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How to Protect Your Privacy and Stop Others from Snooping

In today’s information age, it is essential for operation systems and other apps to collect data about their users. From Windows to the Web and specially your smartphone, they are spying on you and watching what you do. Every move you make, every click and keystrokes are being watched, observed, recorded and collected. Well, if you have nothing to hide, you may think that would be fine. But protecting your online privacy is about … your right to a private life. We will see today is how to keep your computer and devices from tracking and reporting on your actions.

  Windows 10

The latest edition of Windows operation system is often criticized about its default privacy settings. Which tracks, collects and sends personal information to Microsoft by default. Of course it is believed to be set up that way, so it may serve the user better options and display more relevant advertising, etc. Thankfully, you can block these apps and change settings within Windows or with the help of a few utilities.

Lets start by stopping Windows from getting to know any more about you than it is already does.

Step 1: Open Settings than select Privacy

Step 2: Turn off the option Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps. This will stop Microsoft from collecting your personal data to show you tailored ads. It also resets this aspects of your advertising ID, so it wipes any previously stored data as well.

Step 3: Select Speech, inking, & typing and click on the button Stop getting to know me. This prevents Windows from collecting your personal data and deletes all your computer already knows. Window features will no longer use your calendar and contacts to produce relevant content in Cortana and search.

Step 4: Even after all these turning off things and deleting data on your computer will not clean your previous data online. To delete those information that stored in the cloud, open your browser and go to bing.com/account/personalization and hit the Clear button at the bottom of the screen. This will delete all the data collected by Bing, MSN and Cortana. Note that, this will affect Microsoft’s ability to provide Cortana from giving you recommendations and your personalized speech, inking and typing configurations on your device.

  Disabling Cortana

Since Cortana is the most nosey feature of Windows 10. As mentioned above, you can reduce its use of personal data by telling Windows to “Stop getting to know me”, but if you really value your privacy, disabling Cortana is the best thing to do. The way to do this depends on the version of Windows 10 you are running on your PC.

  Disabling Cortana on Windows 10 Pro Edition

Step 1: Open start menu and click Run (or hold Windows key and hit r) to open Run Box

open-run-box

Step 2: Type gpedit.msc than hit OK

Step 3: Navigate through Administrative Templates \ Windows Components \ Search \ Allow Cortana.

Step 4: Click Disable to turn it off.

  Windows 10 Home Edition

Step 1: Open start menu and click Run (or hold Windows key and hit r) to open Run Box

Step 2: Type regedit.exe than hit OK

Step 3: Navigate through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ Windows \ Windows Search

Step 4: Click EDIT and pick “Dword (32 bit) value”

Step 5: Change the value to 0 [zero] for AllowCortana

Step 6: Reboot.

In the Cortana box, instead of “Ask me anything”, you will see “Search Windows”. Your searches now confined to your PC.

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