The security of Windows has been questioned since the operating system was released. Microsoft even faced official complaints from the French government regarding Windows 10 , and it was ordered to address privacy violations on the operating system. France filed complaints based on instances in which Microsoft collects data from users without their knowledge. The alleged violations would give the company the chance of monitoring browsing, targeting users with ads and even gathering information on the apps that are downloaded and how often they are used.
The French government highlighted concerns that Windows users have had for many years. Although Microsoft released some fixes to prevent monitoring and to avoid targeting users with ads, there are some areas that still need improvement. To help you to improve your privacy while using Windows 10, there are some measures that you can consider. Here are some ways to stop Windows from compromising your privacy.
Use a VPN
By now you must know that one of the first privacy and security solutions to opt for is a VPN. A VPN encrypts the incoming and outgoing traffic and routes it through a server in the location of your choice. This technology is designed to keep your online activities private and it also helps you to keep your identity protected. Others won’t be able to trace you or monitor you when you are connected to the internet and not even your ISP will have visibility of what you do online. Even if your data was sent to Microsoft, the fact that it would be encrypted means that they wouldn’t be able to read it. With a VPN, you can defend your online traffic from the NSA and since Microsoft is known for collaborating with this government agency, it is crucial to take steps to avoid being targeted by their surveillance programs. There are many options available in the market, but the best option is to go for a service that don’t keep logs of your online activities, that offers protection against DNS leaks and that supports a high level of encryption. Some of the best providers in the market are NordVPN, ExpressVPN and PureVPN. They meet all the criteria previously mentioned and in addition, since they are not based in the United States, they are less likely to be compromised by the NSA.
Although Windows 10 comes with its own firewall, it is not exactly the most practical or effective option. You can enhance the protection to your data using a solution such as TinyWall. This is not an additional firewall, but a lightweight tool that lets you manage the default Windows Firewall in an easy way. When you install it, pretty much every program is blocked, including Bing search, Cortana and error reporting processes that may be used by Windows 10 to gather data and send it back to Microsoft.
While going through each individual application to enable it to connect to the internet may seem like a bit of a hassle, TinyWall is designed to make the process simple. You can whitelist programs from the system tray in a few steps and it is also possible to whitelist them by process and executable. With TinyWall, you will also be able to stop malware, adware and spyware from running on your computer. TinyWall is easy to use, it is free and doesn’t feature ads or pop-ups. Another option that deserves to be considered is Comodo Free Firewall, which is an alternative firewall for your computer.
Windows 10 Anti-spying
Using an anti-spying tool is another way of enjoying peace of mind while using Microsoft’s platform. O&O software offers a free solution that can help you to keep spying at bay. ShutUp10 is designed to give you greater control over features that focus on privacy and security on Windows 10. The interface is stylish and user-friendly, giving you the possibility of managing all the functionality effortlessly. You can find out what each feature does by simply clicking on it to access a simple description.
In order to apply all the recommended security options, you can click on the “Actions” drop-down menu. It is also possible to import and export your settings to use it on a different computer. ShutUp10 lets you manage multiple Windows 10 settings in an easy way so you won’t have to go through several menus to locate them. The options that you can control from within the app include Cortana, notifications, Bing and location services. Another advantage of ShutUp 10 is that it doesn’t require installation. You can simply run the executable file and make the necessary adjustments.