Top 5 Windows 10 Privacy Issues and How to Protect Against Them

windows 10

 

Protect Yourself Against Windows 10 Privacy Issues

 

Windows 10 is finally here and thousands of PC users from around the world have upgraded their earlier Windows versions in the past couple of months. Experts agree that this is by far the best version of Windows, but this doesn’t mean that we should relax and neglect the possible threats especially when it comes to our privacy.

Just like every version of this operating system, Windows 10 comes with brand new Service Agreement and Privacy Policy, but unfortunately only a small number of people have spent time reading these documents to the bottom. If you read these documents carefully you will notice that the latest version of Windows, allows Microsoft more control of your private data. In order to avoid any unpleasant situations and to protect your privacy, we have created a list of the 5 most important Windows 10 privacy issues. The good news is that in almost all cases you can protect your PC from these problems.

1. Cortana is able to monitor your voice commands

In case you have not heard, Cortana is one of the main reasons why so many people love the latest Windows 10. This is a personalized digital assistant very similar to Siri and Google Now. This is surely something exciting and this feature can ease the work on your PC. However, what can turn to be a great problem is the privacy of data. If you want to get relevant suggestions and improve your user experience, Cortana must gather different data including your current location, information from your calendar, data found in your apps, text messages, emails, calls etc. In addition, Microsoft and Cortana are focused on learning more about your habits – the way you use the device and how frequently you use some other Microsoft applications and services.

2. Microsoft can reveal your data

If you read the Privacy Policy that comes with Windows 10 carefully, you will notice some really interesting and daunting things. For instance, there is a paragraph which practically says that Microsoft can access and reveal your data whenever they want to.

In addition, they will also preserve your personal data like emails, private communications and files that are stored in private folders. Of course, this is only possible only when they feel that “this is for your own good or to protect their product”. Microsoft defends this paragraph by saying that private data might contain evidence of crimes and they had to point out this because this is what the law requires.

3. The encryption key you get is sent to the OneDrive account without a permission

If you think about this, you will realize that this is actually quite useful feature. However, you might experience certain problems if OneDrive gets hacked. If the encryption on your device is on, Windows will encrypt the drive and produce a recovery key by default. This recovery key is sent on your OneDrive account without any permission.

4. Advertisers have access to your activity

This is another concern among IT security experts. When you become a Windows 10 user, the program makes an original ID for advertising purposes. This ID is available to advertising networks and application developers. In other words, other parties can send you ads based on your private data. They will be able to show targeted ads related to your current location, frequent search terms, content you view etc. It works in a similar way like Google ads or social media ads. Those who don’t want to view these ads can turn off this feature in settings.

5. Automatic browser history synchronization

This is something that is mentioned in the Privacy Policy document that we have mentioned before. Once you sign in to your new Windows 10 and use an existing Microsoft account, the OS will synchronize the majority of your data and settings with Microsoft servers automatically. So, you can expect to get your browser history, bookmarks and websites you have used as well as some saved Wi-Fi network access points, saved websites and apps. Users who want to prevent this synchronization can open the settings and turn off the synch your settings option.