Making Windows 10 Less Of A Blabbermouth

Windows 10 has been "outed" as a very nosy operating system, monitoring and reporting quite a bit about the user and the users' data. Some of this data is to help make the OS better (by reporting crash and other software data) and some is more geared towards collecting usage data and targeting ads - search terms used when surfing the Internet and so on. Google and Apple do much the same with their Android, Chrome, OS X and iOS operating systems.

As a "cloudy" operating system, integration with Microsoft's OneDrive online storage and Outlook email is greatly encouraged during installation (again similar to those other products mentioned above). It's hard to see how not to use a (free) Microsoft account to install Windows 10, but you can do that if you wish.

In my own case, I installed Windows 10 with a local user account instead of my Microsoft account, and also opted out of many of the privacy choices presented. I am reasonable comfortable with the results as far as my privacy, the same as I generally am with my Android phone and tablet.

Bear in mind that turning off some features may impact functionality - turning off Cortana, for example, means you can't do voice searches (some options may be less obvious).

Honestly, real privacy is largely an illusion if you work or store data online these days, but you can minimize your exposure to some degree. If you don't feel comfortable hunting around to change Windows 10 settings on a new Windows 10 PC, there is a tool described here that will set these for you - but be wary of other similar tools; this type of thing is a great opportunity for malware writers.

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