Windows 10 Is Spying On You: Here’s How Opt Out – Forums

Windows 10 Is Spying On You: Here’s How To Stop ItFor those who are totally concern about Microsoft spying on you. Here\’s how you can minimize it but it won\’t totally safe guard all your privacy. Just surf wisely and use Tor and VPN and ect…How to opt outOK, here’s how to take control of this stuff if you’re worried about it. No, opting out is not especially simple, although if you take an absolutist approach it doesn’t take at all long to set everything to ‘no.’ If you’re yet to install Windows 10 and are concerned about all this stuff, you can head most of it off at the pass by declining Express settings and choosing options yourself, refusing any request to let the OS or apps access your location and turning the Cortana search assistant off. If you missed the boat there, you’ll need to do any and all of the following. Even if you were super-cautious during setup, be sure to follow step 3 below if you’re concerned.1. Go to Settings – Privacy and go through the 13 different screens there and turn anything which concerns you to off. The biggest, most universal settings are under ‘General’, while the other screens let you choose which apps can and can’t access your calendar, messages, camera, mic, etcetera. There may well be stuff you want to leave on – for instance, I do actually want Windows’ Calendar app to access my calendar data (obv), I just don’t want it to sell that data on because I don’t want to be bombarded with flower ads when it’s my mum’s birthday.[QUOTE]Core Windows 10 Privacy SettingsYou find Privacy settings that Microsoft makes available under Settings. The page is surprisingly large and while it provides you with lots of options, does not give you full control over what is collected and submitted.Open the Privacy settings with a tap on the Windows-key and the selection of Settings when Start opens. If Settings is not listed there, type Settings and hit enter.Switch to Privacy once the Settings window opens. There you find listed all privacy related settings. Suggests are in brackets)GeneralImage1. Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps (turning this off will reset your ID). (Off)2. Turn on SmartScreen Filter to check web content (URLs) that Windows Store apps use. (Off, but note that this may reduce security on the system. If you are inexperienced, leave this on.)3. Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improving typing and writing in the future. (Off)4. Let websites provide locally relevant content by accessing my language list. (Off)LocationImageImage1. Turn location on or off. Apps or services that you allow may access location-based data if on. (Off, unless you rely on apps that require it to be on, e.g. the weather app)2. Location History. If you have turned location services off, you may want to clear the location history on the device as well.Camera and MicrophoneImage1. Let apps use my camera. (Off)2. Let apps use my microphone. (Off)Switch these to off if you don\’t want apps to use the cam or microphone on your device. You may need it for select services, Cortana for instance or the Skype application.Speech, inking & typingImage1. Windows and Cortana can get to you know your voice and writing to make better suggestions to you. We\’ll collect info like contacts, recent calendar events, speech, and handwriting patterns, and typing history. (Off, unless Cortana is used. This will turn off Cortana and dictation).Account InfoImage1. Let apps access my name, picture, and other account info. (Off, unless you require this for select applications. Then leave it on and set permissions per application instead).Contacts and CalendarImage1. Choose applications that may access your contacts or calendar. There are three by default for the Contacts, and two for the Calendar (the first two): App connector, Mail and Calendar and Windows Shell Experience. (Off, unless required).MessagingImage1. Let apps read or send messages. (Off if you are on the desktop and don\’t require apps to send text or MMS).RadiosImage1. Let apps control radios. This enables apps to use radios, such as Bluetooth. (Off, unless you use apps that require this).Other devicesImage1. Sync with devices. This setting syncs data with Microsoft and other devices you own. If you only use a single device, you may want to disable it. Note that syncing may come in handy when you set up the system anew. (Off)2. Let apps use trusted devices. (Off, unless required).Feedback and DiagnosticImage1. Send your device data to Microsoft. If you are an Insider, you cannot switch from Full(Recommended). If you are not, you may switch the setting to Enhanced or Full. It does not seem possible to turn this off completely. What is transferred if you switch the setting to Basic is listed in the FAQ (when you click on the learn more link):Basic information is data that is vital to the operation of Windows. This data helps keep Windows and apps running properly by letting Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also turns on basic error reporting back to Microsoft. If you select this option, we’ll be able to provide updates to Windows (through Windows Update, including malicious software protection by the Malicious Software Removal Tool), but some apps and features may not work correctly or at all.Background appsImage1. Select which applications may run in the background (Turn off all that you don\’t require. If you use Mail for instance, you may want it to run in the background while you may not want the same for \”Get Office\”, \”Photos\” or \”Xbox\”.Advanced Windows 10 privacy settingsChanging the Telemetry value using the Group Policy Editor or Windows RegistryImageThis setting is identical to the Feedback & diagnostics setting. There is one difference however which only applies to Enterprise customers. Enterprise customers may turn this off completely, while Home and Pro users may set it to basic only as the lowest level.To make the change in the Group Policy, do the following:1. Tap on the Windows-key(or search), type gpedit.msc and hit enter.2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection (It may be listed as Data Collection and Preview Builds).3. Set Allow Telemetry to Off if you are using an Enterprise account, to Basic if you are not.To make the change using the Windows Registry, do the following:1. Tap on the Windows-key(or search) , type regedit and hit enter.2. Confirm the UAC prompt if it comes up.3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Policies\\DataCollection.4. Set the value of AllowTelemetry to 0 if you are on Enterprise, to 1 if you are not.Use a local accountImageWindows 10 supports two account types: Microsoft accounts and local accounts. Microsoft accounts are used by default and if you select that option, you sign in to the operating system using your account\’s credentials (usually email and the password).You may use a local account instead for day to day activies. This can be arranged in the Settings under Accounts > Your account.If you use a local account, you will notice that you cannot use certain features of the operating system. Windows Store and certain applications become unavailable for instance, and account data is not synced across devices.Here\’s how to download APPS from the STORE and use other APPS without having to sign out of your LOCAL ACCOUNT:[QUOTE]For those who are using a \”LOCAL ACCOUNT\” who just wants to sign in to download Apps from the \”Microsoft Store\” or access their Microsoft email and ect. but doesn\’t want their computer to log out of their \”LOCAL ACCOUNT\” and changed to their \”MICROSOFT ACCOUNT\”. Open up the Microsoft Store and select the icon on the top right. Sign in with your \”Microsoft Account\” and get it verified. When you get to the screen \”MAKE IT YOURS\”. Select \”I\’LL CONNECT MY MICROSOFT ACCOUNT LATER\”. You will now log into your Microsoft Account to be able to access these Apps without having to change your LOCAL ACCOUNT.ImageIf you want to log out of your Microsoft Account. Just open up \”Windows Store\” again and click the \”SIGN IN\” icon and just sign out from there.Image[/QUOTE]Misc Group Policy SettingsThe following settings are provided in the Group Policy Editor.Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive1. Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage.Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Online Assistance1. Turn off Active Help.Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search1. Allow Cortana.2. Allow indexing of encrypted files.3. Allow search and Cortana to use location.4. Do not allow web search.5. Don\’t search the web or display web results in Search.6. Don\’t search the web or display web results in Search over a metered connection.7. Set what information is shared in Search (Switch to Anonymous info)Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Sync Your Settings1. Disable all syncing or the synchronization of specific settings, for instance Start, browser or passwords.Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Error Reporting1. Configure Error Reporting (do not collection additional files, do not collect additional machine data).2. Disable Windows Error Reporting.3. Disable logging.4. Do not send additional data.Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update1. Configure Automatic Updates (Set to Notify for download and notify for install. May want to set the scheduled install day as well. This allows you to block updates from being installed)2. Defer Upgrade (Pro and Enterprise only, may defer upgrades til next upgrade period)3. Turn on Software Notifications (\”Enhanced notification messages convey the value and promote the installation and use of optional software\”).4. Allow signed updates from an intranet Microsoft update location.[/QUOTE]2. Depending on whether you’ve been finding it useful or not, you may want to go to Cortana’s settings and turn off everything there. It’s just working as a basic file search for me now, as I didn’t want its ‘suggestions’, I didn’t want it to lock me into Bing and I didn’t want a tiny part of my processor to be forever dedicated to listening out for voice commands I will never use.Image3. This is the crucial one, and so fundamental to Windows 10’s tracking that Microsoft have stuck the setting on an external website, which they say is so that it’s on one easy dashboard, but I find it hard not to wonder if it’s in the hope that we don’t easily stumble across it while browsing Windows 10’s own Privacy menus. Said website is colourful and cheerful and can play a video at you talking about how wonderful targeted advertising is. Ignore the bumf and instead go directly here and set both options to Off. It’s the innocuous-sounding “Personalised ads wherever I use my Microsoft account” which is the likely root of all this, because having that on means Windows 10 itself becomes a hub for targeted ads. You’ll probably have set up Windows 10 with a Microsoft account, because it heavily encourages you to do so with talk of synchronised files and settings and a OneDrive cloud account during installation, but this means the OS is signed into that account all the time. As a result, Windows 10 itself has it spyglasses on, not just apps or pages that you’re signed into with your MS account.ImageI notice that every time I go back to that page, the “Personalised ads in this browser” setting has silently turned itself back on again. This is concerning, but I’m not yet sure if it’s a bug or if it’s exploiting sessions as an excuse to reset regularly. Judicious ad and cookie control with your plugins and browser options of choice can change this, however. Again, do remember that many websites are dependent on advertising revenue to survive, but opting out of targeted advertising – and having that opt out be respected – is another matter entirely.4. You may also wish to remove your Microsoft account from Windows 10 and use a local account instead. This will double-down on restricting what’s harvested, though you’ll lose out on features such as settings synchronisation across all your PCs and will suffer more nagging from stuff like the Windows Store and OneDrive. Probably not a big deal for many people, I suspect. Go to Settings – Accounts – Your Account within Windows 10 (or just type ‘Accounts’ into haha Cortana) to get to the relevant options.ImageIf you have multiple PCs already running Windows 10 you’ll need to do all of this on each of them, although your Microsoft account opt-out should be universal.None of these options mean you’ll see fewer ads, but they do mean that not quite so much information about you will be gathered and sold, and also that the ads you do see won’t be ‘relevant’ to what algorithms have decided your interests are. It is worth noting that some folk find the latter to be preferable to entirely irrelevant ads, and in some cases even useful – but certainly not everyone. Hopefully you can use the information here to make an informed choice about what happens. Again, in many respects it’s not wildly different from what already happens on your smart phone or your browser, but it’s important that you should know about it, and that Windows now has something of an ulterior motive.More options, or clearer options, may become available in time, depending on how much of the world frowns at Microsoft about this. I’ll let you know if I hear of anything else that needs doing in order to have Windows 10 respect your privacy.[QUOTE]EXTRASDisable Windows Update Delivery Optimization if you don\’t want to share your bandwidth.Go to SETTINGS>UPDATE & SECURITY>ADVANCED OPTIONS>CHOOSE HOW UPDATES ARE DELIVEREDImage[/QUOTE]OPTIONAL:[QUOTE]How to Uninstall Windows 10’s Built-in AppsSearch \”Powershell\” and run it as an ADMIN. Copy and paste the code and run it to uninstall the app(s) you don\’t want.[QUOTE]Uninstall Groove Music:Get-AppxPackage *zunemusic* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Maps:Get-AppxPackage *windowsmaps* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Microsoft Edge:This app can’t be removed.Uninstall Microsoft Solitaire Collection:Get-AppxPackage *solitairecollection* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Money:Get-AppxPackage *bingfinance* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Movies & TV:Get-AppxPackage *zunevideo* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall News:Get-AppxPackage *bingnews* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall OneNote:Get-AppxPackage *onenote* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall People:Get-AppxPackage *people* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Phone Companion:Get-AppxPackage *windowsphone* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Photos:Get-AppxPackage *photos* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Store:Get-AppxPackage *windowsstore* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Sports:Get-AppxPackage *bingsports* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Voice Recorder:Get-AppxPackage *soundrecorder* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Weather:Get-AppxPackage *bingweather* | Remove-AppxPackageUninstall Windows Feedback:This app can’t be removed.Uninstall Xbox:Get-AppxPackage *xboxapp* | Remove-AppxPackage[/QUOTE]How to Reinstall All Built-in AppsRun this is Powershell:[QUOTE]Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers| Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml”}[/QUOTE]You can also reinstall some of these Apps in the Windows Store.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the awesome post, Lexx911!!!all the best.

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