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Windows 10: How to maintain your privacy without disabling its best features

Published Aug 6th, 2015 2:40PM EDT
Windows 10 Privacy Tips And Tricks
Image: Microsoft

We’ve written a lot about privacy issues with Windows 10 but that doesn’t mean you should disable every potentially infringing feature because that could also cut out some of the platform’s best features. To help break things down a little further, LifeHacker has put together a handy guide explaining which are the really important Windows 10 privacy features you need to deal with to keep your most important information out of Microsoft’s hands without hurting overall user experience.

MUST-READ: Windows 10 brings back the Start Menu – here’s how to customize it

Inside the general privacy settings, you’ll want to bar apps from using your advertising IDbar websites from sending you locally relevant content, and tell Microsoft to not collect information about how you write. Overall, you can safely get rid of these features while still enjoying the best that Windows 10 has to offer.

If you feel you don’t really need your PC to give you location-based information, you should also go Settings > Privacy Location and tell Windows 10 to not track your location. If you don’t mind some location tracking, you can also choose to enable it for individual apps.

If you decide to turn off Cortana, you’ll also want to make sure that you disable the Getting to Know You feature that was designed to track how you write and talk. Cortana is, of course, a key part of the Windows 10 experience so turning it off might not be ideal for everyone.

One feature that LifeHacker says you should probably keep enabled is the SmartScreen Filter, which tracks what websites you visit but that also is important for helping you detect potentially harmful websites.

These are just some of the most important privacy features you need to know about. To read about the rest, be sure to read LifeHacker’s full article here.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.