Best software to stop microsoft windows 10 from spying on me

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is it really true that windows 10 spies on me if i leave the default settings as is. im freaking out. if so, please recommend the best software to stop microsoft windows 10 from spying on me. when you recommend the best software for me, please keep in mind: 1) I want a basic, easy-to-use, and comprehensive software for an average person. Id like it to resolve as many privacy issues in windows 10 as possible. 2) I want it to be free (not free to try). 3) I want it to be in English (only one program is in German.)

Please recommend your #1 choice for me asap. id really appreciate it

i came across some possible contenders and info:

http://bgr.com/2015/08/14/windows-10-spying-prevention-privacy-t... (a list of possible choices)
http://download.cnet.com/s/destroy-windows-10-spying/windows/ (destroy windows 10 spying)
http://download.cnet.com/s/ashampoo-antispy-for-windows-10/windo... (ashampoo antispy for windows 10)
http://www.ghacks.net/2015/08/14/comparison-of-windows-10-privac...

if you think its better to manually change the settings in windows 10, please let me know too. but im thinking a software program would be more efficient and do a more comprehensive job, right?

thanks

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You're going to get ripped off if you buy anything to supposedly lock down your system. Period. Additionally, if you use a free product, you're extremely likely to be infected with something way worse than what MS is doing. Windows 10 is designed to benefit from being online and from looking at your usage patterns. All these articles are benefitting from scaring people and perpetuating paranoia. Does MS get your usage info to better serve you ads and content? Absolutely. Newsflash, so does Google, and Apple, and everyone else. That's how they make their money. If you're scared that MS is somehow using this info for evil, the only solution is to not use the products. Same with Google. They are going to look at your content and profile you based on your usage, demographics, and likes. All the Apple fanboys will tell you they don't, BS. Everyone does it. Honestly, it's a fools errand to try to stop it, because if you're on the internet there are tons of 3rd party companies doing to the same thing - most of whom you've never heard of and who do not publish their privacy policies like the other guys. Any third party software you use for anonymity is simply turning on the privacy switches that you can do yourself. Anything else would be a violation of the terms of service you agreed to when you started using Windows. You can install Linux, only use open source apps, turn on all the anonymity software in the world, and you're still going to get profiled and tracked if you use the internet. Every single CDN and backbone provider is already collecting what MS is and more. Granted, having it collected at the operating system level gives them more access to the pre-encrypted traffic, but MS is very open about what they do with the data they collect. You can go into the privacy settings and things are spelled out pretty clearly there. You can read each one and decide whether to disable or enable. Things like Cortana are probably good to disable if you don't use it. Things like "we collect your keystrokes" sounds evil until you think about it. How else are they supposed to give you better auto-correct or suggestions when you type? If you don't trust them, fine, but why use MS then? I'm a security professional, and have basically come to the conclusion that you have to pick your poison. Someone is going to look at your information, you need to decide who that is.

Also, for what it's worth, just going to CNET is dangerous. Downloading ANYTHING there and installing is pretty much a sure fire way to get an infection. The majority of stuff on there is disingenuous at best and outright spyware in many cases. Creeps pray on people looking for solutions and there are a TON of very bad things out there masquerading as help.

thanks for the informative reply. i learned a lot, for real. for now, i'll still continue using ms windows 10 because Im used to windows. would you recommend turning off cortana if i dont use it? would that save some memory being used? windows 10 uses so much memory.

also, can i uninstall bonjour? it came with windows 10. I dont understand it although i read it on wikipedia and its about some networking interface. is it just junk on my computer?

can i set all the privacy settings (i clicked the windows button in the bottom left corner of my screen, typed settings, and then clicked the privacy tab) to OFF or as minimal as possible?

if theres anything else in windows 10 that I should remove, turn off, or uninstall, please let me know.

Are you advising me to leave the microsoft windows 10 default settings, as is? Should I change any settings manually or by using a software? I had in the past followed pc world's (i think) article and set all the privacy settings (I cliked the windows search button and searched "settings", then i clicked the privacy tab.) to off or as minimal as possible. Should I change them back to ON, or keep them all at off/minimal?

Thanks a bunch

Turning off Cortana isn't going to save a lot of memory. There are tons of other things I'd disable first if that were the case. In general, people are paranoid about her listening in. I guess paranoid is a strong word, because it does in fact listen. It's just whether or not that data is actually being listened to, stored, indexed, etc and whether that bothers you. In general, you'll seldom go wrong turning off anything you're not actually using/ So if you don't need it, go for it.

Bonjour is an apple networking protocol. Lots of things use it. If you have any kind of apple software installed, it will definitely be there. Itunes installs it, for example. Even things like Adobe software install it by default. It's not a problem, so unless you have a legit reason to delete it I wouldn't mess with it.

For privacy setting, I'd just type "privacy" in the start menu and go through all the settings that come up. They are generally pretty straight forward. For example, things like "allow apps to send SMS messages" is checked by default. Why would you need that on a desktop computer? The settings carry across devices, so things that make sense on a phone or tablet may not make sense on a laptop. When in doubt, you can disable and see if it causes issues with any of your particular apps. You can always re-enable if it does. Following PC's World's advice is probably fine. Since you've done that already, I probably wouldn't change anything back unless something isn't working for you. When Windows 10 first came out, people panicked because every wanna-be tech writer was running around screaming the world was going to end and scaring people to death. In reality, not that much changed. In faect, they really got MORE transparent about how they collect and use your data. Yes, more is collected now than in earlier versions. However, they have been pretty open about what they are doing and to me their explanations all make sense. Others definitely disagree, but ask yourself whether they have an axe to grind or are making money off their position.

To sum it up, the main reason for the changes is that MS is changing its business model. In the past, they sold you a new version of Windows every few years and they got paid - either by you or the computer manufacturer. Now, they want to stop making major version changes and just have the system update regularly. Updates and patches cost them money, and since they aren't making it by selling you the new OS, they have to make it somewhere. They decided to give away Win 10, and in exchange, you agree to mandatory updates and to the changes to the privacy policy. The new model allows them to sell apps and advertisements. The more they know about you, the more effective they can be. Additionally, they more they know about you and how you use your computer, the better they can tailor the experience, and hopefully the more you'll like Windows. That's always been the Google model and most others companies are adopting some form of it. Give away the cow and the milk, and sell entertainment while you eat. Personally, I think if you're going to use the software for free, you should give them the data they are asking for. They haven't made that mandatory, so people are free to do as they choose. Just remember that once it's not profitable, they will quit giving away the software. Then, people will be calling them names again and saying they are greedy when they start charging again. Just my 2 cents.

wow, drodge has a lot of interesting points I never thought of. youre very insightful. thanks. I'll sleep on all you wrote.

P.s. you could be a really successful tech writer.

Bestbuy1115, I don't agree that it's something to be relaxed about. Many other people don't either. There's been a lot written about it online, you can find some good advice.

There are things that you can do that curb their spying, but it's hard to contain it entirely.

I would suggest you read some articles elsewhere -- check out Martin Brinkmann's posts at ghacks.net, Susan Bradley's posts at windowssecrets.com, Woody Leonhard's posts at infoworld.com and at askwoody.com, the discussion forums at wilderssecurity.com, and many other resources.

Definitely be very careful if you are looking for third-party programs -- many can compromise your security and privacy even more than they might protect them.

drodge said:   To sum it up, the main reason for the changes is that MS is changing its business model. In the past, they sold you a new version of Windows every few years and they got paid - either by you or the computer manufacturer. Now, they want to stop making major version changes and just have the system update regularly. Updates and patches cost them money, and since they aren't making it by selling you the new OS, they have to make it somewhere. They decided to give away Win 10...
  
This isn't completely true. MS still sells Windows 10 licenses, one for every new Windows device, although I believe phones and small tablets get free licenses, to compete with Android. Also, the free Windows 10 upgrade was for a limited time. MS never made much money on Windows Upgrades anyways, since most people used the same version of Windows on their PC until they needed to replace it. 

What Windows 10 does to is potentially remove a reason to upgrade your PC more often, since you won't be stuck on an older version of Windows. So it could potentially reduce Windows sales via lower device sales. There's some analysis that thinks that the free Windows 10 upgrade period caused new device sales to flag.
http://www.networkworld.com/article/3098044/computers/its-offici...

MS also seems to be steering more companies towards enterprise licenses for Windows, as it moves features useful to businesses into Enterprise Edition exclusives.
https://www.petri.com/microsoft-cuts-features-windows-10-pro-pus...

However, while MS isn't completely moving away from making money off of Windows licenses, they have added other sources of revenue, like the Windows Store and "suggested apps" advertising on the Start Menu. Cortana is another revenue stream, but it's also a feature competing with Siri and Google Now in terms of making an OS accessible and easier to use. 

I think the important distinction is they have completely separated the business into two tracks, enterprise and home. They always wanted that, but it never really worked well for them. Now, they have a distinct revenue channel for each track. Their main money maker has always been the enterprise licenses and selling Office to businesses. That will continue indefinitely because there will always be a demand to support legacy code from the business and Govt. customers. That's always been a major cash cow for them and they are going to protect that at all cost. The new move is to market to the home user by giving away the OS and selling ad-ons and ads. This new direction will attempt to make Windows more touchy feely for the average Joe home user in an attempt to keep Google from turning everything into Chrome OS / Android. This is new money to them, so we'll see how it goes. They've been extremely successful with things like the Xbox, but can't seem to makes phones work to save their life.

drodge said:   The new move is to market to the home user by giving away the OS and selling ad-ons and ads...
  
I agree with you mostly, but again, I disagree with the term "giving away the OS." They're only licensing it for free for phones and small tablets (7" or under I believe). For standard laptops and desktop PCs, the OEM is still paying for a license. In fact, if you're building your own PC, you'll have to buy a copy of Windows 10 to install on it.

They are giving away OS upgrades, first explicitly with the Windows 10 upgrade from 7 & 8 offer, and now more implicitly with the periodic "feature updates" that would normally have been saved up for a whole new version of the OS. But the OS itself isn't free, it's just hidden in the cost of the hardware for most people, similar to Apple. 

You're correct. However, the overwhelming majority of people got the 10 upgrade for free. In fact, you can still do the upgrade and activate it today, 6 months after the stated end of the free upgrade. I agree it's part of the fee in new systems, or for future system builders, but they could easily of charged for it this go around too. For $50, many people would have jumped on it. It's definitely a shift in thinking there. I suspect it will continue unless it proves to be very unprofitable. Personally, I hate the new interface with the tiles, but you can use Classic Shell and get all of the security benefits and improvements and still have the old interface.

marsilies said:   In fact, if you're building your own PC, you'll have to buy a copy of Windows 10 to install on it.


 

  And if you care about the licensing and want to do it correctly, you have to buy a retail license.  OEM is for resale only.

drodge said:   You're correct. However, the overwhelming majority of people got the 10 upgrade for free. In fact, you can still do the upgrade and activate it today, 6 months after the stated end of the free upgrade.
 

  Every new PC someone buys, though, has an OEM license of Windows 10 that they are paying for.  And although activation may still be working, it's not a 'legit' license, because MS has officially ended the free upgrade program.  Except in certain circumstances...  But for the most part, it's over.

While quite a few people did upgrade for free, that has nothing to do with sales of new PCs now or in the future.  And that's where I think MS is expecting to make up the for the free upgrade they offered for a year.

drodge said:   I think the important distinction is they have completely separated the business into two tracks, enterprise and home. They always wanted that, but it never really worked well for them. Now, they have a distinct revenue channel for each track. Their main money maker has always been the enterprise licenses and selling Office to businesses. That will continue indefinitely because there will always be a demand to support legacy code from the business and Govt. customers. That's always been a major cash cow for them and they are going to protect that at all cost.
 

  I'm not really sure what you mean here.  MS Windows has had Home and Pro versions for a long time.  Enterprise is an add on to Pro, requiring a Pro license before it can be used.  MS Volume Licensing for the Desktop OS also requires an underlying Pro license before it can be used.  For any new machine purchase, both home or business, an OEM license is being paid for.

The one year free upgrade allowed business (Pro) or home users to upgrade to 10 for free.  Most Enterprise customers have SA which allowed them to move to 10 for free anyway, so the year long promo didn't matter to them.  Those without SA, though, did not get the upgrade for free because Enterprise wasn't part of that promotion.

In any case, the Volume Licensing and Enterprise licensing have been a business model / licensing track for MS for a long time.  Enterprise requires a pretty decent size business to make any sense.  Volume Licensing is less expensive and can start making sense with as few as 10 machines because it allows you to create a master image for deployment, which can really speed up replacement / repair.

For smaller businesses, OEM licensing remains the simplest and cheapest way to go.  I'm not sure where you are seeing this shift you mention, as this has all been true since XP.

drodge said:   You're correct. However, the overwhelming majority of people got the 10 upgrade for free. 
  
The vast majority of people who upgraded to Windows 10 got it for free. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that the majority of Windows 10 users are from the free upgrade.

Windows 10 is installed on 400 million devices as of September 2016:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10#Market_share_and_sales

Meanwhile, nearly 280 million PCs were sold in both 2015 and 2016, or around 560 million total:
https://www.extremetech.com/computing/212958-windows-10-booms-as...

Now, only some of those 2015 PCs had Windows 10 licenses, since it was released at the end of July, so only 1/3 of the year, but pretty nearly all the 2016 PCs would have a Windows 10 license, minus the 24 million Apple PCs:
http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/gartner-report-pc-shipmen...

So a huge chunk of Windows 10 licenses are from new PC sales.

Finally, even if one got the upgrade for free, you still needed a valid Windows 7 or 8 license to do the upgrade, so you still paid for Windows on that device. 

minidrag said:    I'm not sure where you are seeing this shift you mention, as this has all been true since XP. 
  
Possibly longer than that, although before XP, they had completely different OSes for their Business and Home markets (NT vs 9x).

Privacy aside, is 10 better enough to force people, especially older folks to learn 10? Some suggest using 8.1 with Classic Shell.

Just move to 10 and install Classic Shell. Then there's zero to learn

ellory said:   Just move to 10 and install Classic Shell. Then there's zero to learn
  
Right, there's nothing about Windows 8.1 that isn't better in Windows 10, and Windows 10 has a lot of improvements. I can kinda see people wanting to stay with Windows 7, but I see no reason for anyone to stick with 8.x.

You might not even need Classic Shell on Windows 10. Windows 10 already has a more "classic" start menu, and you can remove all the live tiles from it and make it pretty darn close to Windows 7 style Start Menu. Also, Windows 10 allows the "Windows Store" apps to run in a window, instead of full screen only like in Windows 8.x. 

I upgraded an elderly couple from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I think they barely noticed the difference.

marsilies said:   
ellory said:   Just move to 10 and install Classic Shell. Then there's zero to learn
  
Right, there's nothing about Windows 8.1 that isn't better in Windows 10, and Windows 10 has a lot of improvements. I can kinda see people wanting to stay with Windows 7, but I see no reason for anyone to stick with 8.x.

You might not even need Classic Shell on Windows 10. Windows 10 already has a more "classic" start menu, and you can remove all the live tiles from it and make it pretty darn close to Windows 7 style Start Menu. Also, Windows 10 allows the "Windows Store" apps to run in a window, instead of full screen only like in Windows 8.x. 

I upgraded an elderly couple from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I think they barely noticed the difference.

  
Installing Classic Shell is easier.  And YES they noticed the difference, they were just too polite to tell you.

forbin4040 said:   
marsilies said:   I upgraded an elderly couple from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I think they barely noticed the difference.
  
Installing Classic Shell is easier.  And YES they noticed the difference, they were just too polite to tell you.

I had Classic Shell bork a Windows 8 install once, I ended up having to run the "factory reset" option to get it working again.

And I said that they barely noticed a difference. The small changes weren't something they could adjust to. And I get called every time they can't figure out their email client, so it's not a case of being too polite.



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