If you accept the defaults in Windows 10, Microsoft might be able to see everything you type
If you install Windows 10 and accept its default settings (as you just try to get the job done in the shortest time possible), then you will be giving Microsoft permission to record every single keystroke you make on that computer. Windows 10 includes a keylogger – “a spy tool used to capture your keystrokes“.
When the keylogger was added to the Windows 10 “Technical Preview” there was justification. After all, the “technical preview” was meant to be just that. Microsoft advised against using the technical preview for purposes that included using “sensitive data”. In the meantime, the keylogger must have been a very useful tool to help Microsoft see exactly what the user was doing when problems occurred.
But what possible justification could Microsoft have for spying on every keystroke of every “normal” user now that Windows 10 is being installed in its “consumer” version. With Windows 10 now installed on some 148 million computers (almost 10% of the entire market), that’s one massive amount of data Microsoft is sucking in (source).
The good news, however, is that you can turn off this keylogging. Well, let’s assume that the option to turn it off does do just that, and not dwell too much on just how far we trust them. Maybe I haven’t yet recovered my trust in the wake of Volkswagen and AVG (see last week’s blog: “AVG to sell browsing History“).
So, this is how we turn off keylogging in Windows 10:
- Left-click or tap on the Start button (you know the Start button, it’s the one we all whinged about losing in Windows 8).
- Left-click or tap on “Settings”.
- Left-click on “Privacy, Location, Camera”.
- Left-click on “Speech, inking and typing”.
- Left-click on “Stop getting to know me”.
- Left-click on “Turn off”
- Close the “Settings” window and start to get a grip on your righteous indignation.
For any of my computer support clients that I helped to install Windows 10, I hope that I turned off this spying as part of the installation. Nevertheless, it will only take you a minute to check and I advise that you do so if you care at all about your privacy. If you have bought a machine with Windows 10 already installed, or installed it yourself but didn’t over-ride the “express settings”, then I most certainly advise checking it.