the 45 pages of the terms and conditions. If you are one of the people who didn’t have the 2-3 hours of spare time to carefully study these 45 pages, the European Digital Rights Organization (EDRi) has summed them up for you: “Microsoft basically grants itself very broad rights to collect everything you do, say and write with and on your devices in order to sell more targeted advertising or to sell your data to third parties.

The “Express install” option that Windows would like you to use during installation, automatically selects the default settings. These allow Windows to harvest information about you from your files, location, what you write, browsing history, contacts and calendar.

If you value your privacy, we strongly recommend not trusting Windows select the setting they think are best for you, but to decide for yourself. Here are the most significant new features that you may want to switch off:

Your unique advertising ID

Windows will use the collected data to show you advertising in your apps that’s tailored to your (supposed) needs. Even Solitaire, the classic game that has been included with every new version, will be showing you inescapable ads.
The advertising ID can be turned off under Settings/Privacy/ General.



Stands for Windows Update Delivery Optimization and is a new way of giving users access to Windows updates. Instead of downloading them from the company’s servers, other Windows users can download them from your computer, similar to torrenting. This is useful if the internet connection is slow and someone else in your home network wants to install an update that you have already downloaded, but it will also allow other users that you are not connected to access them, which ultimately will use up your bandwidth. Turning this off is complicated and requires several steps, which are explained here.

Wi-Fi Sense

This service automatically opens up your wi-fi connection to all your Facebook, Outlook and Skype contacts if they are in your vicinity. This is handy in some ways, as it means that you won’t have to look up your wi-fi password every time a visiting friend is asking for it. However, since you can’t hand-select the contacts that you want to grant this privilege to, you may accidentally be letting people into your network that you’d rather not have there (such as your snoopy neighbours). Wi-Fi Sense can be turned off in your Wi-Fi settings.


Cortana is your new personal assistant (and basically the Windows version of Siri). For her to be able to do her job properly, she will need to know lots of information: Your voice, name, contacts, calendar events and more. If you’d rather not share all of this, you can turn Cortana off under Settings/Privacy/ Speech, inking, & typing/ Stop getting to know me.


These are the most important features but the Privacy menu under settings offers 13 different subsections in total.We recommend going through all of them and carefully deciding which information and how much of it you’d like to give to Windows. A detailed guide to all the settings can be found here.

Olivia S

Loves discovering new technology

2 responses to “4 Important Windows 10 Privacy Settings

  1. #1. “when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to” means(in my mind), “We already read and copied everything you’ve done since you were dumb enough to ‘upgrade’ to our finest accomplishment at screwing you over, so if we have a ‘bug’ up our butt that day, we’ll turn you in!”. After all, how would you think/know it was bad unless you already saw it…
    #2. It’s such a shame that M$ has gone this far into the dark side. They DID have a few good OS’es. I actually bought every DOS from 1.0 on, every Windows from 3.0 on (-ME and Vista). I now have &, am running (thanks to EBCD) 7, 8.1, & PCLinuxOS KDE. I’ve had a PCLOS since 2007, upgraded “it” to later versions, and never had to buy a new printer or camera (still using a LogiTech QuickCam & an 8 year old printer in the linux installs) because it was now a newer OS. I’ve tried U, K, of the ‘buntu family, Mint, Zorin, and kept my PCLOS. I recommend people to download and burn a few linux distro’s to see what else is out there. Open-source Office programs, audio/video players, burning programs. I’m not saying PCLOS is the ONLY one to try, but please try a few.
    #3. For you seniors (I’m one)=>you don’t HAVE to give up your $$ to get a new pc. Try a few linux. Read the spec’s for them, they do run slower “live” than installed, but a few even run on 386’s. Some “Live” distro’s will let you download and burn other distro’s right from the “live” disc. Not to mention if your Windows dies, you can see all those pictures and documents, so you can move/copy them onto a jumpdrive or external drive, surf, even use chat programs to get help.
    #4. I LIKED Windows (a lot), but M$ lost me when they rewrote a tablet OS to “work”
    on a desktop. I had to reinstall 8.1 two separate times because of a power glitch during the little window saying “Don’t turn off your computer while Windows is updating”. Yes, they brought our beloved Start button back. Whoopee! OK, I’m getting off my soapbox. Have fun!

  2. Sounds to me like Windows is borrowing a page from Facebook’s privacy rules. I think I’ll stick with the old-school Win 7 and a good copy of Ubuntu.

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