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Windows 10 Privacy Settings

Article ID = 191
Article Title = Windows 10 Privacy Settings
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 24th July 2019
Article Last Updated = 24th July 2019
Article URL = https://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?191

Article Brief Description:
How to configure basic Windows 10 privacy settings and options

Privacy Settings And Recommendations for (virtualising) Windows 10

This article is meant as a primer for basic privacy settings that you might want to review/set as desired. Please note that with Windows 10 (unless you're running the Enterprise version) you cannot switch off all telemetry back to Microsoft. Microsoft, also, often change where privacy settings can be found from one update to another. This article is only a primer, a starting point and there may be other more in-depth/technical articles out there on the internet. We've put this article together as we feel it will be useful as a starting point for Mac users that may virtualise Windows for one or two applications that they cannot run on macOS.

This article was written using Windows 10 Pro version 1803

Windows 10 Enterprise

Microsoft allows Enterprise users to manage connections from Windows operating system components to Microsoft services.

Windows 10

Go to Windows/Start menu > Settings >
  • System > Notifications & actions > turn OFF "Show me the Windows welcome experience after updates and occasionally when I sign in, to highlight what's new and suggested"
  • System > Notifications & actions > turn OFF "Get tips, tricks and suggestions as you use Windows"
  • System > Notifications & actions > turn OFF "Get notifications from apps and other senders"
  • System > Focus assist > turn OFF
  • System > Storage > Storage sense > turn OFF
  • System > Multi-tasking > Timeline > turn OFF "Show suggestions occasionally in Timeline
  • System > Projecting to this PC > set to "Always Off"
  • System > Shared Experiences > remove accounts and turn OFF "Share across devices"
  • System > Remote Desktop > turn OFF
  • Devices > Typing > Typing > turn OFF "Show text suggestions as I type on the software keyboard"
  • Devices > Typing > Hardware keyboard > turn OFF "Show text suggestions as I type"
  • Devices > Typing > Multilingual text prediction > turn OFF
  • Devices > Pen & Windows Ink > Windows Ink Workspace > UNTICK "Show recommended app suggestions"
  • Devices > AutoPlay > turn OFF
  • Network & Internet > Status > Sharing Options > for all networks (Private, Guest or Public) set "Turn off network discovery" + "Turn off file and printer sharing"
  • Personalisation > Start > turn OFF "Show suggestions occasionally in Start
  • Apps > Offline maps > Map updates > turn OFF "Automatically update maps"
  • Accounts > Your info > do not use a Microsoft account and use "Sign in with a local account instead"
  • Accounts > Sign-in options > do not use "Windows Hello"
  • Accounts > Sync your settings > turn everything OFF
  • Time & Language > Date & time > turn everything OFF
  • Gaming > Game bar > turn OFF
  • Gaming > Game DVR > turn everything OFF
  • Gaming > Game Broadcasting > turn everything OFF
  • Gaming > TruePlay > turn OFF
  • Ease of Access > Interaction > Speech > Dictate text and control your device using only your voice > turn OFF "Speech Recognition"
  • Cortana > Talk to Cortana > turn everything OFF
  • Cortana > Permissions & History > turn everything OFF
  • Cortana > Cortana across my devices > turn everything OFF
  • Privacy > General > turn everything OFF
  • Privacy > Speech, inking & typing > turn OFF
  • Privacy > Diagnostics & Feedback > set to "Basic" and turn everything else OFF
  • Privacy > Diagnostics & Feedback > Feedback frequency > Windows should ask for my feedback > set to "Never"
  • Privacy > Activity history > turn everything OFF
  • Privacy > Location > turn everything OFF, set a Default location, clear Location history
  • Privacy > App permissions > set as required but specifically:
    • Other devices > Communicate with unpaired devices > turn OFF
    • Background apps > Let apps run in the background > turn OFF
    • App diagnostics > Let apps access diagnostic information > turn OFF
  • Update & Security > Windows Update > consider the trade-off of automatic security updates versus Windows Update communication with Microsoft
  • Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options > configure as required
  • Update & Security > Windows Security > Open Windows Defender Security Centre > consider the trade-off of automatic security updates versus Windows Defender communication with Microsoft
  • Update & Security > Find my device > turn OFF

Additional Configuration

All Versions Of Windows

The following should be considered regardless of which version of Windows you are using:

Microsoft Account Related Services

  • Windows
  • Outlook email and calender (Live / Hotmail)
  • Skype / Yammer
  • Microsoft Office
  • Xbox
  • Bing
  • Windows
  • MSN
  • Surface
  • OneDrive
  • OneNote
All Microsoft Account related services will, by their nature, phone home/contact/upload information to Microsoft and possibly synchronise data in the cloud. Microsoft has an online Microsoft Account Privacy Dashboard which is very useful for setting Microsoft Account privacy settings.

Large Corporations

Large corporations (including Microsoft) like to know as much as they can about you and some will actively track you:
  • Microsoft - Privacy at Microsoft but watch out, Microsoft owns lots of things and are probably joining the dots across all their services:
    • Bing
    • Skype
    • LinkedIn
    • Expedia
    • TouchType, Ltd. (SwiftKey)
    • LinkExchange
    • Teleo
    • Yammer
    • Nokia
  • Apple - privacy statement
  • Amazon - .com Privacy Notice
  • Alphabet aka Google - take control but watch out, Google owns lots of things and are probably joining the dots across all their services:
    • Google - the search engine
    • YouTube
    • Google Mail (Gmail)
    • Google Maps
    • Android (mobile operating system)
    • Google Docs
    • Blogger
    • AdSense
    • DeepMind
    • Google Analytics
    • Google Earth
    • Google Fiber
    • Google Glass
    • Google+
    • Hangouts
    • Nest
    • Google Photos / Picasa
    • reCaptcha
    • Google Shopping
    • Google Translate
    • Google Voice
    • Google Wallet
  • Facebook - Basic Privacy Settings & Tools but watch out, Facebook owns lots of things and are probably joining the dots across all their services:
    • Instagram
    • WhatsApp
    • Oculus VR
    • Lightbox.com
    • Friend.ly
    • Face.com
    • Faciometrics

Social Media

Seriously consider whether you want to use "social media" as all social media services, by their nature, track you and in some cases track/post your location. This could include any of the following:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn

Cloud Services

Seriously consider whether you want to store any data in the "cloud" as all cloud services, by their nature, upload information to the service provider. This could include any of the following:

Data Storage

  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • Apple iCloud

Data Synchronisation

  • Third-party web browser synchronisation services
  • Apple iCloud

Audio/Video Streaming

  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Amazon Prime
  • Apple iTunes Store
  • Apple Music
  • Crackle
  • Deezer
  • Funny Or Die
  • Google Play
  • Groove Music
  • Hulu
  • Napster
  • Netflix
  • Pandora
  • Playstation Vue
  • Sirius XM
  • Sling Orange
  • Spotify
  • Tidal
  • Twitch
  • Vevo
  • YouTube Red
  • YouTube
Streaming services tend to track you and your location and log what you do and watch/listen to as a standard part of the "service".

Cloud Based/Subscription Services

  • Backups
  • Password vaults
  • Software subscriptions
  • Amazon Prime
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Microsoft Office 365

Adobe Flash

We strongly recommend removing Adobe Flash.

Web Browsers

Check privacy settings, use private browsing if desired and use the Do Not Track feature if supported.

Listening / Voice Recognition Products

Seriously consider whether you want to use products that listen/have voice recognition:
  • Microsoft Cortana
  • Apple HomePod / Siri
  • Amazon Echo (Show/Dot/Look/Tap/Fire TV) / Alexa - additional products using Alexa technology:
    • Logitech
    • GGMM
    • GUESS
    • Sonos
    • Nucleus
    • Martian Watches
    • Jam
    • DOSS
  • Google Home / Assistant - additional products using Assistant:
    • Sony LF-S50G Wireless Speaker
  • Samsung Bixby
  • Jasper (open source)
  • (Smart) Televisions

Article Keywords: Parallels Desktop VMware Fusion Pro VirtualBox Box VM virtual machine virtualisation virtualising virtualization virtualizing Windows 10 operating system privacy settings blocking secret network connections DNS phone phoning home mothership checks

This article is © MacStrategy » a trading name of Burning Helix. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


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