Windows 10 is a double-edged sword

QBS Uncategorized

As many companies have already done, you may be purchasing or have purchased PCs equipped with Windows 10 as its operating system. Perhaps you took advantage of the formerly-free upgrade Microsoft offered that ended last year. In either case, if you select or have selected the Express Settings option when you installed Windows 10, you have given to Microsoft access to all sorts of individual user information that you may not want to share.

In the Express Settings option, the selections are automatically set to provide to Microsoft and its advertising partners your browsing data, address book, location, and advertising ID. The latter allows ad content providers to target you with online ads geared toward the subjects of your browsing and searches. They also collect information you type for the purposes of helping them “improve typing and writing in the future.”

This is plainly stated in their privacy policy — “We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.” That last part about the terms governing the use of the services basically implies that your use of Windows 10 allows them to use the data they collect from you.

Aside from those specifics, the Express Settings also configure your PC to get updates from other PCs with which it connects, and in an electronic quid pro quo, allows other PCs to get their updates from your PC. Further, the setting is enabled for allowing you to connect to any network that’s been accessed by your contacts – without needing a password. This includes service on Facebook and Skype, as well as a few others.

The good news is that even if you chose the Express Settings option, those individual processes can be turned off. If you would like to explore how to ensure your PC is not sharing your personal use and information, call QBS today. Our expert IT team can work with you to not only ensure your business PC is secure, but your entire company network as well.