When Windows 10 was released, the tech world was abuzz with glee. But then, we all started to take a gander under the hood of this software sportscar, only to discover a rather horrifying sight. It seems this ride tracks every … little … thing … you … do, and then quickly reports this data to the James-Bond-villain headquarters, otherwise known as Microsoft.
“It’s for your own convenience,” they said.
“It will help us fix lots of technical issues,” they added.
Sure, you may like the convenience and simply have nothing to hide, but how far is TOO far? Let’s just say that Windows 10 pushes those bounds with gusto.
Convenience? Technical support? Well, that’s clearly not all this tracking is intended to do. First off, let’s just say that nearly every action is data-farmed into neat little aggregate packages and then sent to their network. The result is that you get to feast on all of the targeted advertising, courtesy of their personalization algorithms. Granted, you might enjoy a clever ad or two, but when Windows puts it right next to the dern start-button search bar, that clearly crosses into the in-your-face zone.
The Real Question: OK, So What Is Windows 10 NOT Tracking?
Obviously, if they track personal usage of your machine, then they’re most certainly going to track browser history and respective caches. However, what isn’t exactly obvious is the fact that they also track you by an even MORE invasive method: a keylogger.
This provides them with a sneaky data-collection vacuum that records every time you slap a key – from your letter to mother to, say, your online banking password. Makes no difference to Microsoft. They want it all.
Oh, and by the way, they’ll also be seeing if you’d give up some of YOUR bandwidth in order for them to make your machine into a peer-2-peer(esq) server. Why? You guessed correctly: It helps them move around all of that data, since it’s right up there, as one of the most ambitious and invasive data-farming operations in history. So, quite frankly, they really are tracking just about everything, and forcing you to pay for their vast surveillance operation in bandwidth.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do.
First, whatever you do, DO NOT select the option to use Express Settings when you’re first installing Windows 10. Instead, you’re going to have to scour each option and switch off all tracking permissions manually.
However, you’re not finished. Here is a video that can walk you through the entire process:
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For a text version of the information in the video, check out this link.
Ubuntu Dual Boot: A Subversion Strategy
At least from my own assessment, let’s just say that I was a fan of Windows 10 for a very brief period of time. Compared to previous operating systems, they really nailed the interface and capabilities — not to mention that Cortana can be an excellent feature.
But at the end of the day, I would simply never use this system to do anything that required even a small courtesy of privacy. Given the fact that there are data leaks built into data spigots, there’s just no way of knowing if you’re sending some pretty intimate details of your life to Microsoft. Whether or not they’re actively spying, they simply shouldn’t have a way to crack my online accounts or see what HIPAA-protected information that I might store on my machine. All information of which is glaringly easy to obtain via keylogger protocols.
This is why I’d recommend dual-booting your machine with the free Linux distribution, called Ubuntu. The best part about this strategy is that you can run two separate operating systems on the same machine, and Ubuntu is 100 percent free (no purchase necessary). Here’s a video tutorial on how to set up and use Ubuntu and dual-boot it alongside Windows 10.
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Prioritize for Privacy
Essentially, I just don’t trust Microsoft, which is why I would run Ubuntu if I happen to be working with important and private information (such as doctor’s appointments, online banking, day trading portfolios, etc.). For everything else, like writing this article … since that’s the kind of data I always love to share …
Under those circumstances, then yes, I’d use Windows 10 – but after I tweaked the privacy settings. Just make sure you prioritize your tasks by order of privacy needs, and then at least you won’t get that feeling someone is watching you. Hey, you may not be in the least bit surprised that Microsoft is peeking through your blinds to check out your cat video binge — but when you’d like some privacy, at least you can bet that there’s no possible way for Microsoft to see behind that sturdy Ubuntu Linux OS brick wall you had installed.
Those dern nosey Windows 10 neighbors aren’t going to like that one bit.
What advice would you add about Windows 10? Share your tips in the section below: