Windows 10 Privacy & Security Alert

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Of all the technology insights we at 8th Domain Technology have to share, this article is one the most important in our humble opinion. It has to do to privacy. YOUR privacy. And right now your business and personal information is at risk.

If you're using Windows 10, depending on how your computer was setup, it provides an open door to Microsoft (and other 3rd parties) for everything on your computer and everything you do with it.  What does "everything" equate to you might be thinking?  Hold onto your hats... Here we go... Let's start with access to all your contacts, access to your calendar items, connections to your contacts networks, and even a history of every keyboard key typed. Yikes!!!  Did you know this? Did you also know all this information is being stored in the cloud. Microsoft says they use this information to enhance your experience while using the computer. Humm.

If you set your computer using Microsoft's recommended options (to make setup faster they say), you are exposing yourself far beyond what is "normal" in our opinion. If you have an IT staff or outsourced IT service provider, how did they setup your computers? Do you know? It maybe something worth asking.

Sounds alarming doesn't it? It does, and it is. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel. And there's no need to throw your computer into the trash and move to Montana {just yet}. Let's take a look at these original setup options so you can see what you signed up for along with recommendations for disabling them.

First, when presented with this screen (pictured below) we suggest, again, not using the recommended install options and clicking on the "custom settings" link. If you are already using Windows 10 and either you or someone else setup your computer, we'll show you how to alter these settings to get your privacy back towards the end of this article.

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 On the next setup screen (pictured below) we recommend turning off every item. Take a moment now to read, really read, each of these items.

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 The next screen (pictured below) deals with browser and protection settings, as well as connectivity and error reporting. Again, we recommend turning all these items off. Worth noting the first option for "smart screen services" pertains only when using Microsoft's Edge browser to access the internet. We recommend this not just be turned off, but that you use either Google Chrome's Internet browser or Mozilla Firefox's browser. From our experience, these are both much safer than using Microsoft's older Internet Explorer browser or their newer version called Edge.

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 Now what?  How about a fix :-)

 If you (or your IT support provider) previously chose these express settings to set up your windows 10 computer and you want to opt out of some or all of these, all is not lost. You can still go into the settings and change things.

To turn off the first item found in the Personalization settings, you will need to open the Privacy group in Settings and then “Speech, inking, & typing”.

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Click or tap “Stop getting to know me”.

To turn off the “advertising ID” and “send typing and inking data” options, you will need to do that in the General privacy section. You will also find the option to turn off (or on) the SmartScreen filter here.

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The Location settings can be turned off under the “Location” section.

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Now let's modify the “Network & Internet” settings to prevent others from gaining access to our network.

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Tap or click “Wi-Fi” and then (if necessary) scroll down to “Manage Wi-Fi settings”.

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Then tap or click “Off” the two options shown in the screenshot below.

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 Finally, there’s one more spot in the privacy settings called “Feedback & diagnostics” where you can adjust the final option in the customized setup to NOT use the recommended option.

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There ya go!  You are safe once again from the prying eyes of big brother. Keep vigilant and keep tuned to 8th Domain Technology's insights blog for news and updates that are actual useful. Both at work AND at home

Want us to do this for you? We'd love to help get your privacy back. Give us a call at (800) 639-1046 or email us at contact@8thdomaintechnology.com and we'll be there.

<- Who likes change?

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