Windows 10 runs on more than 400 million hardware units; however, Microsoft did include many features that are forcing users to share their data with the company, so we listed a number of tips to reverse that.
No More Privy Cortana
The virtual personal assistant improves its AI capabilities by storing and analyzing what you say, write and type. This means that Cortana gets full access to your contacts, location, browsing history and calendar.
Users can put a damper on Cortana's data gathering, but will trade off voice dictation when addressing the assistant.
To stop this from happening, go to Settings - Speech, Inking, & Typing - Getting to Know You tab. Once there, click on Stop Getting To Know Me. This switches off dictation and purges any information that was collected on your device.
Disable Your Location
Mobile devices have the habit to allow third-party apps to find your location. While navigating the streets of a new city, that is reasonable, but at other times, you might want to disable the feature.
As long as your location detection is on, Windows 10 holds on the device's location history for a good 24 hours. A good alternative is to define a location manually, so apps are happy and you retain more privacy.
To turn off the location, go to Settings, and find Location. Navigate to Location for this device is on - Change to switch it off for all users of your device. While you are here, you might want to dissolve your Location History, and can select which apps to detect your location and which you want to be under the radar from.
A fast way to enable/disable your location is by tapping into the Action center. Play with the Location switch to rapidly chance between on and off.
Users who sign in with a Microsoft account get their settings and credentials synced between devices, alongside the notifications which get the same treatment.
Disabling the sync feature means that each device will maintain their own settings and passwords, even when users log in with a Microsoft account. This implies that passwords will have to be inputted manually.
Lock Screen On
The lock screen could holster a myriad of data that you want to keep private. By going into Settings - System - Notifications & Actions you can tick off the Show notifications on the lock screen, thus having no notification appear on the lock screen.
Earlier this year, Microsoft was in hot water in France when it was revealed that Windows 10 is collecting user data sans users' permission. France's Chair of the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) gave Microsoft three months to update its OS so that Windows 10 users' privacy is better protected.
"We will work closely with the CNIL over the next few months to understand the agency's concerns fully," says David Heiner, VP and deputy general counsel at Microsoft.