By now, some of you (voluntarily or involuntarily) have made the upgrade to Windows 10 – the highly anticipated Windows 8 replacement, self-proclaimed familiar, safer and more secure environment.  While their latest version boasts of a more productive and personal computing experience, you may want to dig a little deeper to understand the implications and what that really means.

It’s common practice for software companies to collect statistics on usage and performance to better understand how end users are interacting with their products.  This information is used to fix bugs as well as to gather information to better tailor the user experience based on their preferences. Similar to search engines or cookies on the web, Windows 10 modifies content based on your activity and preferences.  The cause for concern with some Windows 10 users is the sheer amount of features and their surplus of new settings that are not offered as an opt-in but rather enabled as a default.

Most of us muddling through without IT teams are probably unaware these settings existed which for some people may raise issues about privacy. If you are in this camp, you can read Microsoft’s privacy statement here (https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/privacystatement). Familiarize yourself, be selective of the information you want to be relaying back and if you want to reduce the amount of usage information you want to share we’ve provided steps below to deactivate the settings you don’t want or need.

Follow these simple steps to deactivate default settings:

 

System Privacy Settings

To view all 13 default privacy settings for the Windows 10 operating system:

  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Select Settings
  3. Click on Privacy

If you look at the left margin, you will see the complete list of categories for which privacy settings can be configured.

 

Cortana (i.e. Windows Search)

  1. Click in the Search field on the Taskbar
  2. Click on the gear icon that appears near the top-left of the menu

 

Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Edge, then select the 3 dots (…) that appear in the top-right corner of the window
  2. Select Settings
  3. Click on the View advanced Settings button (under Advanced settings)
  4. View the Privacy and services section

 

In a world becoming more accustomed to leaving a digital footprint, we need to ensure we stay proactive in understanding privacy.  If you are concerned about privacy then make sure you dig a little deeper with the software programs and applications you rely on and use both at work and at play.

For further insight into improving the software efficiency in your office, read more in the Infoware blog.