I just completed the dreaded Windows 10 upgrade, which I have been holding off on doing for months due to the massive privacy issues of this version. I have been milking Windows 7 since it came out, but now that Microsoft no longer supports it, I am concerned with the lack of security upgrades.
If you have already upgraded to Windows 10, there are many default settings that should be disabled if you are concerned with your privacy, as the system is hugely invasive with the default settings. If you have not upgraded yet, there are also some settings that you can change prior to the finalization of the upgrade by selecting the “custom install” option, rather than the “express install” option. The upgrade on my computer took about 3 hours to complete. After completion, I immediately noticed that my web pages were very slow loading on both the IE browser and the Mozilla Firefox browser. It was fairly easy (using the info on the link provided below) to locate the issue, Microsoft had turned my computer into a peer to peer zombie node to help distribute Windows 10 updates. After disabling this, things seemed to speed up quite a bit more and all of the unexplained disk activity during idle times pretty much ceased. I also checked for updates the next day and found that there were quite a few that were not installed during the initial upgrade. After installing these, both browsers were back to normal speed.
Microsoft wants to access as much of your personal information as possible for all of their “third party partners” and for their own use. They are also after your location information and the ability to control your computer cameras and microphones. By going thru the large list of privacy settings, you can pretty much take care of these problems. Be double sure that the Cortana voice assistant is disabled, as this function sends speech data to Microsoft’s servers. Also, make sure that your computer microphone is disconnected when not being used even after disabling Cortana, as there is still some question whether voice data is still not being sent, even after turning Cortana off.
And explanations such as:
“Rather than residing as a static software program on your device, key components of Windows are cloud-based. … In order to provide this computing experience, we collect data about you, your device, and the way you use Windows.”
Here is what I think is the best link to get the info you need to know preferably before or even after upgrading to Windows 10
I am still dealing with a couple issues such as both Word and Excel files sometimes hang during saves. If I find a cure, I will pass it on in this article later. I would also appreciate suggestions from others related to Windows 10 privacy issues and operational tweaks. As with every newer version of Windows, the system assumes that the users are dumber than the ones who used the prior version, so versatility in the ability to customize is lost or well hidden. My first experience with an actual operating system was Seattle Computer Products 86-DOS back in 1980, which I ran on my Imsai 8080 using an SCP 8086 board. This was what I believe the first precursor to what eventually became the Windows operating system. Then it was on to the Apple ][+, IIe, Lisa, and PC's. I have been telling myself that my next computer would be a MAC, but I am now hearing from my MAC friends that they are becoming increasing concerned with privacy issues on the Apple side.