Windows 10 Privacy Nightmare.

 

 

Microsoft has released its last OS. Windows 10 and are giving it away free.

 

Update after a few months using Windows 10.

Basically I like it well enough but did turn off many of the functions that, while may be cool, also expose too much of your life to Microsoft and others. Just be sure to study and learn how to avoid privacy leaks.  Always disable Cortana...that is a really spy!

Why?

First they say it is so they can just automatically keep your PC updated forever...in fact they don't even give you a choice any more.

Second and probably less obvious, to better collect all your data most likely for a grand marketing offensive. What company can pass up the opportunity to know all about you, what you buy, where you live, your age, gender and who you know?  A marketing dream if ever there was one. The claim is that it makes your life easier and provides you with a richer internet experience. What do you give up for this?

This points out a very good reason to read their privacy statement...it will tell you they want everything from your computer to save on their servers. Ashley Madison much?

These invasions are default if you update. You can and MUST take steps to protect yourself if you insist on this "upgrade". Unfortunatly there are aspects you cannot protect yourself from, a forced update you cannot reject could be buggy or worse and you are stuck until MS releases a fix for their own bugs. You cannot disable automatic updates. This means they can "update" to include even more intrusions or even disable privacy settings you  made when installing.

What to do?  Well, this would be an ideal opportunity to move to Linux which won't spy on you and which will actually run most Windows applications.

You can avoid ever using MS Softare. Don't use IE, install another browser (but be aware Chrome) is Googles spy so stick with open source like Firefox etc. Even Safari ( not always up to date for Windows ) is a safer bet.

The newer Opera Developer includes free VPN! Worth a look!

Some pages you should check before making the switch.

 

Some suggestions for the more tech-savvy who still want to test the waters.

  • Clone your current HDD with existing Windows, data and programs. There are free tools for this.
  • Connect and test your clone before moving on. If all works as it should set the original aside as a backup.
  • Using the newly cloned drive (if you are like me you will have used a larger drive and have more space )
  • Update to W10 on the cloned drive. You now have two drives so you can switch back if you are not happy.
  • Immediately change security settings in Win10 to best protect privacy including turning Cortana OFF! She is not your friend.
  • Install alternative open source email (Thunderbird) , (MS Office alternative) OpenOffice, (IE alternative) Firefox etc. a
  • Once your Win10 is set up on the new (larger) clone you can set up for multiple boot options and install your prior version of Windows as an alternative boot option.
  • Download Linux and install as a third boot option. You will note that the above alternatives are available by default in Linux so you are good to go.
  • You now have a hard drive that will allow you to choose which version of Windows to use or try Linux...you may be surprised how easy Linux installs.

Knowledge is Power!  

Use this to protect your privacy especially if you deal with anything at all sensitive such as customer information, credit cards, "personal" photos, discrete email content and so on.  This is of major concern to anyone using Win10 for business, charity, dissent, whistle blowing or advocacy purposes as you will often create data that should not be in anyone else possession. Think "AT&T" giving all your phone calls and emails to the NSA! You really think Microsoft does not do the same with all this data?  How often has NSA or other computers been hacked by Chinese or North Koreans?   "Keep in in your pants"

Alternative Software Options:

Web Browsers

Productivity Apps

  • Open Office ( Does everything MS offices does and also available for Linux )
  • Thunderbird ( Does what MS Mail does, also available Linux as well )
  • The GIMP ( Photoshop alternative also works in Linux )

Entertainment

VLC player ( alternative to MS Movie Player )

Video Editor ( better than Microsoft and also FREE )

Search Engines for Privacy

Duck Duck Go

 

 

YOU ARE WARNED