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Fixing Windows 10's privacy problems

Windows 10 can be intrusive. If it isn't having Cortana follow you around online, it's logging your keystrokes or sending you personalized ads. We show you four ways to keep Windows out of your business.

Windows 10 has privacy issues: It asks for a lot of information in exchange for using its services. Here's how to control that information flow.

Go to the settings section in Windows 10's Control panel. You'll find the privacy settings down near the bottom.
You'll definitely want to explore all the options here, but I'll show you four [or three] really important ones. Remember, some settings affect important apps like email, so choose wisely. [74 wds]
The creepiest online ads are the ones that track where you've been and show you stuff you were just shopping for.

You have to do two things to prevent this. First, go into Privacy, General. Under 'Change privacy options,' turn off the first option, 'Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps.'
Next, go to and choose 'Personalized ad preferences.' Turn off the first two options: 'Personalized ads in this browser,' and 'Personalized ads wherever I use my Microsoft account.' If you use multiple browsers, you'll need to do this in all of them. [97 wds]

Did you know Windows 10 can log your keystrokes? Microsoft says it's to improve Windows 10, but it's still creepy. Go to Privacy, General, and turn off 'Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future.' Right—I don't think so. Off! [50]
The Cortana digital assistant can be incredibly helpful, but that's because she gets to know you through watching what you do online--and to be fair, Google Now does exactly the same thing. If you want to tone down Cortana, here's how to do it.
Click the Cortana icon in the taskbar, then click the second icon on the left, which is supposed to look like a notebook but just looks like a square with a circle in it to me.
Turn off the first setting, which is called 'Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts and more.' She'll stop watching what you do or offering you help based on your activities. [113 wds]
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[This one should probably be its own, shorter video, but here it is.]
Windows 10 has a setting that lets you share system files and updates with other computers. It's like BitTorrent for Windows, but do you really want that?
This is a lot of steps, so hang on: Go to Settings, Update & Security, Windows Updates, Advanced options, Choose how updates are delivered. Use the sliders to select how much sharing you'll allow. [61]
These are four privacy settings most people will want to change, but take the time to look through all the options, and find the ones that suit you best.