With the recent release of Microsoft‘s Windows 10 operating system, the company’s spying tactics have been brought to light.
According to Microsoft‘s End-User License Agreement for their software:
“You agree that Microsoft and its affiliates may collect and use technical information gathered as part of the product support services provided to you, if any, related to the Software.”
“… we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders) …”
Windows tracks and uploads users’ private data to Microsoft’s servers. This should be a MAJOR privacy concern for users, especially since Microsoft is notorious for selling such data to government spy and intelligence agencies across the globe.
HOW TO STAY (AS) SAFE (AS POSSIBLE) WHILE USING WINDOWS:
No matter which version of Windows that you are using, there are steps that you can take to ensure your safety and privacy:
1) Un-install updates which are used to track and store your data.
In previous versions of Windows, Microsoft has allowed users to turn off AUTOMATIC UPDATES to the OS. In Windows 10, however, users are FORCED to accept automatic updates. Here are some less-than-desirable updates that you should un-install immediately:
► KB3022345 (Adds the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service to in-market devices.)
► KB3068708 (Introduces the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service to existing devices.)
► KB3075249 (Adds telemetry points to the User Account Control feature in order to collect data on elevations that come from low integrity levels.)
► KB3080149 (Updates the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service to existing devices.)
You can un-install these updates by opening an elevated command prompt and typing in the following codes, one-by-one, then pressing the [ENTER] key:
wusa /uninstall /kb:3022345 /quiet /norestart
wusa /uninstall /kb:3075249 /quiet /norestart
wusa /uninstall /kb:3080149 /quiet /norestart
Other updates that have been reported as being harmful to your system are:
2) Routinely run security scans.
Regularly running security scans for viruses, spyware and malware is an important step in keeping your computer running safely and smoothly. There are a plethora of FREE programs at your disposal:
► Avast (Anti-virus, anti-malware & web browser security.)
► AVG ( Anti-virus, anti-spyware, URL protection & email protection.)
► KL-Detector (Scans for key-logging software.)
► Malwarebytes (Anti-malware.)
► SpyBot (Anti-spyware.)
3) Permanently delete unwanted data and files.
Believe it or not, it IS possible to recover and retrieve files AFTER they have been deleted. However, there are FREE programs which you can use to ensure that they CANNOT be recovered:
► Eraser (Removes sensitive data from hard drives by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.)
► Free Internet Window Washer (Erases tracks left behind after browsing the internet, computer activity and program history and securely erases and cleans deleted data from your hard drive.)
► Piriform CCleaner (Finds and deletes unnecessary files.)
4) Encrypt and hide your files.
In case your data IS stolen, make it hard as hell for them to read it. There are FREE programs which you can use to encrypt and hide your files:
► 96Crypt (Encrypt your files using passwords, block cyphers, steganographic functions and collision-resistant HMAC-HASH algorithms.)
► SafeHouse Free File Encryption Software (Hides, locks and encrypts files and creates self-extracting encrypted storage vaults.)
► WinMend Folder Hidden (Hide data and protect it with a password.)
► 5 Things To Do Immediately After Installing Windows 10 [BGR & Zach Epstein]
► 6 Free Tools To Stop Windows 10 From Spying On You [BGR & Zach Epstein]
► How To Keep Apps From Spying On Your Location In Windows 8 [HowToGeek & Taylor Gibb]
► How To Keep The NSA From Spying Through Your Computer’s Webcam & Microphone [Wired & Kim Zetter]
► How To Opt Out Of Windows 10 Spying [BGR & Zach Epstein]
► How To Protect Your PC From PRISM Surveillance [PC World & Mark Hachman]
► How To Stop People From Spying On Your Computer [eHow & Justin H. Pot]
► How To Stop Windows 10 From Spying On You [RockPaperShotgun & Alec Meer]
If you utilize the above methods, you can greatly improve your safety and privacy while using a Windows OS. Stay conscious my friends.
~ MERIT FREEMAN