Privacy

Windows 10: Tips to protect your privacy

Many business users are becoming more and more concerned about data privacy. If you’re a Windows 10 user and you’re concerned about how the operating system collects your data, follow these tips to ensure your data’s protection.

Slip off the grid

Thanks to location tracking, nearby restaurants and future weather predictions are at your fingertips. While some might not mind this feature, there are others who wish to enjoy some privacy from their smartphones every once in a while.

To turn it off, launch the Settings app, tap Privacy, and disable the Location tab. If you wish to share your location with certain apps, scroll down and activate the ‘Choose apps that can use your location’ tab and choose your desired apps.

Say goodbye to ad tracking

Every time you surf the net, you leave a trail of breadcrumbs that lead directly to your online profile. This problem is easily solved by deactivating ad tracking. Windows 10, however, goes a tad further by using an advertising ID, which gathers information based on web browsing usage and whenever you use Windows 10 apps.

To take care of that, launch the Settings app, go to General, look for “Change privacy options,” then move the slider from on to off. If you want to make sure you have no virtual stalkers, head to choice.microsoft.com/en-us/opt-out and disable the “Personalized ads whenever I use my Microsoft account” tab.

Disable Wi-Fi Sense

This feature is designed to let you easily share Wi-Fi connections with specific users, but hackers can misuse it to log on to your network without your permission. To disable it, launch the Setting app, go to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > and click on Wi-Fi Sense. From there, deactivate two bars: “Connect to suggested open hotspots” and “Connect to networks shared my contacts”.

Cortana, why so clingy?

Albeit helpful, the digital assistant Cortana requires access to your personal information. But you can stop her from collecting data by logging in to your Microsoft account and clearing all the information Cortana and other Microsoft services (ex. Bing maps) have gathered.

You can also clear the information in your interests section or head over to the “interest manager” tab to edit the interests you want Cortana to track.

More privacy options

All of these tips are easy to follow and will take only five to ten minutes to implement, but if you like to make very detailed adjustments to your system’s privacy setup, launch the Settings app and go to Privacy.

We hope you find these five privacy protection tips helpful. If you need more help protecting your information or securing your network, give us a call.

What does Apple know from your data?

Privacy is something everyone values, so as we become more and more connected online, we become more and more concerned about volunteering our information. Tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon not only get the data we willingly provide, but also get lots of data we unwittingly provide. How much are you unsuspectingly providing to Apple?

What Facebook & Google Know

Let’s first look at what Facebook knows about you. As the biggest social network in the world, Facebook makes a lot of money through advertising. The more data it gathers about you, the more able they are to target you with relevant ads. Aside from the information you provide when you open an account, Facebook also tracks your browsing history, knows your social circle, and keeps note of your general interests.

Facebook also retains the names and numbers of people in your contact list who are not yet on Facebook to create “shadow profiles.” When they sign up for the social network, these contacts appear in your “People You May Know” recommendations.

Facebook’s Messenger app keeps a record of all your conversations, contacts, and even SMS messages (if you give Messenger permission to manage them).

Google also gathers data to target users with promotions and advertising. But they have more data to collate and play with, thanks to their other services like Google Maps, AdSense, and YouTube. They know the places you’ve been, the things you buy online, and the music you like.

What Apple Knows

Compared with Facebook and Google, Apple knows little about you. They know your name, home address, email address, all the apps and songs you’ve downloaded, and anything you’ve purchased in the Apple Store.

Facebook, Google, and Apple all allow you to download a file that reveals what they know about you. The files from Facebook and Google are often massive, sometimes containing gigabytes’ worth of data. Apple’s files are a lot smaller, and they make it more difficult for you or a hacker to download and see all the information they have on you.

Protecting your privacy online doesn’t mean you have to swear off Facebook or stop using Google’s services, but knowing how these companies collect information about you is the first step. If you want to learn more about how Apple collects information on you, don’t hesitate to give our experts a call.