Making Windows A More Private Environment
Personal digital privacy has become a serious talking point in recent years, especially as it’s come to light just how much data corporations are harvesting from their users. Microsoft’s Windows operating system is no exception by any means, and more and more people are beginning to turn away from Windows in favour of more privacy-friendly operating systems.
But this isn’t always a feasible option, especially if there’s software that simply doesn’t work on any other operating systems. Fortunately for those users that would prefer to stay with Windows or have little other choice, there are some easy tweaks that can make the operating system much more privacy friendly.
Removing 3rd Party Antivirus
This isn’t directly related to Windows, but it still an important step to take to protect a user’s privacy. Despite what a lot of people believe, Windows no longer needs a 3rd party antivirus, and instead a user will only want to rely on Windows Defender. A large of the more well-known antivirus software harvests an enormous amount of personal data, which it can access due to the fact that it has a wide range of various system permissions.
WindowsSpyBlocker is a powerful, open source program that is designed to make it easy to block a lot of the telemetry and other data tracking technologies that are part of the operating system. It comes as a simple .exe that can be downloaded and installed, after which the user will be provided with different options that will allow them to tweak exactly what Windows can and can’t do in terms of tracking and telemetry. It’s a popular rand well-known program that has gained a lot of attention among the privacy-conscious over the last few years.
SimpleWall is another great application that can give an advanced user granular control over their Windows 10 firewall, including what goes in and what goes out. It also can give a user an idea of just how much data is being sent out from the machine to Microsoft’s servers, and they will probably be surprised that a lot of data is being sent to other companies, such as Google. W10Privacy is also worth taking a look at, but this is an option for those that are tech-savvy and have a better understanding of how their computer works.
Windows has gone to great effort to try and get their users to install Edge, their own browser based off of Chromium. Edge itself, while not a bad browser in terms of usage and performance, is something of a privacy nightmare for most users and sends a ton of data back to Microsoft. Firefox is widely considered the very best privacy browser around, and many tweaks can be made to Firefox to make it even better for individual digital privacy, whether it’s for browsing, using social media, or just checking the latest horse racing tips. Its open source nature also means that anyone can double check Firefox’s source code and ensure there’s nothing malicious going on.