Windows 10 has been installed on many computers since its release. Many times, it was done without informed knowledge of the users, which has resulted in severe privacy loss for them.
While Windows 8 implemented several privacy infringements, Windows 10 has taken this to a new level, collecting personal information, tracking Interenet visits and even indexing personal data files on your personal computer and making this information available to Microsoft.
While during installation, some obscure links on the page allow you to theoretically deny access to these functions, in reality you must continue to "clean up" the permissions given to Windows 10 after installation is done. Following is my collection of tips for doing it in three sections: Installation, Post-Installation Configuration, and removal/disabling Microsoft provided applications which perform the same intrusive searches even after the operating system itself has been told not to collect the data.
Note: I actually go a little further than the recommendations found elsewhere in that I disable a few additional applications. I will attempt to note when this occurs.
Warning: Because of the intrusive nature of the privacy concerns, businesses which have trade secrets or sensitive information should not consider an upgrade to Windows 10 at this time. In some cases (medical, legal, accounting and education), using Windows 10 has the possibility of sharing information from your computer which may be in violation of US Privacy Laws. You will note that Windows 10 upgrades are not available to clients in Enterprise environments, and I assume this is one of the reasons. However, many small and medium businesses which do not use a Windows Domain should definitely not upgrade until the privacy issues are taken care of.
Warning: The following are the result of many hours of research, both first hand and second hand via the Internet. However, do not assume that following these steps secures your private information. Windows 10 security is fairly new and no one outside of Microsoft itself knows what information is actualy collected. See the bibliography at the end of the article for some of the information I have found during research.
This actually turned into a huge article (10-15 screen shots and text for cleanup after install alone), so I am breaking it into smaller pieces. Links to the articles are going to be listed here after I finish the breakup.
- Windows 10 Installation - During installation/upgrade, you should turn off several things, but they are not obvious. This article helps you do this.
- Windows 10 Post-Installation Cleanup - After installation, some of the items you unchecked did not do quite what you wanted. Additionally, there are other privacy/security items that need to be looked at. This article covers those items which should be performed after you have completed the installation.
- Windows 10 Disable Default Applications - Even after you have disabled many things in the Settings window, there are still some default applications that you should disable or, if possible, remove. This article covers those.
Tags: Installation, security, Windows 10