Windows 10 is a great operating system and even Microsoft has made it official that this will be their last version of Windows Operating System ever. They will keep on updating this to make it better and better every now and then, rather than building a new operating system. Windows 10 isn’t perfect, obviously, and there are a lot of problems that the users face. Also, there are a few things on your computer that you need to make a note of, and possibly disable so that your privacy is maintained, and no information is leaked!
Today, let’s talk about a few things that you should disable on your Windows 10 computer, that you probably didn’t know even existed on your computer prior to this. Let’s get started.
Disable Advertising ID
With Windows 10, Microsoft launched a new thing that they’re calling the Advertising ID. It is basically linked to your email ID and it tracks your activity online and within Windows Apps to serve you targeted content across the web. If you want to stop that, you should disable your Advertising ID. To do so, open your Settings by pressing the Win Key + I on your keyboard (learn more about Windows Keyboard Shortcuts). Here, choose Privacy, and under General, Turn off the first option that says “Let apps use my advertising ID…”. You’ve successfully disabled the Advertising ID when it is turned off.
Disable Peer to Peer Windows Updates
There’s a feature in Windows 10 that allows you to share the updates you download to PCs on your local internet network, or even all over the globe. If you have this enabled, Microsoft will use your computer to send updates to other people around the world, provided they have this enabled. If you want to save on your bandwidth, it is a good idea to disable peer to peer updates. To do so, go to Settings and choose Update & Security. There, choose Advanced options under Windows Update and then choose “Choose how updates are delivered”. Here, Turn off Peer to Peer Update download.
Disable WiFi Sense
With Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a thing called WiFi Sense, which allows you to share your saved WiFi passwords with your contacts, so they can connect to the WiFi as well. Although you can choose which WiFi network you want to share the password for, most people don’t pay attention to that and have their WiFi Sense enabled all the time, sharing password for their WiFi with their contacts. You can disable it by going to Settings and choosing Network and Internet there. Next, scroll down on the WiFi section until you see Manage Wi-Fi settings. Click on that, and then finally scroll down to see “For networks I select, share them with my” and untick all the options here. Alternatively, if you want to share certain networks, scroll even down until you see Manage Known Networks, and here, choose which ones you want to share.
Manage Location Access
Your location is probably one of those things that you’re highly private about. Allowing Windows to use your location to provide you better suggestions is one thing, but allowing a third party app is another. What if that application turns out to be a bogus one, and uses your location for some random thing that you had never imagined. It is better to manage who you allow access to your location. In order to check that, go to Settings, click on Privacy there. Then from the long list of options on the left, choose Location and scroll down until you see “Choose apps that can use your location”. There, make sure only the apps you trust are allowed to use your location and no other app is accessing your location.
Disable Information Access for Cortana
If you’re one of those people who hardly ever use Cortana, it is better to disable the information access for Cortana so that none of your data is ever lost in an event of hacking. Cortana and Windows try to learn more about you based on what you search for in Cortana and even from your calendar events and such things. If you want to disable this information access for Cortana, go to Settings, and choose Privacy from the list there. Next, choose Speech, inking & typing from the left side menu there and Click on “Stop Getting to Know Me” to turn off information access for Cortana and Windows.
I hope after going through the things mentioned here, you are able to stop some of the Microsoft features, that when left off will help you protect your identity online in one or the other way. If you know any other things that you think should be dealt with, do let me know in the comments section below.