Opt out of Microsoft Windows 10 spying.

  • By Soltech IT
  • 31 Aug, 2015

Windows 10 has been well received by users and tech writers alike, but parts of Microsoft's new privacy policy are raising eyebrows due to concerns that they could be 'spying' on what users do.

Doug Bolton of the Independent wrote at interesting article about Windows 10 that we felt our customers should read below:-

Windows 10 has been well received by users and tech writers alike, but parts of Microsoft's new privacy policy are raising eyebrows due to concerns that they could be 'spying' on what users do.

The tech company's service agreement stretches to 12,000 words, but one part of it has worried users over the safety of their data.

One excerpt worryingly tells users that "we will access, disclose and preserve personal data", including the contents of emails or files in private folders.

They add that they will do this when they need to comply with law enforcement, prevent spam, maintain the security of their networks, or protect their rights or property.

Microsoft also keeps tabs on your behaviour in order to target adverts to you - something you might be uncomfortable with,

If you're worried about your privacy then you might be put off by upgrading to Windows 10 - which is a shame, because early reviews all seem to agree that it's a really good operating system.

Fortunately, it's possible to opt-out of these privacy policies, and Rock Paper Shotgun have explained how to do it.

Go to Settings - Privacy and turn off everything that looks dodgy

There are 13 screens you need to get through to cover every aspect of your machine, including what apps and programs have access to your location, contacts, messaging details and camera, amongst other things.

Turn off Cortana

Again, this could be a problem, as the Cortana search function, which is similar to Apple's Siri, has been highly praised as one of the best functions of Windows 10.

However, one of the reasons it works so well is because it logs your past searches and can provide suggestions and more personalised search results.

Users will have to decide whether they're willing to disable Cortana in exchange for increasing privacy.

Turn off personalised ads

What Microsoft 10's new home screen looks like

Obviously, ads that are tailored to what you want depend on storing some of your data, otherwise you'd be bombarded with adverts for things you have no intention of buying.

Windows 10 ads work by delivering you targeted adverts wherever you're logged in to your Microsoft account, whether you're on desktop, mobile or tablet.

It's clear that Microsoft doesn't want users to do this, because it's not as easy to disable as the other privacy features.

However, it's still pretty straightforward. You need to go to an external website , and simply turn both personalised ad options to 'off'.

Use a local Windows account

This is a fairly drastic option, because it would severely cut back on the synchronisation of features between your devices.

Instead of using an existing Windows account, you could use a newly made local account instead - this prevents Microsoft from getting your data, and using it to make sure your machine is updated when you log on with a Windows account.

This is a useful feature, but if you're concerned about the data harvesting that it involves, it just takes a simple step to avoid it.

Some people may prefer the convenience of synced features and targeted ads, and that's fine - but the privacy policy can be quite intrusive, and you're opted in automatically. Fortunately, it's fairly straightforward to opt out of.

Doug Bolton Independent


By Gabrielle Cox 19 Nov, 2017
We are thrilled of how well the Soltech IT team have done this year, especially with the various awards we have won or been nominated for in the last few months. We're so proud to be a Bishop Sutton based business and so to be recognised by The Chew Valley Gazette means a great deal!

As our Founding Director, Richard Sheppard states above, "The past year has been amazing for Soltech IT; we have expanded our team, improved and developed our IT support services across education and business sectors and worked with a whole host of fantastic clients." 

The year just keeps on getting better for the team, here's to the next few weeks of 2017! 
By Gabrielle Cox 12 Nov, 2017
This week are teaming up with accountancy software reseller, Sapphire Accounting Systems (SAS), at their event at Combe Lodge, Blagdon.

As a guest speaker, on the 15th November, we will be discussing the security implications of not upgrading your software and hardware systems and how we can work with businesses to do this effectively. We will also be chatting about GDPR, what to expect, the IT requirements you'll need to meet and the next steps for your business. 

Founding Director Richard Sheppard commented, "We are looking forward to once again partnering with Sapphire Business Systems and providing advice and assistance to local businesses."

Can't make the event but would like to know more about Sage, software & hardware upgrades or what steps you need to take for GDPR? Pop us an email to sales@soltechit.co.uk or give us a call 0117 2140 299.
By Gabrielle Cox 10 Nov, 2017
We'd like to take this time to highlight the importance of the Poppy Appeal and remembering those who have served our country. It is a cause which is incredibly important and one we're proud to have supported for a number of years.

As stated on the Royal British Legion website, " The Royal British Legion is asking the nation to Rethink Remembrance by recognising the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces community, past and present.

By wearing a poppy, you aren’t just remembering the fallen: you’re supporting a new generation of veterans and Service personnel that need our support."

Founding Director Richard Sheppard commented, "The 11th November is a day close to all our hearts and we are proud to support The Poppy Appeal and remember those who have served our country, and those who have lost their lives." 

To make your own donation to the Poppy Appeal please head here
Thank you. 

By Richard Sheppard 07 Nov, 2017
Soltech IT is a multi award winning IT services provider to businesses, charities and educational establishments throughout the UK.

Our innovative and pro-active approach to IT has driven our growth, resulting in us essentially doubling in size every 2 years.

Only a few years ago our clients were prominently based in the South West of England, today our customers can be found throughout the British Isles and as far afield as the USA and UAE. 

To meet the demands and challenges of our current and projected growth targets, we are looking to recruit people with a real sense of excitement and enthusiasm for business, education and customer service.

Working along side our dedicated and culturally like-minded team, we offer potential candidates the opportunity to expand and progress their careers, whilst benefiting from the rewards success brings.

At present we have positions available for both sales and technical people, however we are always interested in seeing opportunistic CV's, from outstanding individuals who fit our ethos and working culture.

Click to view our career opportunities.
By Gabrielle Cox 06 Nov, 2017

As an accredited Living Wage employer, we are thrilled to welcomes the increase in UK and London rates announced by the Living Wage Foundation as part of Living Wage Week (November 5th-11th 2017).

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.

Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation said: 

"Year-on-year, we see organisations and businesses across the UK embracing the real Living Wage as they recognise that a fair day’s pay is not only the right thing so to but can improve the quality of staff’s work, reduce absenteeism and increase motivation and retention.”
“Today’s increase acknowledges that the cost of living continues to rise for workers everywhere and the leadership shown by businesses who welcome this is a cause for celebration during Living Wage Week, sending a positive message to the business community to show what others can achieve.”    

For more information about Living Wage Week go to http://www.livingwage.org.uk/living-wage-week
By Richard Sheppard 01 Nov, 2017
Here's another excellent grant funding opportunity for schools.

Greggs Foundation - Breakfast Club Programme

Greggs plc took up the charge and established the first ‘Greggs’ breakfast club. The Greggs Foundation now oversees over 430 clubs, providing a nutritious breakfast to over 26,000 school children each day, over 5 million each year!!!

The Greggs Foundation receives funding from a range of partners, often private sector companies including their major partner, Greggs plc. 

Greggs Foundation uses the money to support breakfast clubs through an initial start up grant for equipment such as chest freezers to store food items or toys and activities for the club. They also make a payment each term towards other food items and Greggs plc donates bread from the nearest shop.

This approach tends to be very well received by our breakfast club schools, many of whom have worked in partnership with Greggs for over fifteen years. Schools tell us that they like the flexibility of the model, allowing them to tailor their club to suit the needs of the children that attend.

The average club costs just £2,000 to set up and run for a year.

Apply now

Click to learn more about our Bursar and Grant Funding service?  

Click to contact us now.

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