If you’re upgrading from a previous version of Windows or buying a new Windows 10 device (PC, laptop or tablet), then you’ll want to be aware of a few privacy issues surrounding some of the new Windows 10 features.

These four quick tips can help you rest easy knowing you’ve got more control over your data.

Disable Personalised Ads

In order to serve you more appropriate ads, Windows 10 tracks some of your behavior so that they can better understand your likes and dislikes.

If you don’t want this feature, you can visit this link https://choice.microsoft.com/en-gb/opt-out on your Windows machine to disable Personalised Ads in your Windows Edge browser and wherever you use your Microsoft Account. This will prevent Windows from serving you personalised ads and collecting your data across multiple devices.
[st_image template="BC1" alt="Windows 10 Personalised Ads" select_image="http://now.avg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/windows_10_personalised_ads.png"]

 

Disable Advertiser ID

To prevent third parties from advertising and collecting your data from within Windows Apps, you can disable the Advertiser ID.

To do this go to ‘Start menu’, open ‘Settings’, choose the ‘Privacy' option, then select the ‘General’ tab and turn off the 1st option at the top of the list.

[st_image template="BC1" alt="Windows 10 Disable Advertiser ID" select_image="http://now.avg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/windows_10_disable_advertiser_id.gif"]

 

Disable Wi-Fi Sense

Windows 10 Wi-Fi Sense essentially wants to help you maintain online connectivity on the go and help you use less mobile data if you’re on a mobile device.

It does this by crowdsourcing networks with other Windows users – It looks for and connects to open networks (unsecured or password free networks) as well as scans your contacts (Outlook contacts, Skype contacts and Facebook friends) and then lets you share your Wi-Fi with them.

This has some great advantages like not having worry about managing network access, but it does present some issues:

  • People you barely know could connect to your Wi-Fi network.
  • Any questionable activity on your Wi-Fi internet connection could result in you taking responsibility. This means that you have to trust that people accessing and using your connection.
  • Your internet connection could suffer significant slowdowns and increased data usage.
  • Open Wi-Fi networks are insecure, and some are setup specifically for nefarious purposes – a hacker can intercept data via packet sniffing or use a man-in-the-middle attack. You might not know if you’ve connected to one automatically and as such are at great risk.

[st_image template="BC1" alt="Windows 10 Wi-Fi Sense" select_image="http://now.avg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/windows_10_wifi_sense.gif"]

 

If you want to disable the Wi-Fi Sense sharing option then open the Start menu, select 'Settings', choose the ‘Network & Internet’ option then click ‘Manage Wi-Fi settings’. Go ahead and disable all the options on this page.

 

Disable location services

If you don’t like the idea of Windows 10 or its apps tracking your movement, then you’ll want to disable location tracking. Open the Start menu again, click 'Settings' and choose the ‘Privacy' option, then select the ‘Location’ tab

[st_image template="BC1" alt="Windows 10 Location Services" select_image="http://now.avg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/windows_10_location_services.gif"]

You can disable the location services globally or you choose which apps can track your location.

 

We’ve only covered the basics here, but there are additional options available in the Windows 10 privacy settings that you might want to take a look at and customise further, especially if you're concerned about your privacy.

To go that extra mile and ensure your complete privacy while online, then you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service like hidemyass.com which encrypts your data.

Also, if you don't have an antivirus solution installed already, you should install one like AVG AntiVirus FREE.

If you would like to chat more about privacy, then please start a conversation with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you and any tips you might like to share.