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Windows 10, Microsoft’s flagship operating system has been on the market for quite a few years now and although privacy options have been dramatically improved, there are still a lot of options within the operating system that need to be manually tweaked to get the best privacy results. So if you are unfamiliar with these options, follow along as this article takes you through some of the most important ones.
How to Delete Your Full Windows 10 Activity History.Use a Local Account Rather Than a Microsoft Account to Sign into Your Windows 10 PC.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your friends at Microsoft knowing exactly when you sign in and out of your computer, you can use an old-fashioned local account, just like in previous versions of Windows. If you are setting up your PC from a clean install, you will be able to select this as you progress through the Windows setup process. Even if your computer is already set up, it’s not too late to change the way you log in.
Note: Having a local account will stop some features like Cortana functioning fully.Turn Off Cortana, Microsoft’s Built-in Assistant (No Longer Possible After Fall Creators Update)
Note: If your Windows 10 version is post-Windows 10 Anniversary, use this guide: Remove Cortana After Anniversary Update.
Cortana can be a handy addition to your Windows experience, allowing you to set reminders, send emails and do plenty of other random trivial jobs. However, something you may not know is that Cortana also collects information for Microsoft in a very Google-like manner. Because if this, you may wish to disable her. Thankfully, turning off Cortana is super easy and in some cases, she may already be off by default or not even be available in your region, Poland for example.
Related: How to Delete Telemetry Data Microsoft Has Collected From Your PC.
Related: How to View and Delete Your Windows 10 Activity History. (Browsing History, Search History, Location History, Voice Activity, Cortana’s Notebook & Health Activity)
Note: How to Turn Off Cortana After the Windows Anniversary Update is available here.A Few More Settings in the General Settings Tab to Look Out For.
In the settings menu, you can be as ruthless as you like, if it’s not an option you are going to use, like location services on a desktop PC, you might as well turn it off. Start from the top of the list and work your way down, you will find yourself turning off a lot of features and blocking access. Remember, you can come back at any time to turn them back on if you change your mind or need a feature for a particular reason.Turn Off Wi-Fi Sense & OneDrive Sharing Options. Use a VPN to Secure Your Internet Connection.
Virtual private networks (VPN’s) have a lot of handy uses, one of the most helpful for protecting your privacy online and helping you stay much more anonymous. They can even mask your physical location. Setting up a VPN will ensure that your browser traffic and download habits are encrypted end to end. As there are so many options available on the VPN market choosing one may be a little frustrating, especially when you are trying to decide between paid and free versions. Just make sure you spend a bit of time researching the one you want to use.
You're reading How To Setup Windows 10 To Better Protect Your Privacy.
Protecting confidential enterprise information from disclosure is a top priority for IT managers. Until recently, employee private data wasn’t even a concern because corporate servers and applications didn’t have any — users weren’t stashing their vacation photos on the enterprise document servers or mixing their work and personal text messages.
But now they are.
With the rise of smartphones as omnipresent work tools, things have suddenly changed, and IT managers are now managing devices that may have more personal than enterprise data on them.
Keeping the “personal” side of a smartphone secure is not just a question of ethics and privacy; those actions will also help keep everything on the device — enterprise and personal — more secure.
Here are some steps IT managers can take to configure staff smartphones for maximum protection of employee data and privacy.1. Start with basic security settings and enforce with mobile device management (MDM)
Smartphones are easy to lose and are attractive targets for theft. So, securing against these events should be Step One both for employee privacy and enterprise self-protection. Even in the most relaxed bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program, protecting against loss and theft means there are some basic smartphone security options that every device should have at all times:
Setting long passcodes and requiring biometric authentication
Enabling automatic installation of security and application software updates
Restricting application choices to trusted stores
If the smartphone has an official enterprise MDM agent installed, then controlling these settings is easy and obvious. If not, the remote device management features that are built-in when the user links to corporate or cloud-based Exchange email servers can be used to control these most basic settings. Effectively, once the smartphone is linked to corporate email, you have basic MDM control over the device.
Getting these three settings on every employee’s smartphone will do more than anything else to keep personal data private. A fourth setting, enabling encryption, is worth mentioning — but since all modern smartphones already do this by default, IT managers’ main concern should be ensuring that encryption is not disabled by the user.
Enterprises that have a single smartphone platform may have additional options available. For example, if you’ve gone 100 percent Samsung, you can use the cloud-based Knox Configure to predefine security settings for all devices applied from the moment they’re powered on.2. Secure data in motion
IT managers know they need to protect corporate data in motion by enabling end-to-end encryption between enterprise servers and enterprise smartphone applications. But they have almost no control over user applications that sit on the same devices, which deserve the same protections. The risks are particularly high when staff choose public Wi-Fi networks to save battery, data usage or speed communications, as there’s generally zero privacy assurance associated with these types of networks.
To build security on top of public Wi-Fi, IT managers can offer corporate VPN services that provide always-on protection by encrypting and tunneling all traffic — corporate and internet — back to an enterprise VPN server. This not only provides strong data encryption and privacy of all data and metadata but also gives the IT manager the opportunity to apply content filtering to the stream, block malicious websites and intercept known malware and viruses.
If backhauling both business and personal traffic to an enterprise data center or cloud point-of-presence isn’t a good option, IT managers can turn to any of the many cloud-based VPN services that are available to encrypt and anonymize traffic. A corporate subscription to one of these third-party services is a small operational expense that can provide an array of security services to staff smartphones.
Another option is to discourage all public Wi-Fi usage from the start. For example, if you’re negotiating with a carrier for a voice and data plan for all staff, go for one with an extremely high data cap — or none at all — so users aren’t tempted to jump on every public Wi-Fi network they find in order to save bits. At the same time, if you have MDM installed, you can use smartphone settings to keep data on carrier networks and off public Wi-Fi, such as requiring the user to launch Settings to pick a Wi-Fi network, rather than having a list of networks pop up every time the smartphone gets in range of an access point.
Whatever you do, back it all up with a strong user education campaign on the dangers of public Wi-Fi networks. Carrier data networks are not entirely trustworthy either, but they present a much lower risk to personal data. Make sure that users understand that even encrypted applications running over encrypted Wi-Fi networks can’t be trusted not to leak private and personal information.3. Good backups and remote wipe go hand in hand
Remote wipe is a powerful tool that end users and help desks can use when a smartphone is lost, and this will be accessible to corporate IT staff as part of the MDM or email linkage of the device. At the same time, though, you have to ensure that personal and enterprise data are always backed up. Employees will hesitate to report a lost device or to wipe it themselves if they think that they’ll lose a lot of important personal data. Remote wipe usually comes with other features, including remote lock and “find my device.”
Samsung Cloud offers free cloud-based backup services that provide continuous protection for personal data. (Google and Apple offer similar services for Android and iOS users as well.) If users are concerned about storing their personal data in the public cloud or sharing so much location information, there are also third-party cloud-based backup services for mobile devices that offer a higher degree of privacy and confidentiality.
Whatever approach is right for your end users, use a mix of enforced settings, corporate services and user education to ensure that these features are enabled.4. Provide user education on best practices and privacy
End users will happily read a one-page list of things they should and shouldn’t do with their personal smartphones, so having a few handouts or online documents available is a great way to get across key messages that may be obvious to IT managers — but not so obvious to end users.Build a successful BYOD plan for your business
Get our comprehensive guide and template for developing a BYOD policy tailored to your organization. Download Now
Employees will also be aware of more complicated privacy-related topics, such as location sharing, user tracking through cookies, and spyware. Education in personal privacy will be appreciated by employees, even if it’s only peripheral to their work use of the smartphone. Knowing that the company is concerned about their privacy interests will help increase trust and can be used to combat misinformation or disinformation about privacy and the risks associated with smartphone and general internet use. All of this helps employees become more security- and privacy-aware.5. Use technology to create clear privacy boundaries
Android Enterprise’s Work Profile is an excellent tool for protecting enterprise data — but it also provides privacy guarantees to employees by ensuring that their smartphone data outside of the Work Profile is shielded even from corporate IT. When devices are managed using an enterprise MDM, use Work Profile to deliver the message that privacy is valued and as high a priority as protecting enterprise data.
In cases where Work Profile isn’t possible, you can recommend tools such as Secure Folder that provide reduced privacy and security functionality but in a consumer-friendly and end-user-controlled setting.
Helping staff keep their own data private means combining some basic settings, changing some basic behaviors, deploying some technology, and educating users about things they can and should do. Combine each of these approaches for the best results.
Is your company covered against the latest threats? Take our mobile security assessment to find out — and discover the device security and management solutions included in Samsung’s Knox Suite, so you can stay ahead of the curve.
Texting has replaced talking as the primary use of a phone. For those that would like to track what we talk about, that has made their life simpler. It’s a lot easier to store and work with plain text than it is to do with audio. So maybe using a secure texting app is a good idea.
That’s where Signal comes in. Signal is a secure messaging app for Android, iPhone, and the desktop. Like most other messaging apps, Signal can be used for texting, voice, and video calls.
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However you’re using it, it’s encrypted from the moment it leaves your phone until it is decrypted on the recipient’s phone in their Signal app. You can still message people without the Signal app, but it won’t be encrypted. Learn to encrypt all your data. It’s a smart idea.Texting From The Desktop
If you spend a lot of time on a computer, either for work or leisure, it’s nice to be able to text from the desktop. Stopping every few minutes to pick up the phone and message someone back is annoying. The folks at Signal know that so they made their app into a desktop app. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The Signal desktop app is a free download.What Can I Do On The Signal Desktop App?
The Signal desktop app is a bit more limited than the phone app. It’s for texting only. You can send images, voice messages under 5 minutes long, videos, and other types of files. You can’t use it for live video or voice messaging though.
It comes with two sticker packs; Zozo the french bulldog and Bandit the cat. You can also create and upload your own sticker packs in Signal. This is not a boring text-only app crippled by security. It’s a full-featured messaging app that happens to have solid security.How Does The Signal Desktop App Protect Your Security?
The cornerstone of Signal’s security is the end-to-end encryption. What you see as your message gets turned into something indecipherable when it leaves your phone.High-End Encryption
It can only be turned back into a readable message when it hits the intended recipient’s Signal app. Everything that goes through the Signal desktop app gets encrypted. Messages, files, pictures, videos, stickers…everything is encrypted.
How encrypted? Signal uses its own encryption protocol that utilizes several different encryption techniques that would be very secure on their own. AES-256 encryption is just one of them.Verified Connection To Your Phone
The phone app is registered to your phone’s number, so it’s hard for someone to pretend to be you unless they have your phone. The Signal desktop app is tied directly to your phone. When you install the app, it will open with a large QR code screen to allow you to link it to your phone.
Because the app is tied to your phone, and your phone number is registered with Signal through the phone app, it’s easier for people to verify that message really came from you.Limited To Contacts In Your Signal Phone App
When you link the Signal desktop app with your phone, it imports contacts from within the app on your phone. That’s the only way to get contacts into the desktop app. This feature prevents you from accidentally sending your top-secret messages to the wrong person because of a typo.Self-Destructing Messages
The countdown begins as soon as you send the message, not as soon as your friend gets it. This way, if someone else picks up their phone later, that message is gone.Conversations Can Be Verified By Both People
Ideally, you’ve also verified that you are messaging your friend’s app and vice versa. That can be done by going to the three-dots menu.
If they are the same, you can mark your safety number as verified. Next to their name in the conversation, you’ll see a checkmark with Verified beside. Now you know for certain that you are messaging your friend and not getting phished. It also helps protect against man-in-the-middle attacks.Customizable Desktop Notifications
There’s also the ability to set the type of desktop notification you get or turn off the notification. This is handy for when you minimize the app to the desktop, maybe because you’re showing someone something on your screen.Use Signal, Be Safe
How to protect files from deletion in Windows 10
Accidentally deleting a file is a mistake many of us make more often than we’d like to admit.
In order to protect files from such unfortunate events, solutions need to be taken.
One product that can help you is WinZip, of which we’ve written plenty in our WinZip Hub.
If you want more useful tutorials, check out our website’s How-To page.
Get back your missing Windows 10 files and folders
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Get back pretty much everything you lost at a snap
You probably have certain files on your computer that you’d like to keep safe and secure. However, deletion is quite an easy process in Windows, so you can accidentally delete some of your precious files.
In case you delete an important file, perhaps the best solution is to try to restore it with a third-party program. But, safe is definitely better than sorry, so the right move is to secure your files from deletion in the first place.
Unfortunately, Windows 10 doesn’t have a straightforward option that will allow you to prevent your files from deletion, and that could be a big problem. However, there are a few ‘other’ ways to keep your files secure from deletion in Windows 10.
You can use a third-party program specially designed for preventing deletion, you can change security permissions of a file you want to secure, or you can completely lock it.
The choice is yours, and we’re just going to explain to you what each method does, and how to perform it. So, you can choose the best option for you.How do I keep files safe from a deletion in Windows 10? 1. Use WinZip to lock a folder
This method involves doing the same thing as in the first method, but only with a third-party program. So, we’re going to use a file-locker software to forbid access to a file to everyone else.
This method is for those who want to this the simpler way, as using a program requires less effort. There are a handful of effective programs for protecting your files out there.
WinZip is one such tool, even though you may not consider it at first glance.
Despite starting off as a basic archiving and unzipping tool, WinZip has evolved over the years to include tools that make it an excellent addition to any office worker’s digital library.
Besides the efficient compression methods and formats, which include the best ones available, WinZip is now also capable of locking, encrypting, and sharing your archives over social media and the cloud.
Besides file lock and encryption, you can set passwords to specific folders and files, the interface being self-explanatory for setting it up.
”Get2. Change security permission
If you’re a fan of first-party solutions and don’t like to install various third-party tools on your computer, the only thing you can do to keep your files safe is to change some security permissions.
What you’ll need to do is to forbid access to a file you want to secure to everyone else except you. That way, only you’ll be able to access and delete the file, so you don’t have to be afraid that someone else will delete it.
Here’s exactly what you need to do:
Go to the Security tab, and choose Advanced
Repeat the previous three steps for each user account you want to deny access to
There you go, after performing this method, nobody but you will be able to access, change, or delete a secured file.
You can also forbid access to yourself, but then you’ll have to change security permissions each time you want to access the file.
Epic guide alert! Find out more about taking ownership of a file or a folder on Windows 10!
That’s about it, you now know how to protect your files from a deletion in Windows 10. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t have its own option for this, and we doubt Microsoft will ever introduce it.
Therefore, you either need to find an alternative way or install a special program for that. But even that is better than nothing.
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With the holiday season upon us, many people will be away from home for long periods of time. Consequently, crime takes a turn for the worse at this time of year—for all the goodwill in the air, thieves know that an empty home is an easy target.
But what if the home didn’t appear to be empty? Smart home technology makes it possible to give the appearance of presence in the home, even if you’re a couple of flights away.
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No security system is foolproof, but thieves want easy targets. If you make your home too difficult to easily rob, most would-be burglars will go somewhere else. We’re not going to talk about security cameras here as we’ve covered that before and that’s an obvious first-choice deterrent.
This article will walk you through how to safeguard your home for the holidays. We previously covered how you can protect your smart home devices from hackers, but here we’re going to talk about using smart devices to protect your home.Move The Blinds & Shades As Normal
Smart blinds enable you to open and close the blinds from afar. Opening them in the day and closing them in the evening makes it feel like someone is at home. Drawing the blinds can hide any valuables inside your home, but if they are closed for multiple days in a row, it’s a sure-fire sign that you’re away.
If you open your blinds however, make sure any tempting items are hidden from view. For example, don’t leave expensive game consoles in plain sight or keep jewelry on the windowsill. You can program smart blinds to open and close at set times of day, or you can do it yourself from your phone.Use a Smart Thermostat
Protecting your home while you’re away isn’t just about keeping unwanted elements out—it’s also about keeping the items inside your home safe.
Many people drop their thermostat to much lower temperatures while they’re away during the winter to conserve energy, but if it gets too cold it might damage temperature-sensitive items in the home. You also burn a lot of energy bringing your home back to its normal temperature when you return.
A better alternative is to use a smart thermostat and place it on its “eco” mode. This mode takes weather data from the internet and sets the temperature based on the temperature outside. It will prevent your home from getting too cold (and keep you from an uncomfortable return from your travels) while simultaneously keeping your utility bill under control.Set Outdoor Lights To a Normal Schedule – But Keep Indoor Lights Random
Outdoor lights should be turned off during the day and turned on at night. A deviation in this pattern, like leaving the lights on all the time, signals that no one is home.
If you have a smart switch, you can set it to an “Away” mode that causes it to turn on and off at random. If you keep a lamp plugged in, the light will power on and off as though someone is inside the home. Smart bulbs can do something similar.
It’s also a good idea to plug your TV into a smart switch so you can turn it on and off.Install a Security System
One of the primary benefits of a smart home is how easy it is to link a smart security system to it. Security systems offer a lot of benefits, such as live video feeds of your home, motion detectors, sirens, and more.
These devices alone are often enough to deter would-be thieves, especially if they are visible from the outside. If someone sets off the siren in the home, it will draw more attention than most burglars want.
However, you can link a smart home system to a home security system for even more effect. If someone sets off the motion sensors, the lights inside the home can come on. You could make the lights flash and strobe. It gives you the ability to take a security system to the next level.Use a Smart Lock To Monitor Your Door
When you rely on a VPN, you certainly don’t want your private information slipping out, revealing details about who you are, where you are, and which sites you’re visiting. That’s exactly what VPN leaks are. They either come from your browser or your DNS connection. In either case, bad configuration can completely subvert your VPN connection.
You should always test your VPN to make sure that nothing is leaking. It doesn’t take long, and there are several places online to check to be sure that you’re not revealing anything about yourself.1. DNS Leak Test
The first and most obvious place to test your VPN is DNSLeakTest. It’s a site that’s designed to ensure that your DNS connection isn’t connecting to any servers outside your VPN.
DNS leaks are some of the most common VPN leaks. In a DNS leak your primary connection goes through your VPN like it should, but your DNS still goes to your ISP’s servers. Because your DNS reveals where you’re going and where you’re located, DNS leaks effectively render your VPN useless.
Open your browser and go to chúng tôi When you first arrive, you’ll see a message telling you where you’re located and showing you a map. If that location isn’t where your VPN server is located, something is definitely wrong. Hopefully, it is your server location, and you can keep going.
There are two buttons on that main screen, too: one for the standard test and another for the extended version. Run the extended test.
As the test runs through, it will try to find DNS servers that you’re using. When it completes, you’ll see the servers listed. In a successful test, you’ll only see your VPN’s DNS server.2. DoILeak
Next, you can try Do I Leak. This one is an automated script that tests for both DNS leaks and browser leaks. Browser leaks are settings configured in your web browser that reveal information about you and your computer. They’re usually related to multimedia features, and most can be disabled without causing many issues.
The test will run through and probe multiple potential leak sources. After it’s done, it’ll print out the results of your tests in a convenient table. Each row will show you the results of a different test. Some things are more important than others.3. BrowserLeaks
Take a look at the basic IP address test first. It’ll give you location and DNS information. From there, you can take a look around. Java, Flash, WebRTC, WebGL, and Canvas Fingerprinting are probably the most important ones for you to look at.
BrowserLeaks takes things a step further by providing information on how to remedy the leaks that it finds at the bottom of each test page. Be sure to check them out if something turns up.4. Torrents
Finally, if you use your VPN for torrents, you want to make sure that you’re constantly protected. None of these tests specifically target torrenting. There is a great tool for torrents that actually interacts with your torrent client using a magnet link.
The tool is called ipMagnet, and it provides you with a magnet link that you can paste into your torrent client. Allow it to run for a while. It’ll update automatically in your browser to reflect what’s happening in your client. You should only see your VPN IP listed in the ipMagnet results table.
By using these valuable tools and tests, you can ensure that your VPN is working as intended, and your information is secure. It’s not a great situation that you need to run tests to verify security of your VPN connection, but that is the case. Fortunately, once you have everything configured and secured, you won’t need to test or check things as often. They usually stay secure.
Nick is a freelance tech. journalist, Linux enthusiast, and a long time PC gamer.
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