Microsoft has received huge flaks from different corners since the launch of the Windows 10 in mid-2015 thanks to the various privacy issues which riddled it. Experts and users were quick to spot the various privacy flaws with the Windows 10 as it asked for far more information from the users than its predecessors. Recently, an international digital rights organisation Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) accused that Microsoft was sending user data especially collected from users who personalised their Windows 10 using Cortana back to the Microsoft’s servers.
Although Microsoft has refuted these claims and has said that these are telemetry data which are used further to address the performance issues and enhance the user experience.
How to Fix windows Privacy issues: ( 3 ways )
However, we would recommend you to be on the safe side. If you wish to prevent yourselves from being snooped upon in the Windows 10, here’s how you can do this. Follow these easy steps and make yourself more safe and secure from any data breach or snooping.
#1 Disable Cortana :
Cortana is Microsoft’s personal voice assistant. It collects tonnes of data including voice inputs, location history, messages and even your search history. Although it is claimed that Cortana accumulates all these information to enhance your Cortana experience by providing better results as is the case with Google Now. Prior to the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary update, there was a dedicated toggle button to disable Cortana, but it has been removed now. Here’s how you can completely disable Cortana and hence prevent it from breaching your privacy:
Step #1: Open the run menu by pressing Win+R and then type ‘regedit‘.
Step #2: Pressing ‘OK‘ will open the registry editor.
Step #3: Now navigate to the following directory:
Note: If you don’t find the ‘Windows Search‘ folder, then right-click on the Windows folder and select New> Key. Name this ‘Windows Search‘.
Step #5: Name this value ‘AllowCortana‘. Now double-click it and set the hexadecimal value to ‘0‘. The effect will take place once you restart or sign-in again.
Step #6: You can always re-enable Cortana by changing the hexadecimal value of ‘AllowCortana‘ to ‘1‘ or delete the ‘AllowCortana‘ value.
#2 Privacy Settings
Step 1: Open the Privacy Settings
Step 2: Select ‘Location’ from the left pane and then click on the ‘Change’ tab on the right and turn it off.
Step 3: In the Privacy Settings, open ‘Speech, inking & typing’ from the left pane. Then choose the ‘Stop getting to know me’ tab.
Step 4: Open ‘Feedback & Diagnostics’ from the left pane in the Privacy Settings.
Step 5: Open ‘Feedback frequency’ tab and set it to never.
Step 6: Now come below and open the ‘Diagnostic and usage data’ tab and select ‘basic’ from enhanced or full.
#3 Microsoft Edge
Step 1: Open settings menu in Edge browser.
Step 2: Select ‘View Advanced Settings’.
Step 3: Now disable the options such as Cookies, page predictions, SmartScreen filter and Search and site suggestions. Disable each of them. Cortana should be already disabled by now.
These steps should make your privacy settings stronger and wouldn’t affect your browsing or Windows 10 using experience much. But these steps would surely ensure that your computer would be more private and better protected from privacy breaches.