5 Tips to Protect Your Privacy on Windows 10

Privacy is a luxury that few can afford to be without. However, private information can be easily compromised by hackers, scorned lovers, and even operating systems themselves. Rumors run rampant concerning the data collection Windows 10 subjects its users to, so don’t wait to secure your business information. Here are some tips on how to improve privacy protection.

Say Goodbye to Ad Tracking

Every time you log on to surf the net, you are leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that lead directly to your online profile. This problem is easily solved by deactivating ad tracking. With Windows 10, however, it goes a tad further by using an advertising ID. They not only gather information based on web browsing but also when you use Windows 10 apps.

If you find this bothersome, launch the Settings app, go to General, and look for “Change privacy options”. You then move the slider from on to off, but if you want to make absolutely sure you have no virtual stalkers, head to choice.microsoft.com/en-us/opt-out and disable the “Personalize ads whenever I use my Microsoft account” tab.

Slip Off the Grid

Thanks to location tracking, nearby restaurants and future weather predictions are at your fingertips. While some might not mind this feature, there are others who wish to enjoy some privacy from their smartphones every once in awhile. To do so, launch the Settings app, then Privacy, and disable the Location tab.

But if you wish to share your location with certain apps, scroll down and activate the ‘Choose apps that can use your location’ tab, and choose your desired apps. Also, regularly clearing your location history doesn’t hurt either.

Cortana, Why so Clingy?

Albeit a very helpful digital assistant, Cortana requires access to your personal information. Turning it off completely just stops some of her data-collection, since whatever data she already knows is stored in the cloud. So to break up for good, log into your Microsoft account and then clear all the information Cortana and other Microsoft services, such as Bing maps, have gathered.

Other measures include clearing the information in your interests section, or heading over to the “interest manager” tab and edit which interests you wish Cortana to track.

Disable Wi-Fi Sense?

This feature is designed to let you easily share Wi-Fi connections, but some have misunderstood it to be an opportunity to log onto your network and be cause problems. Wi-Fi Sense allows you to share your network’s bandwidth with specific people while ensuring they can’t access your entire network. At the same time, it lets you connect to Wi-Fi networks your friends share with you.

If it still worries you, launch the Setting app, go to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > and click on Wi-Fi Sense. From there, deactivate two bars: “Connect to suggested open hotspots” and “Connect to networks shared my contacts”.

Prioritize Privacy

All of the aforementioned tips should take about five to ten minutes to implement, but if you’d like to take it one step further, launch the Settings app, go to Privacy, and look on the left-hand side. Here, you will find various settings that allow you to make very detailed adjustments to your privacy. Enjoy!

We hope you find these five privacy protection tips helpful. If you need more help protecting your information or securing your network, give us a call at (800)421-7151.

Relying On A Good Luck Charm?

Carrying a four-leaf clover might work for leprechauns. But when it comes to Internet abuse by employees, you’ll need more than sheer luck…

Did you know that…

  • 70% of all web traffic to Internet pornography sites occurs during the work hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Non-work-related Internet surfing results in up to a 40% loss in productivity each year at American businesses.
  • According to a survey by International Data Corp (IDC), 30% to 40% of Internet access is spent on non-work-related browsing, and a staggering 60% of all online purchases are made during working hours.

The list goes on, and the costs to your company can be staggering.

What types of web sites present the greatest risk? Categories include abortion, alcohol, dating, death/gore, drugs, gambling, lingerie/swimsuits, mature, nudity, pornography, profanity, proxy, suicide, tobacco and weapons.

Risks these types of web sites expose your business to include malware, viruses, fraud, violence, lawsuits, loss of confidential and/or proprietary data and more. Even social sites, while perhaps not quite as risky, can have a major impact on productivity.

Barriers that once stood at the edges of your office network have been annihilated by digital media.

Web content filtering is now crucial to network security – not to mention employee productivity – in this emerging environment. It can be deployed in a number of ways, but basically they boil down to two: inline and endpoint filtering.

Inline Web Filtering

One way to filter web content is to control it at the entry point or gateway to your network. This technique intercepts all web traffic and applies filters that allow or block web access requests. Because the entire network is filtered, no access to the user’s device is required.

With inline web filtering, there’s no need to expend resources managing content at each endpoint – your employees and their computers, whether desktop or mobile. Inline filtering not only saves bandwidth, it goes a long way toward mitigating cyberthreats. For securing activities that take place within your network, it’s a critical and potent strategy.

Yet, with the shift away from traditional office-bound work routines to a work-from-anywhere culture, the effectiveness of inline filtering has diminished. When employees access the web outside your network’s gateways – via home networks, hotels, coffee shops, etc. – their devices become vulnerable to attack.

And any employee can carry an infected machine into and out of your company’s building and network on any given day, exposing your entire intranet to infections. And that’s why so many companies are moving to endpoint-based web filtering to complement their inline filtering.

Endpoint-Based Web Filtering

Endpoint-based filtering protects employee devices from infections, no matter where they connect to the web. Software at the endpoint – your employee’s device – carries a predefined filtering policy from the central server that can be intranet-based or cloud-based.

The endpoint filter is then updated periodically from your company network. This method assures that web filtering is always active, no matter which gateway the machine connects through. The downside is that it must be rolled out and maintained at all endpoints.

That being said, one advantage of endpoint-based filtering is that it addresses stringent employee privacy regulations that are quickly becoming the norm in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Because it keeps browsing-pattern information within the user’s device, endpoint-based filtering provides a fairly non-intrusive way to handle employee privacy concerns.

And finally, while endpoint-based filtering really is the only way to protect a network without boundaries, as most companies now have, ideally it works hand in glove with inline filtering.

Forget the Charms – You Can Bet On This

We highly recommend rolling out not only inline and endpoint filtering, but also an effective training program for your staff to encourage best practices and assure compliance with your company’s web security policies and procedures.

Want to make sure all gaps are sealed and that you don’t have to count on a four-leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot, or knocking on wood to keep your network secure? Contact us today at (800)421-7151 or wamsinc.com for a customized Web Content Filtering Review and Analytical Report on your system.