The Windows 10 Privacy Settings You Should Check Right Now

from Wired

If you’re at all concerned about the privacy of your data, you don’t want to leave the default settings in place on your devices—and that includes anything that runs Windows 10.

Microsoft’s operating system comes with a variety of controls and options you can modify to lock down the use of your data, from the information you share with Microsoft to the access that individual apps have to your location, camera, and microphone. Check these privacy-related settings as soon as you’ve got your Windows 10 computer set up—or now, in case you’re a longtime user who hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

More here.

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16 Responses to The Windows 10 Privacy Settings You Should Check Right Now

  1. Stephen Hoffman September 13, 2019 at 12:39 pm #

    I found this article to be slightly disconcerting, as there are so many basic functions of our phones and computers that occur without us truly even recognizing it. Whenever an application prompts someone about allowing that app to use your location, even when the app is not in use, or access the camera roll or microphone for no clear reason, most consumers will simply click yes without understanding the risks. Nearly all of these examples of simple security measures we can take to ensure that our data is as protected as possible are ignored by almost everyone, simply allowing companies like Microsoft and Google to obtain access to anyone’s information and tendencies. While reading the article, I went through these steps on my phone and computer, and nearly all of the intrusive options were enabled on my devices. I immediately switched these off, but it was alarming to see how much data could have been collected without my knowledge (or that I was ignorant to). One of the most unfortunate aspects of the situation is that the agreement to collect this data is presented to us when we are given the confusing terms and conditions that would take hours to fully read and understand. In many of these agreements, we sign away a significant portion of our privacy in exchange for the time it would take to understand what we were signing our names onto. The legal jargon and sheer length of these documents make it unlikely that anyone without an advanced law degree would struggle to make sense of the agreements, a clear example of the ease with which corporations can take advantage of the average, everyday consumer.
    One of the most shocking elements of the article was it’s mention of access of contact lists, and how this may increase the data collected. This is largely because contact access is seen as relatively basic and harmless but can actually provide data to interested parties. This is also alarming because the data collection likely goes both ways. Companies like Microsoft and Apple can likely collect data from a person’s contact information simply from being in another person’s phone. This prospect is incredibly concerning because we have no control of the choices of other people. If my close friend, who I contact daily, does not have their privacy settings bolstered, data collecting companies have access to my information through this friend. This opens the door to so many possibilities for data collection, making it difficult to corral and control. These steps were extremely helpful at reminding me to be conscious of what I agree to, and even if I am unable to sit and decipher the terms and conditions list, I should have a general understanding of what is being said. In a world that is becoming increasingly more connected and digital, it is important that the people evolve with the technology to ensure that they never lose control over their personal information and data.

  2. Emily Rodger September 13, 2019 at 7:59 pm #

    Although I do not use a Windows laptop, this article really made me realize that most of us do not understand that our data and personal information is not secure unless we go through the proper security measures. Whether you are using Microsoft, Apple, or any other type of system, it is always good to be aware of the possibility of your data being hacked. This article was a helpful read because it made me realize that I should go through my settings and shut off anything that is not necessary so that my data is not tracked. There have been numerous times when downloading an app onto my phone that the app will ask to have access to the microphone, photos, or even my location. Most of the time, many of us seem to accept these requests without really thinking of the risks. Recently, I have seem many people post on social media that their accounts have gotten hacked. I believe that this is partly due to the fact that they are not taking to proper security precautions. This article could presume to be useful to teach people how to make their devices more secured and safe from being hacked or tracked. When we get a new device, many of us choose to just stick with the pre-installed settings because it is the easiest. After reading this article, it seems that we should take the time to really learn our devices to protect them. It really is a scary thought to think that I could be getting tracked, watched, or listened too without my knowledge just because I decided not to take the right security measures. Especially in this new modern era where technology is quite literally everywhere, we should be making sure we take these precautions so that our information is secure. Once the information is leaked, it will always be out there for someone to access. It is better to read this article and take the necessary precautions so that all of your information stays within only your knowledge and not out so the whole world can view it.

  3. Javier Tovar September 13, 2019 at 8:06 pm #

    This article on Microsoft is very eye opening to how they have so much of our personal, private information at the tip of their fingers. It is very scary to think about how much information they are monitoring over while people use a computer with their software. The first topic the article addresses is the setting in Microsoft that allows them to target advertise toward what interests the user. They are basically using all the information they have on a user and creating profiles on which they can select advertisements that that user will be interested in. This very concerning, but thankfully the article describes how to go into your settings and disable this option.
    Microsoft also has the ability to monitor websites and apps you browse and use. Microsoft basically knows what a user is browsing and doing every day. Personally, that is very disturbing to know that someone knows every step I make on my computer when I use it. Microsoft knows that I am currently on shannon.web commenting on this article. That is a very scary world to be living in.
    Microsoft also has access to all of a user’s history. Everything I have ever searched whether it be good or bad is accessible to Microsoft which is even scarier to think. They basically know my internet patterns and what type of person I am just by having access to everything I have ever looked up on this computer. They also have the ability to track me wherever I go.
    They also have access to the webcam on every computer through certain apps and websites. For example, if I leave a site open that has access to my webcam, Microsoft can basically see everything that I am doing in real life through the webcam. I don’t want Microsoft having access to my webcam. I could be using my computer in my own privacy and the only way I would be comfortable doing things in my room like changing clothing or getting undressed would be to close my laptop and turn it back on when I was done. Not only would that be very inconvenient for me, but it is also very absurd for Microsoft to even have this accessibility to a webcam when I am not using it.
    All in all, Microsoft basically has access to everything about us. We are basically information slaves once we use Microsoft software.

  4. Noelle Wanda Arrighi September 16, 2019 at 10:05 pm #

    In order to have a personalized technological experience in this day and age, one has a price to pay. As technology advances, one must decide if they are more concerned with personalization or privacy. According David Nield’s article, “The Windows 10 Privacy Settings You Should Check Right Now,” a person is able to choose how much personalization or privacy they prefer on Windows 10, if they know where to look. By default, Windows 10 decides that when their customers are using their products they are more concerned with an experience that is geared towards their interests, rather than one that protects their information. Nield urges his readers to go into their settings to enhance their privacy when using Windows products for their own safety, specifically, in regards to targeted advertising, browser content, and their lock screen. Privacy cannot be overlooked as more aspects of daily human life are carried out through a screen.
    Many internet services and apps, Windows 10 included participate in targeted advertising, or using recent technological activity to tailor advertisements to a consumer’s liking. The idea of this seems extremely effective, to firms and businesses, because they are likely to sell more products, because consumers have the potential to see advertisements they may want or need without looking for them themselves. The effect on the consumer can go both ways, it will either benefit them by helping them purchase what they need, or they will buy unnecessary items for the sake of seeing the advertisement. How ever a Windows 10 user feels about this feature, it remains on their device until they take the time to go into settings and turn it off. According to windowscentral.com when the feature is activated, Windows 10 will base their advertisements off of computer searches through Cortana and certain apps (https://www.windowscentral.com/how-control-advertisement-windows-10). Although, the idea of this is to be helpful to Windows users and efficient when it comes to making downloads and purchases, it is an invasion of privacy. Evidently, Windows is monitoring activity of its users, without them knowing, in many cases, and when it is not entirely necessary. Personally, I believe if someone really wants something, they will search for it themselves and they do not need any sort of aid from Windows 10. In the case that the user happens to be forgetful or enjoys spending a larger amount of their income, I see this being a tool that would benefit them.
    Additionally, the settings associated with one’s browser can determine the amount of privacy available to them. As one browses the internet, certain information is saved and remembered because of cookies that certain sites enable. Websites put these cookies in place to enhance a web users experience, for instance they may save information someone has put in prior to make their site more time efficient. According to Hield, this is something that can be changed in the settings so that one’s browser will not remember these aspects and Windows 10 users can be more secure. For example, in the case of online payments, credit card numbers, or banking information can be saved in one’s browser without them choosing this setting. This can be detrimental to one’s finances if their browser were to get infiltrated. For this reason, I believe that this is a setting that people should opt into, as opposed to something that exists in the system by default.
    Furthermore, the privacy settings go beyond privacy from Windows 10, but can also be determined by those that see someone’s computer. For instance, one’s lockscreen, without a user going into their settings to monitor their lockscreen activity, they likely will receive all their notifications to their lock screen regardless of how sensitive they are. No personal information is required for a person to see a lockscreen, which is why Nield suggests that users should be wary of what is shown on it, because depending on the circumstances, just about anyone could have the potential to see what is displayed. This is damaging if someone leaves their laptop open in a public place and an email with sensitive information is displayed on the lockscreen and someone who comes across their screen sees the information and do something harmful with it, whether intentionally or not. I believe that if someone finds it helpful for them to see their notifications in their lockscreen out of convenience then they can turn this feature on, but it should not be something on by default to heighten someone’s security.
    Overall, since Windows 10 has made the executive decision where they believe their customers will value personalized experience over security, Hield suggests that Windows 10 customers go into their settings and change the features they have set in place. This action will strengthen and enhance the privacy Windows 10 users have on a regular basis. Unfortunately, as technology becomes more advanced, it becomes less secure, demonstrating the oppurtunity cost of becoming more connected throughout the world.

  5. Jessica Romero September 17, 2019 at 10:27 pm #

    It’s absurd how ignorant we are to be exposing our data and the lack of knowledge one has on privacy settings. Reading this article really caused me to step back and think how much of our privacy are we really letting these companies have from us? From this article, I will pay a little more attention to detail when reading disclaimers and privacy policies. I was always one to already have camera covers as an extra precaution on multiple devices because I wasn’t aware there were settings to turn them off for good. Although I don’t regularly use a Windows PC, I do use one when I’m at school I will be sure to take this advice, such as limiting access to my contacts and limiting control access to my account info. These examples provided in the article give us basic security measures we can take as consumers to ensure that our privacy is safe, in this case, sharing isn’t always caring. I always hear people joke about phone and computer hackers or the government listening in, but if this were to actually happen to me it would be devastating, and all to think it could’ve been avoided. I believe companies purposely make their policies and disclaimers long and difficult because they know people are lazy and won’t investigate the specifics. Personally, I almost never allow any location services or access to a camera/microphone unless it is necessary. I have a few smart items at home and I always make sure I keep the microphone off or turn off my location settings if they are not in use. In today’s world, it makes it a lot harder with our privacy out in the open. With smart assistants such as Cortana, Siri, Alexa & Google devices run almost every aspects of people’s lives, such as feeding the dog or even turning your lights off which exposes us to having our privacy’s intruded upon. Because of this article, I will be more aware of my privacy settings and I took some of the precautions with my school laptop. I also have a few Apple products and I will be researching other security measures I can take for myself to feel protected. This article also made me want to look into my social media pages because of security breaches such as Facebook one can never be too sure. If we just take a minute to read over certain claims or maybe disable certain settings on our devices, we will be less exposed to hackers and or data leaks.

  6. Mia Ferrante September 20, 2019 at 9:51 am #

    This article came does not come off surprising to me, and frankly if one thinks Microsoft is the only software to do things such as target ads, check your browser history, and see your account information you are blind. The number of times where I will be talking about something and the next time I open my phone an ad on Instagram or a website will pop up with an advertisement for what I was talking about makes my stomach a little uneasy. Also, every time you purchase a new app a pop up always appears asking for you to allow the camera, microphone, or location services for the app. I never thought that any of those meant someone could hack into my phone and see through my camera or see my location but today I think it’s becoming even more of a topic of discussion so people should take more precautions to help prevent cases like this happening. Especially for parents who have young children with a tablet or phone, they might not know that they are accepting the terms of use when they purchase an app and allow for the camera, microphone, etc. it can be incredibly dangerous. I know that when I was little I would click allow without even knowing what the pop-up meant.
    With today’s technology features such as the ones discussed by the article about Microsoft can be both a blessing and a curse. Some of the tools they use are very helpful, for example, having access to your contacts can make it easier to share contacts with clients if you are in a business. However, it concerns me that on phones if I am texting someone and they do not have their privacy settings up to date then our entire conversation and their personal information can be accessible to anyone. I think that this article should be directed more towards businesses rather than individuals because especially in this era almost everything business-related takes place on some form of a laptop, iPad, tablet, or iPhone. I think large businesses are probably aware of what they must block in their privacy settings so important information cannot be seen by anyone else. However, many small businesses and entrepreneurs might not and this article could potentially save them from releasing their businesses information without even knowing it.

  7. Jackson Beltrandi September 20, 2019 at 1:41 pm #

    Every student that reads this response is most likely reading this on their Seton Hall issued Lenovo ThinkPad. This device runs Windows 10 as its operating system. After reading this article, I realized how important it is to do basic research on the privacy settings on the devices I use and how to understand their use of my data.
    Everyone knows that Microsoft and other operating systems hold on to your data so that you can jump back into a project you were doing on the device at a previous time. However, Microsoft collects this data and uses it to target their advertisements to you, control access to your account information, and manage your contacts stored. They are essentially collecting your search history and what you like searching for to target items that you might be interested in. Last year, my dad and I tested to see if the microphone on my laptop was collecting what we said and used it to advertise what we were talking about. We said the word “umbrella” about 50 times directly into the microphone, and about a week later, I had Amazon ads for umbrellas on just about every site I visited. This was a real-life experience I used to further test the data collection by Microsoft and how they use it.
    Luckily, all of these settings can be changed to the benefit of the user. When you turn off target advertising, you will still get ads, but they won’t be specifically on related terms to what you search on your computer. By disabling many of the features the physical computer has, such as the microphone and camera, you are restricting Microsoft’s access to use these features. This way, you don’t have to be afraid that anyone is spying on you.
    Most importantly for me, I don’t want Microsoft accessing my contacts. If you allow access to your contacts then Microsoft can track who you talk to, where you live, what you do, and so on. Although I allow Apple to do so with my phone, there is not much need for my laptop to have my friends contact information on it. Lastly, the article suggests using many different accounts and passwords, which was explained in another article on ShannonWeb.

  8. Lisa Tier September 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm #

    As someone who uses a Windows laptop, I found the information addressed in this article to be critical. Having to personally turn off access to things such as your camera and microphone should not be how laptops are programmed. Instead, these devices should come with privacy settings that protect your information. If you so choose to allow apps to access your camera, microphone, location, or other information, that should be an option that requires your approval. Take Apple for example. When setting up a new iPhone, you must grant apps permission to access these features. Having to physical hit a button to grant an app access to your location and other features not only allows users more privacy, but they are also aware of which apps have what information. This setup is how all electronic devices should be programmed in order to grant users better privacy protection.
    Furthermore, from a business perspective, companies should create these privacy settings to protect themselves as well. With Windows automatically granting apps access to users’ location, camera, microphone, and more they could run into future legal issues. Without disclosing to users that apps have all this access could lead to some very distraught and angry customers. If a major issue were to occur, such as a security breach allowing a third party to gain access to an apps stored information, Windows could be held partially responsible. Since they initially allowed an app to gather certain information, which has now been compromised by the app to a third party, users could sue the company for granting that initial access. In order to protect both users and the company, Windows products should change their privacy default settings, prohibiting apps from having any access to users information.

  9. Joseph M September 20, 2019 at 3:59 pm #

    I have a laptop that runs on Windows and I never would have guessed all these different ways they could invade my privacy. I also have an Xbox, a Microsoft product, and I had to turn off Cortana so that it would not always be listening to me in case it heard “Hey Cortana…” followed by a request. This startling prospect means that those who are unaware of these settings could be surveilled by the company. I will definitely be changing those setting later for my computer.

    What is unfortunate as well is that Microsoft is not the only company that does this. Google and Apple both track the locations of their users automatically unless they specifically request they not. They term it as “significant locations” and though it can be useful for things like advertising, it is very unnerving on the user’s end. I turned off this function but often times I will leave my phone at home because I still do not trust these companies tho be completely honest about when they are tracking me. It amazes me too how I can be discussing something, say a product like Nike, with a friend and then magically I receive an advertisement on Instagram for Nike products. This constant listening is a huge invasion of privacy and the more time goes on, the more ways companies will find to track and spy on their customers to learn their spending habits. I hope regulators will eventually step in and put in place new rules to prevent companies from continuing this practice in the future.

  10. Alexander Nowik September 20, 2019 at 7:51 pm #

    This was to me the most useful article I’ve read in a while (as well as disconcerting). As someone who is not a fan of companies tracking my every move, this article gave me some insight into how much of it was controllable. However, it does beg the question, how visible should these options be to customers? Is it okay for Microsoft to be collecting vast amounts of data if they give consumers the “option” to turn it off? (Though in fairness, Microsoft seems to have a leg up on many other tech giants, I’m not aware of too many other companies giving you the option of not being tracked (Google being the biggest offender in this sense)). I have had a computer with Windows 10 for almost 4 years now, and only found out about these features (and subsequently that I was being tracked) after reading this article. Privacy features are on the bottom row of settings, and the title says “location, microphone and camera,” nothing to do with tracking data. So while Microsoft does make it possible for you to turn these settings off, they make it as inconspicuous as possible, making it likely a large portion of windows users have never changed these from default settings. It does make me wonder if this feature will exist if we get a new version of Windows, or whether Microsoft will just put “collecting data” into its fine-print.

  11. Joe Antonucci September 20, 2019 at 7:51 pm #

    The fact that by default, all of these settings are the way they are is a testament to how much more concerned people should be about the intrusion of technology in our lives. We are starting to see the real world effects of this, and the invasion of privacy is the most glaring consequence thus far.

    The fact of the matter is that there is no way to prevent the big-tech monopolies from spying on you, unless you somehow live under a rock. You can deck your phone and computer out with a VPN, stuff the microphone, and put some tape on the camera, but there will always be more ways for them to compile information about you.

    Many people think about this through a lens of “big corporations/big government is watching me.” There is plenty of reasonable concern in this regard, but I would say that it garners a little too much attention. I say this because, like i mentioned, it’s nearly impossible to prevent NSA and Jeff Bezos from listening to you sing in the shower. They do this to everyone, so most individual people will probably never see any tangible consequences stemming from that.

    What is overlooked is the ability for “average Joe” people to hack your computer or phone, which can actually yield serious consequences. We have seen this in the hacking of the iCloud accounts of high profile celebrities, which lead to the circulation of their “sensitive” personal content online and a complete destruction of their privacy.

    When you go to get a coffee from Starbucks, you may not even realize that your device automatically connects to the WiFi, which is a public network, and thus can leave your device vulnerable for some kind of malicious activity to take place.

    Just about everyone doesn’t even know what it’s like to have privacy anymore, and young people never even knew what it was like to have privacy. Most people are consciously aware that they’re being tracked, listened to, and watched, and they don’t even care.

    You may never be hacked in your life, and reading this article and taking the time to follow the steps it suggests may prove to be a total waste of time. However, on the off chance that something may happen to you, why not be prepared? Changing a few settings on your Windows 10 system won’t render you untouchable to an expert hacker, but you will no longer be an easy target to have your sensitive information stolen and used against you.

  12. Kathleen Watts September 20, 2019 at 8:03 pm #

    It’s strange in some ways that we live in a world where you have to manually change your privacy settings on most devices in order to protect your private data. In some cases, even, you can’t change the settings on your device to keep your information completely private. The way this article is laid out, it’s easy to see why people are so worried about big companies selling their data. If you haven’t noticed, it’s really easy for them to access if you haven’t managed your privacy settings. This article starts off kinda slow with things people wouldn’t regularly be so worried about, like diagnostic feedback, and then quickly becomes a conversation about how far companies like Microsoft will go in order to make sure they can track your data. It’s not even an issue with your device on its own, it’s also a problem of privately owned apps getting your data from Microsoft. I don’t think that these devices are set up automatically to allow for the sharing of your data simply to make your life easier, they are getting something out of it. Sure, if your mobile device tracks your location, its AI can guess where you live based on where you spend the most time making it easier if you need to get directions “Home”. However, it’s not just tracking your location to help your general travel easier. Often, companies save data like this, even if you’re going around the corner for a bagel. This data saving can put people in harm’s way. In 2013 Yahoo had one of the largest data leaks ever, with the passwords, full names, birth dates, and even phone numbers and home addresses of over 1 billion users. This leak allowed the hackers access to billions of private emails. Understandably, people were outraged, especially since Yahoo had held the information of this leak for a long period of time. Marriott Hotel also had a leak where 500 million users had their travel information, including passport numbers and possibly credit card info in 2014. The leak wasn’t plugged until 2018. However, companies like Microsoft are not taking proper action to make sure that this doesn’t happen to their customers. In fact, they are allowing account access to third party apps who might not have enough proactive security to keep this information safe. Sure, it’s somewhat easier to buy things online than it is to go in store, and yeah, it a little bit simpler when your browser auto fills your credit card info. Still, many people are uneducated as to how to keep this information safe properly and how to stop your web browser and software from saving the data. Unfortunately, companies don’t often care about the privacy of their customers. Even if they do, none of them are perfect. All you need is an experienced computer scientist to break into a company’s software and work slowly at getting the information of random people in order to exploit them.

  13. Danielle Blanco September 20, 2019 at 10:19 pm #

    In todays society, it is hard to find someone who does not have at least one social media account. Those familiar with social media know they must enter basic information to create an account. Each site has different settings. One category is the website’s security settings. Many people do not know what type of information is protected. Websites have access to your information still. There has even been news of users’ personal information being released to outside sources. However, people do not realize that their information can be released through your Windows 10 account. This article was very shocking to me. Being a Windows 10 user, I was surprised on how Microsoft can access my information. It is not common for someone to change their laptop settings. Of course, the obvious ones on this list made sense. Many people cover their camera or turn off their microphone because outside sources hacking into their computer could listen in on conversations going on or see what your camera sees. However, it did not occur to me that people at Microsoft could also see. What really surprised me was that Microsoft also keeps track of what you search for in order to present you with ads that are relevant with your searches.
    Being concerned with what Microsoft has access to surprises me but while reading this article, I thought about a greater issue that could occur because Microsoft has access to users’ information. We are aware of hackers shacking into social media websites’ database so what makes us think that a hacker could not figure out a way to hack into Microsoft’s database that stores everyone information. Now it is another security concern for technology users. The blog provided the reader with a list of the starting security settings for Windows 10. After reading the blog, I went through my settings and changed all of them. Many believe this to be an invasion of one’s privacy and see it as Microsoft breaking the law. However, within Microsoft Windows 10 guidelines, if it states what information they can access, then there is no breach in contract. It is our obligation to become familiar with the technology we use. We are the one’s that provide the information for companies. The companies always provide the user with Terms of Condition where they state all their processes. However, all of them are very lengthy and not user friendly. I believe that companies need to start thinking about putting the user’s concern first and provide them with a Terms of Condition that is understandable.

  14. Isabella Rose Salerno September 21, 2019 at 6:43 pm #

    I chose to respond to this article because I use a Microsoft Surface Book for schoolwork and therefore use the Windows 10 operating system in a daily basis. Although I am not the type of person who believes that the government is watching my every move, I do think that it is important to be conscious of what data you are sharing and who can access it. With this in mind I found this article to be very informative.

    The article mentions eleven different ways you can ensure that you are not sharing too much information with Microsoft. One of the things mentioned is turning off access to your computer’s camera. This is arguably the most important setting that you should change. In many cases applications that require camera usage ask for permission to use the camera, but there have been several news stories about people who saw that their camera light was on when they didn’t intend it to be. This begs the question, who’s watching? And furthermore, if that footage is recorded where does it go? So, keeping your camera permissions to a minimum, or off all together, is really important to your privacy. Almost, if not equally important are the microphone permissions. The idea of someone listening to what you are saying is just as unnerving as the idea of someone watching you. With technology like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, concerns about when the devices are listening and what, if anything, they are recording are quite common. Some people don’t worry about it when it comes to their computers, but it is good to think about all the devices that have microphones so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not to adjust your settings to feel more comfortable.

    Additional settings that the article mentions include, turning of targeted advertising, checking your browser to see how it uses your data, and turning off diagnostic feedback. These settings are more about personal preference than they are about invasions of privacy. For example, targeted advertising might be a good thing to some people. If your internet browser can predict what kind of things you like to buy or websites, you visit your ads will be reflective of those preferences. Others might not like that, for example I choose to turn of targeted advertising because I don’t want to be tempted to buy more things that I like. Selecting your browser accordingly is also important. You should know what information it tracks and what it might share with other parties. A lot of search engines like Google, make money by selling our data to companies who use that information to make decisions about advertising or to contact us. Diagnostic feedback is one setting that I choose to leave on. One of the “issues” with having a P.C. is that they are susceptible to viruses unlike MacBook’s which are far less likely to be affected. Diagnostic feedback does track your browser history like targeted advertising, but it also searched for anything that might be dangerous to the health of your device.

    With so many privacy settings it is easy to be confused or just decide to leave them they way that they came. But in 2019 digital privacy is just as importance as physical privacy. There have been horror stories about people who were stalked online, or videos that were recorded without the knowledge or consent of the subject. It is a personal choice whether or not you choose to edit your privacy settings but it is important to understand what each setting does so that you can make an informed decision. Aside from altering your settings there are other things you can do to protect your digital privacy. You can now buy a small sliding screen to cover the cameras on your laptop or PC. This makes it so that even if you choose not to change the settings no one would be able to see you or where you are through the camera.

    It will be interesting to see if in the future technology companies will release devices with these settings off automatically, or if they will take steps to ensure that their products protect the privacy of their consumers.

  15. Anthony Freda September 22, 2019 at 11:18 pm #

    Technology companies are becoming more and more advanced as time goes on. Their intelligence is far more advanced than most people across the world can understand. They have access to every ounce of activity we do on our devices and has information we didn’t even know existed. I will be honest, going through the article a lot of the information that was discussed was new information to me. Diagnostic feedback and targeted advertising are things I was unaware can be changed. This is information I feel as though tech companies should be made well aware to the users. I found the article to be quite alarming. Some information is very personal and if it gets in the wrong hands can prove costly. I feel as though the large information these companies have access to encourages illegal behavior. It also can encourage other countries to attempt to gain this information to gain an upper hand on our country’s top secret information. I think our government officials should look into redesigning privacy laws so that tech companies have less knowledge of what occurs in our daily lives.

  16. Jess N October 6, 2019 at 10:53 pm #

    As is to be expected, another article about how you personally should try to protect your online privacy. And by all means, everyone should do everything they can to protect themselves and their information. However, shifting responsibility to the user shifts it away from the manufacturer and keeps people from asking the questions they should. I feel that instead of asking “have I protected myself from people and companies invading my privacy and collecting data about me?”, it would be more prudent to ask “why are these companies allowed (and able) to track my personal data and invade my privacy, and why is it my responsibility to stop them?”. We all can reach a general consensus that no one likes feeling like their privacy is being violated and that they are being cataloged in Google’s database of unique users.

    Perhaps I am just personally overthinking this, but what is to stop these companies from still collecting and using our data anyway, regardless of any privacy settings we set on our computers; I mean, it’s not as if ordinary people like us would ever know anyway. I’m always uneasy when I consider what it is I’ve agreed to, especially after I accept terms and conditions, since reasonably no one has time to truly read a 70 page document of legal jargon. Since I need to use that application or service, I am going to have to accept those terms and conditions no matter what they say, and really anything could be hidden within the fine print companies know no one reads. It always reminds me of the joke about one of the iOS releases a few years ago; while it was a fake, it still highlights the reality that no one really goes through terms and conditions and that leaves us vulnerable. Even beyond terms and conditions, recent history has shown even that big companies spy on us and collect data about us regardless of whether we’re aware. An issue like this is something I think just doesn’t get as much attention as it needs, since we as a society have just gotten used to the idea of companies collecting every bit of data they can about us.

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