Windows 10 is the latest operating system offering from Microsoft. It has cloud backup capabilities and many people have privacy concerns over this.
While Microsoft allows cloud syncing across different devices for a seamless experience, it also has data tracking capabilities. But wait, there’s no need to panic because there are ways in which you can disable the tracking features in Windows 10.
Turn off Cortana
Cortana is a digital assistant by Microsoft that will set reminders, perform internet searches, and do many useful things for you. However, in this process, it also collects data about you.
To turn it off, follow these steps.
- Click on Cortana in the Windows taskbar. There will be a popup panel.
- Click on the notebook icon and select Settings.
- You’ll see an option that says Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts, and more. There will be a toggle switch next to it. Turn it off.
When you turn it off, Cortana option will disappear and instead, you’ll see a search bar. You can use this bar to search for things on the internet.
Windows 10 comes integrated with advertising. If someone is giving you personalized ads, it means they are tracking your data. Turn off the advertising feature from Windows 10 to stay secure.
- Visit Settings and click on Privacy.
- Go to the General section and under the Change Privacy Options, you’ll see an option that says “Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps”. Turn this off and your advertising ID will be reset.
- Then visit https://choice.microsoft.com/en-us/opt-out and turn off the option that says “Personalized ads wherever I use my Microsoft account”.
This will stop all targeted advertising and you can browse the internet without being followed around.
Stop network sharing
Windows 10 has a feature called Wi-Fi Sense. This lets people in your contacts access your Wi-Fi without knowing its password. So if a friend visits you, their Windows 10 system will automatically log into your Wi-Fi without knowing your password.
They will not get to see the password so it will be safe with you. But they will still be able to share your wireless network.
If you don’t want to share someone’s wireless network, you can disable it.
- Visit Settings and go to Network and Internet.
- Select Wi-Fi and then Manage Wi-Fi Settings
- This page will display Wi-Fi Sense. Turn off the two settings that say:
a) “Connect to Suggested Open Hotspots”
b) “Connect to Networks shared by my contacts”
Stop File sharing
Windows 10 lets you download updates from several sources to speed up the process of updating the operating system. But if you don’t want your files to be shared by others, you can turn this feature off.
- Visit Settings.
- Select Update and Security. Now click on Windows Update.
- Select Advanced Options and go to “Choose how updates are delivered”.
- Turn off the setting that says “Updates from more than one place”.
With these steps, you can make Windows 10 more secure and can stop Microsoft from tracking your activities.
For more information, please see “How to improve your privacy on Windows 10”
About Summer Hirst
Summer is a tech writer and a security enthusiast. She is also a software analyst and has reviewed several applications. A technology lover, she has worked in many IT-related industries. She keeps an eye on the cyber world and writes about the latest happenings around the globe.