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Windows 10 Privacy & Tracking Updates for Windows 7 / 8

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Joined: 17 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:01 am    Post subject: Windows 10 Privacy & Tracking Updates for Windows 7 / 8 Reply with quote

In the past it was already predicted the more "free" a commercial product like Windows gets the more "you" are the product. With windows 10 this is more true than ever. As you probably might have heard there are quite a few concerns about windows 10 and the invasion of your privacy. Reading their policy carefully you are giving them a blank check with your signature on it. No other way to put it and no need to go into discussions how great the "user experience" is with all those features. With the threat of Linux and the increasing ease it is to use it as an every day operating system by normal users it is no surprise that Microsoft is trying to find ways to keep their marketshare by all means. We will discuss some more details in a bit but it seems the tracking features implemented in Windows 10 were recently also silently released to Windows 7 and 8. So far it concerns the following updates which we recommend to uninstall:

- KB3068708
- KB3075249
- KB3080149

When checking for new updates the above will show up. In that case you should simply right click on each and select "Hide Update" so they won't be offered again. We also recommend to not install updates automatically but only be prompted so you can choose what to install. Also if you are using Microsoft Office you should check its settings since by default it relays data about your system. Actually, always check any program you install if it invades your privacy, this includes also during install like using the custom option instead of default / express method.

It is even more worrying that many privacy invading features are opt-out instead of opt-in meaning you need to be aware of them in the first place and then choose to disable them. Imagine how many users are not aware of the ongoing battle for their data which is intensifying. Activating by default these type of "features" , policies saying if you agree you allow them to harvest your life and more. Not to mention all those "handy" apps on your smartphones and best of all they are "free" (you are the product).

The following is a list of features to check manually if you decide to upgrade to Windows 10. It's still no garantee because the policy they make you agree to gives them a huge amount of power with or without the features you can control:

- General Privacy Settings (Windows 10 Settings app)
- Network & Internet -> Wifi -> Manage Wifi Settings
- Start Menu Search (Click on Notebook icon then Settings to review)
- Microsoft Edge (Settings -> Advanced Settings)
- Syncing (Settings -> Accounts -> Sync)
- Windows Update (Review what you want to allow or not)
- Feedback / Diagnostics (Settings -> Privacy)

We hope this will point you into the right direction to take back some control and hopefully it helps to keep (some) of your data out of the wrong hands.
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