You probably have a Gmail account for your email services and as you probably know (or if you didn’t know), this Google service sifts through your emails and makes choices of ads that will be displayed through a variety of Google advertising platforms.
Well, it seems Microsoft has taken this same direction with its newly launched Windows 10.
It’s not an unknown thing, in fact, Microsoft has made it public that Redmond collects pieces of information when you create a Microsoft account, carry out a search via Bing, give a voice command to Cortana, upload any file to OneDrive or even when you contact Microsoft for support.
How does Microsoft use the data it collects?
Well, you may be asking yourself how Microsoft makes use of the data it collects from you. The answer is the same as that provided by Apple and Google: for purposes of improving the software and services, it offers as well as provides you with the best ads and promotions possible. Even though this might sound a bit insecure, Microsoft reassures users that it does not use any of the messages they send through emails, chats, photos, documents, calls and any other personal file to target specific ads to them.
On the other hand, your personal data may be shared by the company, but only in cases where a transaction must be completed, and your details are required, or when you need a certain service.
How to disable data collection in Windows 10
Even though these options for collecting data from you come as default settings on your Windows 10, there is still room for opting out of them. However, you will be risking some of the best features that come along with this new OS.
A suitable example is where you can still use Windows 10 without a Microsoft account; however, you won’t enjoy the syncing capabilities with OneDrive or even explore the Windows App Store. Windows 10 allows users to use a local account instead of a Microsoft ID. To make this change, visit the Accounts page of the Settings app on your PC.
Avoid choosing express settings during Windows 10 setup
If you still haven’t installed the latest Windows 10 OS on your PC, there is another way of ensuring Microsoft stays clear of your personal data. Simply don’t go with “Express settings” when setting up the OS as it will lead you to granular privacy options. Alternatively, you can visit account.microsoft.com where you can change the privacy settings of your OS, for instance, personalization options, marketing, apps and search privacy. There is an option of setting your advertising opt-in options by visiting the page at choice.microsoft.com.
Another thing you can do is to disable Cortana during theinitial setup of Windows 10. When asked whether you want to use this personal digital voiceassistant, you can choose to or not to. Alternatively, you can turn this feature off anytime you want. Pop up the Cortana panel and select the Settings gearand from here, switch it off. There is still room for more privacy-personalization by turning off the online search capability and another link to more privacy settings at the lower end.
This is just the start of it all. When you visit the Privacy page of the Settings app, there are at last 13 tabs associated with privacy settings among them location, speech, microphone, contacts, devices, background apps and many more. All of these settings are very useful when you want to prevent Windows 10 from collecting personal data from you.