Windows 10

Windows 10 is the latest operating system from Microsoft which is widely used across the globe. Part of the reason for this popularity is the fact that Windows 10 is very effective at adapting to their users’ needs and preferences and then delivering tailored experiences. Applications such as the virtual assistant Cortana, for example, can deliver news and weather updates specific to a user’s location.

The downside to this customized experience is that Windows 10 collects a large amount of private user data to enable it to align with the user’s habits. While many people do not mind the trade-off between loss of privacy and improved user experience, some users prefer to limit how much data the system collects. If you belong to the latter group, here are some suggestions on how to increase privacy when using Windows 10.

Turn-off Ad Tracking

Windows 10 collects data on the websites you visit. This allows the system to create a profile that advertisers use to target ads. Windows 10 collects private data even when you use its apps and not just when you access the Internet through a browser. Users, however, have the option of turning off ad tracking through their computer settings options. Although this will not stop ads from being delivered to you, only generic ads will be shown and not targeted ones.

Switch Off Location Tracking

Windows 10 is able to deliver customized news and weather information because it tracks where you are at any given moment. If this aspect makes you uncomfortable, you have the option of turning off location tracking under computer settings. Windows 10 gives you some flexibility here as you can turn off location access for some apps. For example, you can switch off location tracking for all apps apart from the weather and news apps. This way, you can still receive customized news and weather information while turning it off for other apps.

Turn off Timeline

Windows 10 timeline is a feature that allows you to work seamlessly across different devices. For example, if you were working on something on your laptop, you can seamlessly switch over to your desktop computer when you get home without having to manually replicate what you were doing on the laptop. This feature is only possible because Windows 10 collects information from both machines, allowing it to replicate one on to the other. If you would like to prevent this, you can disable the function in the settings, as well as stop or limit the activity data that Microsoft collects and sends.

Limit Cortana

Cortana is Microsoft’s virtual assistant that does a number of helpful things such as remind you about appointments and map your commute from work to your home. Cortana does this by collecting and analyzing data such as where you live and so on. If this bothers you, Windows 10 makes it possible for you to limit the data that Cortana collects from you. Simply head over to Cortana settings and follow the on-screen instructions.