Once you install Windows 10, it comes with inbuilt data tracking hooks embedded in Microsoft online services. The data collected is used by Microsoft to personalize your advertisement feed and generally improve your user experience.
If you value your personal data, there are ways in which you can significantly reduce data collected by Microsoft.
This guide will help you discover the amount of data Microsoft has been gathering and also how to turn off the features to the level that you feel comfortable.
1. You need to double press ‘Windows Key + I’ to open system settings. Once open, locate the ‘Privacy’ tab at the bottom as illustrated below:
2. You now need to turn off the privacy options depending on the level of privacy you are comfortable with. For instance, the first option tracks your app activity to be able to personalize your advertisements.
However, it is important to note that disabling all the privacy options significantly reduces your personal data collected by Microsoft. Make sure to read the description before disabling any option to understand what you are giving up.
3. On the left panel, select diagnostics & feedback as shown below. You should ensure that the basic option is selected.
4. Scroll down until you see the heading ’Delete diagnostic data’. You need to hit the delete button to erase all the diagnostic data collected by Microsoft from your personal device.
5. Select ‘Activity history’ on the left panel as shown below. You need to disable the ‘Send my activity history to Microsoft’ as shown below.
6. On the left pane, select the ‘Location’ option as shown below. If your location is set to ON, Microsoft tracks your location activity to improve your location services. If you would like to change this, hit the change button to switch it off.
Alternatively, you can choose to leave it on and set the apps that have access to your location.
7. You can go through the rest of the app permissions and customize according to the privacy level you are comfortable with.
When you are done, you can restart your Windows computer.
Congratulations, you have successfully reclaimed your privacy.