Don’t compromise your privacy by stopping Windows 10 tracking

Windows 10 represents approximately 60% of the total operating system used worldwide. Even if you’re a devoted Mac and Linux fan, you’ll probably have to use Windows somewhere: at work, at home, or on a public computer.

Compared to previous versions, Windows 10 is more secure, faster, and much easier to use. But many of these improvements have sacrificed privacy in the process.

Don’t worry; You can still have your cake and eat it too. Here’s how to minimize Windows tracking and improve privacy in a few easy steps.

1. Turn off personalized ads

You should be concerned about the data that Microsoft and other parties collect about you while you browse the Internet. Typically, this information helps companies create a profile of you to serve targeted ads.

You may already know how to stop this in Chrome or Facebook. It’s time you did the same with Edge and Windows too. Microsoft collects information about you not only when you browse the web, but also when you use Windows 10 apps.

You can disable Advertising ID in settings:

  1. Type “Privacy” in the Windows Search box and select “Privacy Settings.”
  2. At the top is your “Advertising ID.” Move the slider to the left to turn it off.

You will still receive some ads, but they will no longer be targeted nor will Windows track your browsing activity.

2. Disable Cortana

Cortana is the Windows version of Alexa and Siri. It is beneficial and you can use it to do many things such as searches, mathematical equations, and more. But it also collects data about you.

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You have two options. You can restrict permissions or disable Cortana completely. The best middle ground is to disable “Hey Cortana” to disable active listening and remove personalization. Then you’ll still be able to have some voice features, but only when you turn on the microphone.

Or you can go all the way and remove Cortana. You can still type the same queries in the search bar that Cortana can answer.

To modify Cortana:

  1. Type “Cortana” in the search bar.
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Turn off “Hey Cortana.”
  4. Set “Manage what Cortana can access” to your preferences.

3. Enable a VPN

It’s not just Microsoft, but all the other websites and apps you use can monitor what you do online by tracking your IP address. Your IP address is essential to use the Internet. But that doesn’t mean you should leave it open.

To see how easy it is to find it, type “what is my IP address” into Google right now. It will not only show you a unique device ID, but also other personal information such as your ISP and location. Click here for more information:

Fortunately, you can use a VPN to hide your IP address. VPNs replace your IP address with one of their servers so that no one can trace your internet activity back to your device. At the same time, they also encrypt your connection for even greater security.

Again, you have two options. Choose a reliable VPN and use their app on your computer. Or you can set up a VPN directly in your network settings. If you enable a VPN in settings, you won’t need a VPN client (although you’ll still need a VPN subscription). But it takes a little more technical expertise to switch servers or take advantage of other VPN features.

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Northern VPN

4. Disable Network Sharing

Windows 10 has a great feature called WiFi Sense. It allows you to share access keys to WiFi networks with your contacts without revealing the password. But you do allow someone to access your network and you don’t want outsiders to be able to do so.

It is much safer to disable this feature and create a separate WiFi network for friends and visitors. To turn it off on your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Open “Network and Internet” settings.
  2. Select “WiFi” and “Manage WiFi Settings.”
  3. Disable WiFi Sense, as well as “Connect to suggested open hotspots” and “Connect to the network shared by my contacts.”

5. Use the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard

Most people don’t realize that Microsoft, along with Google, Facebook, and other platforms, has privacy panels. You can adjust all the data they collect about you there.

To access your Microsoft Dashboard, sign in to your account here and review your privacy settings.

You can limit the data collected, view and delete internet history, location activity, and much more. Please note that Microsoft only tracks browsing activity in Edge or Internet Explorer. If you use Chrome, Firefox, or other browsers, it’s time to review your privacy settings as well.

Windows 10 is a fantastic operating system that gets better with each version. But it has its share of privacy issues. Be sure to check your settings after every Windows update to stop or limit Microsoft tracking.

Read more Author: Khushboo Chhibber “My goal is to create technical awareness, you can call me a technophile. I am passionate about writing reviews on various gadgets and other informative content that can create a direct impact on the audience or be useful to them. Also, technology like mobile devices, gadgets, Android devices, Google, streaming media and other online services inspire me to write and review and educate my audience on what could be best for them.

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