Microsoft 10 Makes Security Settings More User Friendly in 2017

Microsoft 10 Makes Security Settings More User Friendly in 2017

This January, Microsoft said that it plans to simplify the privacy options in the upcoming Creators’ Update, though some may see one component as putting some limitations to the user’s choice as well.

Changes in privacy for Creators Update

Microsoft plans to do a reboot on how privacy is managed in the upcoming Creators Update to Windows 10, both as part of the initial setup, as well as the amount of data it collects in day-to-day diagnostics. That amount will actually go down, if a user chooses to do so. But Microsoft has also removed an intermediary option, forcing the user to select whether to provide Microsoft minimal or “full” access to their PC.

Why this Change Matters

Most people are quite confused on what data the devices they use collect about them – though they rarely track that information down. Google provides a nicely organized page about the data it collects, including an Activity Controls page that offers data privacy controls similar to what Microsoft is launching. Apple does a somewhat mediocre job, basically tossing a ream of legalese at the user. In any case, any free service is often paid for by your private data. Google and now Microsoft are making that transaction somewhat more transparent.

Microsoft’s new privacy dashboard has been around for quite a while. The company has always allowed users to access and manage the data collected by Windows 10. But the upcoming dashboard puts this all in one place, online, with user-friendly language that explains what’s happening to their account. More importantly, users can decide to block or delete that data.

The New Dashboard Allows You to See Security Related Info

The new Web dashboard gives you the ability to review, and optionally, clear access to your browsing history, Bing search history, location activity, and Microsoft Health – that is, if you have access to them using your device. There’s also a link to Microsoft’s overarching privacy policy.

Privacy Changes in the Creators’ Update

In the first few months of 2017, Microsoft plans to roll out the Creator’s Update, which it’s slowly rolling out to Windows Insiders via a series of new builds, including a massive one this week. When you install Windows – or a major update like the Anniversary Update or the CU – Microsoft will ask you to review your privacy settings. In each case, you have the option to allow Microsoft to manage them, also known as Express Settings, or to customize them yourself.

With the CU, it appears, Express Settings will be replaced by a series of toggle switches  that will give you the option to customize them. Each switch – governing location, for example – will briefly explain what sort of data it gathers.

However, There are Still Some Slight Cons

If you opt out of sending data, Microsoft tells us why it’s not a good idea. If you toggle off a privacy component, blocking the data from being sent to Microsoft, the toggle will explain the consequence of that action. Microsoft obviously wants you to leave that switch toggled on, but at least it will provide information both for and against your choice.

Anyway, whatever these changes are,  there are still a lot of things happening in 2017 that Microsoft 10 users may look forward to.

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