How to Disable Spying in Windows 10

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How to Disable Spying in Windows 10: There has been a privacy controversy ever since Microsoft rolled out Windows 10. This operating system comes with a number of tracking features that users fear might be collecting personal data.

Many anti-spy apps have sprung up to try and contain the situation. However, using another application whose makeup you don’t quite understand can cause you more harm than good.

You can claim your privacy without introducing new applications that are potential threats. In today’s data-driven world, people understand how important privacy is. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to manipulate an individual’s personal data and use it for malicious activities.

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Here is a comprehensive guide to show you how to disable spying in Windows 10

 

Why Microsoft Tracks User Data

First, you need to understand why Microsoft tracks customer data. Well, realize that if you’re not buying a product like Windows 10, then you’re the product. Remember that Windows 10 is a free software upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Any large corporation cannot offer users free products without finding other ways to generate income. This is a business, and their aim is always to make profit. Monitoring the behavior of users gives Microsoft the insights they need to make more sales. After all, Windows 10 is not the only product they offer.

Microsoft anonymously tracks customer data because the law forbids any corporation to track people personally.

 

6 Ways to Destroy Windows 10 Spying

1. Disable advertising integration

Advertising integration is a feature that’s been around since Windows 8. Allowing Microsoft to integrate advertising gives them access to your personal information. A corporation can only personalize your ads if they know your interests and preferences.

To disable this feature, you need to go through a two-step process. The first step is clicking on the settings icon. Scroll to privacy and select the general button. So that is; Settings-Privacy-General and then click on the button labeled ‘Let apps use my advertising ID for experience across apps.’

Turning this off disables advertising integration. Once this is done, go to choice.microsoft.com and opt-out of personalized advertising when you’re using your browser.

2. Turn off Cortana to Disable windows 10 spying

Cortana is Microsoft’s personal assistant. This built-in feature helps users to organize their work and be updated on their schedules. But if you don’t ever use this feature, consider disabling it.

Cortana collects information in the same fashion as Google Now. Since you use it to organize your calendar, set reminders, send emails, mark events, Cortana has access to your personal information.

You can find the Cortana icon on the bottom left of your screen. It’s a circle that allows you to use voice search. To deactivate it, click on the notebook icon from the pop-up panel and select settings. Slide to the top option and stop Cortana from giving you alerts, reminders, and more.

Once you turn off Cortana, you also need to take care of app privacy settings. Go to settings, select privacy, and click on the speech, inking, and typing icon. This is like Cortana’s engine. It gathers all the information Cortana uses to personalize user experience.

Click on the button that reads ‘stop getting to know me’ to delete all data Windows 10 has been collecting.

3. Turn off WiFi sense

Wi-Fi sense is an innovative feature gives password-protected Wi-Fi routers access to your PC. This feature doesn’t really do anything if you don’t use Wi-Fi routers to access the internet.

However, for those who share a Wi-Fi network with other PCs, this feature comes in handy. Wi-Fi saves you the hassle of giving friends and family your Wi-Fi password each time they come to visit.

All Windows 10 devices are automatically logged in to your Wi-Fi network without the password being revealed.

Cybercriminals can easily manipulate this feature to gain access to your PC remotely.

To turn Wi-Fi sense off, go to settings, select network and internet, click on the Wi-Fi button and manage your PC’s Wi-Fi settings. Turn off all the features that allow your PC to connect to open hotspots and networks.

4. Turn off Peer-to-Peer to Disable windows tracking

Peer-to-peer is another innovative Windows 10 features. This one allows PCs to share updates and system files. Friends help each other get system files and downloaded upgrades. This sounds like a good idea, but it’s a gold mine for cybercriminals.

To turn this off, go to settings and click on the update and security button. From there, select update Windows from the options available and then go to advanced options. From here, you can choose how your updates are delivered.

You can either to shut off peer-to-peer or restrict your PC to receive updates from computers connected to your local network alone.

5. Turn Off OneDrive to Destroy windows 10 spying

OneDrive is virtual storage that stores your files in the cloud. If you don’t want your files on Microsoft’s cloud servers, turn off this feature. When you constantly get OneDrive configuration requests, it means it’s still active.

The OneDrive icon is a cloud on the taskbar at the bottom right of the screen. If you cannot see it, click on the upward-facing arrow and right-click on the cloud icon, select settings and uncheck the box that allows your PC to automatically start OneDrive when you sign in.

6. Manage Your PC’s General privacy Settings

Once you deactivate the most crucial features, you can then sweep through your PC’s general privacy settings to ensure you leave no stone unturned.

Privacy settings are the core of Windows 10 privacy control. Turn off any features that authorize your PC to send Microsoft your personal information.

 

Wrap Up

Windows 10 is the latest Microsoft operating system, and its features are designed to improve performance. However, it’s no secret that most features were added to track users’ personal data. This guide ensures that you have control over what information Microsoft can access.

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Ajit Yadav

Author Bio: Ajit yadav is a professional blogger and co-founder of WindowsClassroom. He is a software engineer by education and blogger & writer by profession.

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