The internet has been abuzz with Microsoft’s latest operating system. Since its release three weeks ago, there has been an outpouring of details surrounding permissions and background settings, which by default led users to raise privacy concerns. The operating system itself has already received security patches which have received, to put it mildly, mixed results.
Are you concerned about these issues? Are you waiting for the bugs to be ironed out before upgrading? Let us know in the comments.
How many updates does it take to fix one problem? Apparently, quite a few. A “cumulative” patch rolled out for Windows 10 last week as been causing endless crash loops, prompting Microsoft to release a follow up in three days. Unfortunately, this one causes crashes as well.
Forbes is reporting that the third and latest “KB 3081438” update released Aug 14 only partially installs then gets stuck before forcing computers to reboot, repeating the endless cycle.
What’s worse is that Microsoft no longer explains what is included in each update, instead only summarizing areas of concern every month, which for August have included Microsoft Office, the Edge browser, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Lync, and more.
If you thought a PC might be the last bastion for privacy after social media and smartphones, you may want to hold off of a Windows 10 upgrade, or at least until you’ve informed yourself.
By default, Windows 10 is tracking everything you do short of logging keystrokes, which according to the Hacker News, was present in the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
In 45 pages of service agreement documents, Microsoft outlines what are essentially policies to collect data from sources such as the contents of messages and calendars, apps, online purchases, file uploads, and of course, Cortana, all to send you targeted ads under the guise of offering more personalized information.
In general, be sure to opt out of an Express installation. It’s also important to check Settings – Privacy to make major changes here, adjust Cortana to the level of intelligence you want, as well as going here to an external Microsoft website to opt out of personalized ads.
While it’s difficult to say just how much more privacy this guarantees in the long run, it should help in the very least.
For a detailed guide, check out Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Here’s also a list of free tools designed to help users maintain their privacy.
By now, you may have heard of the Wi-Fi Sense feature that allows Windows to share your network connection automatically with friends and contacts. While this feature is more secure than it sounds – Microsoft uses only encrypted passwords so no one ever sees your actual key, and friends and contacts cannot pass on your connection a second time – businesses may have a genuine concern for opting out their corporate networks.
Windows IT Pro has a quick and easy guide that shows how businesses can turn off the function, simply by creating a group policy and changing a registry key value.
Lastly, on a related note, Windows may also be sharing your bandwidth without your knowledge. Through what is known as Windows Update Delivery Optimization (WUDO), Microsoft is taking a page out of Torrents and creating a peer-to-peer network.
While this is initially beneficial for rolling out the free Windows 10 upgrade (traffic has been reported to reach 40 Terabits per second), this type of sharing is using up bandwidth of users rather than that of Microsoft. In Canada, as we all know, bandwidth is a precious commodity.
Be sure to turn it off in Settings – Update & Security – Windows Update – Advanced Options – Choose How Updates are Installed – Choose how updates are delivered – Updated from More than One Place.