With all the stories and news about hackers, malware, ransomware, and the rest of threats out there, we can only consider ourselves lucky that we have not already become a victim of one such attack. However, there might be another threat that Windows users are facing for several years now, without even knowing about it.
When Microsoft first released the Windows 10 Technical Preview, they were pretty open about the fact that it had a keylogger. Their statement was that they may collect some typed characters, or maybe even voice info. They even said that it is probably not a great idea to install a preview on devices that have sensitive files on them.
And, because they were so open with it, everyone assumed that this will be removed in the final version of the system. That Preview’s keylogger is there for tests, and that it won’t remain as a part of it. And everyone who thought so turned out to be wrong.
Microsoft is still not too shy about it, and they state that it is there pretty much everywhere. The information is not even especially hidden. You can find it in Microsoft’s Privacy Statement, and the positive thing is that the whole statement is in plain English.
Many other companies would try and use ‘legal language’ to try and scare people off. However, there is still 17,000 words of it, so it might take you some time to find it.
How to disable it?
The positive news is that you can disable keylogger yourself, and it is not even that difficult to do it. All you need to do is follow some simple instructions, and you will reclaim your privacy once more.
- Start by opening the Start menu, and then click on the Settings.
- Your next step is to find Privacy. When you enter it, find the section called General.
- In there, simply hit “Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future”, and that will turn it off. But why stop there?
- While you are already fixing up your security and privacy options, check out the rest of them as well.
- If anything that you are not comfortable with is On, simply deactivate it. I
- t is possible that doing so will have some sort of impact on your device, but you will have to consider what is more important to you.
Check the rest of the options
Next thing to do is to go to section by the name of “Speech, inking, and typing”. In there, you will find an option “Stop getting to know me”. If you click it, you will further limit the amount of information that Microsoft is harvesting from your device.
There are even more options that you can explore and decide whether or not you want them working. For example, you can decide yourself which of your computer’ apps can get access and potentially take control of your camera, contacts, microphone, or even calendar.
Many of these options have rather vague descriptions. They are telling you what they are all about, but they don’t really tell you anything. By putting them there, Microsoft has done their part, but you still have no idea what this is all about.
Another suspicious thing is that all of these things are on by default. However, Microsoft still claims that they don’t collect anything too personal. Also, that all of the data that they are collecting is safe and that they only use it for improving functionality.
Security and privacy online are very important, since you can never know who is watching, and where your data might end up. However, as it would appear, the danger starts even before you go online at all.
Even before doing so, you must make sure that your own computer is safe. Companies like Microsoft, but also those like advertisers, work by collecting information. Our data is what they want and what they need for improving their services. However, the more they get, the more money they earn, which often leads to a security breach.
You are the one that must stop that from happening. The best way to start doing so is to get to know your device. Modify your security and privacy settings, and remember that you are the one who has the power to set the limits. All you need to do is find out how, and remember to do it.