Windows 10 gathers an excessive amount of private information from the user as they browse the web. It’s hardly surprising that most users aren’t thrilled with the idea of an Operating System constantly looking over their digital shoulder and invading their privacy.
If you want to ensure that your privacy is protected as much as possible, it’s imperative to learn how to get your system and data out of the cloud. That data might include sensitive work files, pictures, financial information, passwords, etc. To protect your privacy, following are a few tips that may help:
- You can turn off the location tracking. If you have more than one user then you can do it for every user account.
Go to: Settings –> Privacy –> Location.
- Turn on the use of random hardware addresses on your Wi-Fi as it reduces the chances of being tracked across different Wi-Fi networks.
Go to: Settings –> Network & Internet –> WiFi.
- Undoubtedly Cortana is a very useful digital assistant but it also gathers some information about you and stores that in the cloud.
Go to: Search button on your taskbar — > Settings — > Hey Cortana.
- Wi-Fi Sense is a new innovative feature introduced in Windows 10, but chances are a security-minded person will not like this new feature. If you do not want to share your password over an encrypted connection then turn it off.
Go to: Settings –> Network & Internet –> WiFi –> Manage Wi-Fi Settings –> Turn off everything under the Wi-Fi Sense heading.
- Remove all the junk software. Keeping such applications are security threats.
- Always use strong alphanumeric passwords rather than pins for your local accounts.
- Make sure that your system updates are not affecting your privacy settings.
- If you do not want your files to get automatically stored on Microsoft’s cloud servers, you have the option to turn off OneDrive.
Implementing the tips above will certainly help improve your privacy protection, however, there are a number of handy software tools that facilitate the process of securing your data and your privacy. Below is a list of free software products:
It is a free tool that displays all the major security settings of Windows 10. These settings can be activated and deactivated within the program. It also provides an option of choosing between three predefined settings:
- Green: It is recommended as it is a conservative mode and provides the best protection.
- Yellow: This mode provides a modest amount of privacy protection, but there is still some risk.
- Red: It is known as geek mode. This mode provides the minimum protection.
This is a free application that allows you to enable or disable certain Windows 10 features including System Features, Windows Defender, Telemetry and Diagnostics, and more.
It facilitates quick control over all major Windows 10 features where privacy is a concern. This software includes 60 different options that help you to modify your privacy settings and protect you from unwanted data transfers.
WPD is an excellent portable security tool that allows you to quickly configure privacy settings in Windows 10.
If features a clean, easy to use GUI that inccludes all the primary settings in a central location. Make changes to the Local Group Policy, Firewall rules, and Services responsible for collecting and transmitting your data.
WPD also includes a Tweaker section to adjust additional Windows settings which may be of concern.
Advanced Onion Router:
This software is a client for the OR network and can replace the Tor+Vidalia+Privoxy bundle. It can force a particular program and its plugins to use a Tor proxy instead of its configured proxy settings. As a result, using a Tor proxy further protects your privacy and identity whenever you connect to the internet. Advanced Onion Router also supports multiple languages.