Microsoft's new operating system Windows 10 is getting rave reviews for being a vast improvement over Windows 8. But Windows 10 has a huge privacy problem that you need to know about.
Whatever you do, don't mindlessly click through Windows 10's automatic installation process. You'll be giving Microsoft access to just about all your personal information, and you won't even realize you're doing it. Even some former Microsoft employees are having a tough time figuring it out.
At Komando.com, we're always telling you how to protect your privacy. This time, it's really important because Microsoft is making it quite complicated to take your privacy out of their hands.
First and most important, don't use Windows 10's "Express install." Use "Custom install."
Turn off all the settings where Microsoft is asking you about Personalization and Location. Read through Browser and Protection and turn off those settings if you don't want to send Microsoft information about what you're doing.
Also, turn off the buttons about sending Error Reports back to Microsoft. Sending Microsoft error messages may sound harmless, and useful. But you're just giving Microsoft permission to access your data.
To really protect your privacy, you need to do a bit more work. Go to the Start menu. There, select Settings then Privacy, then Feedback and Diagnostics.
Choose Basic. Then you'll have to spend some time reading through about a dozen pages.
But it's really important that you see the personal information that Microsoft wants to collect from you. It's also important that you decide which information of yours Microsoft gets, and which information it doesn't get.
Here's Microsoft's intro to its pages-long Privacy Statement.
Your privacy is important to us. This privacy statement explains what personal data we collect from you and how we use it. It applies to Bing, Cortana, MSN, Office, OneDrive, Outlook.com, Skype, Windows, Xbox and other Microsoft services that display this statement. References to Microsoft services in this statement include Microsoft websites, apps, software and devices.
(Read Microsoft's full Privacy Statement here.)