Microsoft and Windows 10 supports privacy – but not by default. However, the company makes it easy for you to manage your privacy and confidential and personal, identifiable information. You just need to know all the buttons you need to push.
If you head to Settings, the Privacy tab allows you to configure privacy options for all hardware components like the camera, microphone, etc. as well as information that Microsoft uses to improve its products and services like speech, location, etc.
Of course, all these are self-explanatory and tapping or clicking each panel gives more configuration options. There are also links to read Microsoft Privacy Statement, as well as manage your Microsoft advertising and other personalization information.
The latter is important to understand. To create a more customised online experience, some of the ads you may receive on Microsoft websites and apps are tailored to your previous activities, searches, and site visits. Microsoft allows you to make the advertising choice that is right for you and you can choose to opt out of receiving interest-based advertising from Microsoft from here.
There are several options to toggle personalized advertising. If you want Microsoft to show ads that might be relevant to you, keep it on. To show generic ads, turn it off.
‘Personalised ads in this browser’ controls the personalised ads setting for the web browser you’re using. ‘Personalised ads wherever I use my Microsoft account’ allows you to control the personalised ads setting that applies when you are signed in on any computer or device with your Microsoft account, including Windows PCs, tablets, and smartphones, Xbox, and other devices.
‘Personalised ads in Windows’ allows you to turn off personalised ads that appear in apps on your device. You will still see ads, but they will not be personalised anymore. From the Privacy > General panel, you can control interest-based advertising in Windows apps by turning off the advertising ID in Windows Settings.
Privacy is very important, and for some people, it’s a paramount consideration while choosing an app, an operating system, or a device. It’s a good idea to go through privacy options on Windows and your Microsoft account so you know what’s happening.
I trust Microsoft with a lot of information they track which in turn improves my computing experience. However, you can make your own choices, deeming what is fit for you. Let us know in the comments which settings are you tweaking!