Windows settings to increase privacy

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by MrBrian, Feb 3, 2014.

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  1. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    From hxxps://www.myotherpcisacloud.com/post/2014/01/14/tired-of-the-nsa-seeing-what-model-of-plug-and-play-mouse-youre-using.aspx :
    Windows 7 Group Policy - Gpedit.msc
     
  2. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    Microsoft publishes some information about its products/services and their features/behaviors which have an impact on privacy. You'll typically find the phrase "privacy statement" in these, and often there are several levels to each ("highlights", "full statement", "supplement"). Example:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/windows-8-1-privacy-statement

    will show you Highlights, but then you can click through to the features supplement:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/windows-8-1-privacy-statement#T1=supplement

    To get to *usefully detailed* information. Be aware that there are separate statements for what is considered separate products/services, so multiple such statements will typically apply.

    You can find these via search keyword selection (ProductName "privacy statement") and/or links such as these:

    http://www.microsoft.com/privacystatement/en-us/core/otherproducts.aspx
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/search#q="privacy statement"&s=WOL

    I think this is a reasonable way for people to start... to get oriented. Find the detailed page(s), print them out, read through them, make notes about what you want to do about them. The privacy implications of newer software are pretty complex and intertwined, particularly where they involve cloud services and/or online accounts. Accept that it will take some time to study these and establish a plan. Once you have a plan... a checklist, preferably, so that you have notes to refer to if you should need them again... then you can decide how you want to go about disabling and/or avoiding specific things.
     
  3. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    For me its easier to think Linux!! I still use 7 Pro for stuff and try as I might I just don't trust being able to control it to my satisfaction. I can't ditch windows for some of my work stuff, and frankly it works very well. For the real privacy required stuff I surf with Linux every time and on a separate machine.
     
  4. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    Potentially crippling devices by blocking driver updates to get some virtual privacy, while Windows activation itself checks for hardware regularly, is kind of funny.
    Anyway, the rest can be easily disabled by simply disabling Windows Error Reporting Service, I also disabled "hidden" Windows startup items in TaskScheduler.

     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  5. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    There is no privacy in Windows 7 and up. Don't get disillusioned that you can achieve one. It's better to go back to XP and configure it or go full Linux. Use Windows for non-privacy required tasks.
     
  6. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    It's simple. Use Windows 7/8 on one machine, for work or gaming, or whatever else that you do under your true name. Don't stress too much about privacy, because it's largely impossible.

    For private activity, use another machine, running Linux with FDE, VMs, VPNs, Tor etc. Or use Qubes, if you like. It's true that you don't have plausible deniability, but that's better than doing everything on an untrustable platform.
     
  7. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    Moving activities and information out from under your real name is surely beneficial from a privacy/security POV. However, that doesn't mean you can lower your guard when it comes to what remains under your real name. It is when you intend to use your real name that you must make the extra effort!
     
  8. Alexandru

    Alexandru Registered Member

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    To increase my privacy with Windows I blocked at first all IP ranges from Microsoft and and added dozens of other lists using the IP block list.

    https://www.iblocklist.com/list.php?list=bt_microsoft

    Meanwhile I switched to Linux, it's pretty easier to set it up like I want and not Microsoft. Using in addition VPN, SSH and TOR gives me a little bit more privacy but not 100%.
     
  9. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    When I'm using my real name, I don't make any effort, except to block ads and protect against malware. As much as possible, I want to blend in with the crowd.
     
  10. DoctorPC

    DoctorPC Banned

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    It's possible to dramatically increase windows privacy. It's not easy, and it can take time, but it's possible. Deploying those solutions out to dozens of PC's, now that is where we run into a problem.

    Right now I have a USB drive with Registry Key Files I can click to 'somewhat' automate locking systems down. Not complete yet, but at least it's getting there. You'd be surprised at how well you can lock down a windows box.
     
  11. Austerity

    Austerity Registered Member

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    Pretty good point. I never thought about it that way.
     
  12. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    :)

    This persona (mirimir) is, in most ways, a far fuller expression of who I am than what I reveal using my true name.
     
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