This is not another joke on the new Windows version but a quite alarming and sinister bit of information, writes Bhagawati.
For years, I’ve been a contented user of Windows 7.
However, more than a year ago, my computer would belch out pop-up windows telling me to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. I ignored those insistent offers because I had a gut feeling Microsoft was using this offer to get free worldwide feedback on Windows 10 to fix any problems that come with a new program before they would launch the final version.
A couple of months ago I bought a new computer and pondered the choice between the ‘old’ Windows 7 and Windows 10. The latter came highly recommended by my computer service and I decided to take the jump. So far so good; the programs are working well and I’ve been able to figure out the changes for the better without getting my mind too much into a twist.
But here’s the rub: in an article published in the International Business Times on March 26, 2017, it is stated that “Windows 10 has a keylogger enabled by default.”
This means, every single key stroke you make on your keyboard is being sent to Microsoft’s servers and stored and possibly used. As IBT asserts, it is not clear why Microsoft would want every user’s key strokes, “as this data is only really useful to cybercriminals seeking to crack passwords to steal sensitive data.”
I think not even George Orwell had this in his take about 1984.
The folks at SHTFPlan.com put it like this:
“You know those nagging questions during the installation process that ask you whether or not you want to ‘help’ improve Windows by sending data to Microsoft? If you happened to answer ‘yes’ to one of these questions, or if you went with the Microsoft default installation, there is a real possibility that everything you have done on your computer from the get-go, including sending ‘secure’ messages (because the keyboard logger captures your keystrokes before they appear in your secure messaging app), is now a part of a massive user database somewhere.
“It’s been reported that Microsoft has been using the data to improve artificial intelligence writing and grammar software, but it’s not clear what else they are doing with it.
“If you are OK with sharing your personal messages, usernames and passwords with Microsoft for the betterment of the Windows universe, then there is nothing else you need to do at this time.”
Reading this, you might say, “I have nothing to hide,” and just shrug it off. I have nothing to hide either and I am laughing when I think of the many Osho discourses and darshans that are sent out into the world via my keyboard that might turn on somebody unsuspecting who monitors all those keystrokes. But my daydream aside, if you also detest such a privacy assault, here’s what you can do to protect your privacy:
If you haven’t yet installed Windows 10 but are thinking of upgrading, then your road ahead is simple. When you install Windows 10, make sure that you select ‘custom install’.
Read all the options on the installation window carefully, and make sure you always select ‘no’ for all options relating to sending data to Microsoft. It is also safe if you simply choose to just say ‘no’ to all options – it will not affect your usability on Windows 10.
If you already have Windows 10 installed, then you need to go to the Start menu and then select Settings > Privacy > General. Turn off the option that reads, ‘Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future’. To be safe, restart your computer after selecting this option.
Take a wild guess what I did.
Bhagawati is a regular contributor
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