How to Protect You Privacy in Windows 10? Change Some Settings in Microsoft Edge

by Lucia Danes - -
12

Question

Issue: How to Protect You Privacy in Windows 10? Change Some Settings in Microsoft Edge

While I like Windows 10 system and most of its features, I can’t accept Microsoft’s viewpoint towards data collection. It seems that each step I perform on my laptop is tracked down by Microsoft and used for whatever means. Well, maybe I’m too suspicious, but I would like to take some precautionary measures and would like to know what else I can do in addition to not using Cortana. Please let me know what settings I can change to protect my personal information from leaking to Microsoft. Thanks!

Solved Answer

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Online privacy is a very sensitive theme to discuss because all people have a different opinion about what information is personal and what is not. Though for some personal pictures and documents count as personal, for the others web browsing data is as personal as a family photo. Therefore, the release of Windows 10 OS, new personal assistant Cortana, Microsoft Edge, and other significant innovations that require access to personal/non-personal data triggered controversial feelings of the users.

While many of us do not even consider how Microsoft manages to enable smart search with Cortana or speedy web browsing on Edge, millions of Windows 10 users cannot accept the fact that Microsoft has easy access to our web browsing data, Wi-Fi passwords, location, and even personal information, such as photos or docs. On top of that, Microsoft retains the right to disclose personal data (documents, photos, email content, etc.) of both private and public person if there are substantial grounds. Up till now, there were zero reports about personal data disclosure, but, nevertheless, sound threatening, isn’t it? Luckily, ordinary netizens are not very likely to attract Microsoft’s attention for thorough data analysis. This condition counts for large businesses or people who are trying to heavily break the law concerning Microsoft’s Privacy Policy and Terms.

Despite all privacy concerns that already been widely discussed on the Internet, it’s vital to emphasize the fact that Microsoft has left the users a decent amount of settings that can be changed to prevent data leakage to Microsoft. While you may not be able to use Cortana properly without letting it know more about you, Microsoft Edge settings can be changed heavily to stop Microsoft from gathering your data, but not restricting you from web browsing regularly. Thus, this article is confined to Edge’s settings and will include a list of How To’s for those who seek to add some extra security points against data leakage:

How to remove browsing data:

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  • Open Edge and click More button (at the top-right corner of the screen).
  • Select Settings and Click Choose what to clear.
  • Select Show more and tick the checkboxes of the data you prefer removing.
  • Once done, click Clear.

It is also possible to make that Edge would automatically clean web browsing data when you close it. If you want to set this, please do the following:

  • Open Edge and click More button (at the top-right corner of the screen).
  • Select Settings and click Choose what to clear.
  • Slide the toggle under Always clear this when I close the browser to On.

Do not allow Cortana to collect data:

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  • Open Cortana and click the Notebook button.
  • Select Permissions and slide the toggle under Browsing history to Off.

After that, delete the data that Cortana has already collected:

  • Open Cortana and click the Notebook button.
  • Select About me and click the name of your account.
  • Select the name of your account again and click Sign out.

Delete saved passwords on Edge:

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  • Open Edge and click More button (at the top-right corner of the screen).
  • Select Settings and click View advanced settings.
  • Select Manage my saved passwords and press X next to the websites the password to which has been saved.

In addition to that, you can stop Microsoft Edge from asking whether you’d like to save the password. For this purpose, do the following:

  • Open Edge and click More button (at the top-right corner of the screen).
  • Select Settings and click View advanced settings.
  • Slide a toggle under Offer to save passwords to Off.

Disable cookies on Edge:

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  • Open Edge and click More button (at the top-right corner of the screen).
  • Select Settings and click View advanced settings.
  • Find Cookies and expand the options by clicking the drop-down arrow.
  • Select one of the following options:
    – Block all cookies: No websites can use cookies.
    – Block only third party cookies: Websites you visit can use cookies, but third-party services — like ads on the same page – can’t use cookies.
    – Don’t block cookies: All cookies are allowed all the time.

Do not allow Edge to track websites you visit:

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  • Open Edge and click More button (at the top-right corner of the screen).
  • Open Settings and click View advanced settings.
  • Slide a toggle under Do Not Track requests to On.

Stop media licenses from being saved:

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  • Open Edge and click More button (at the top-right corner of the screen).
  • Go to Settings and select View advanced settings.
  • Slide a toggle under Let sites save protected media licenses on my device to Off.

Disable page prediction:

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  • Open Edge and click More button (at the top-right corner of the screen).
  • Go to Settings and select View advanced settings.
  • Slide the toggle under Use page prediction to Off.

These are the basic setting changes that can be performed on Microsoft Edge to minimize data leakage to Microsoft as much as possible. Hopefully, you can now feel at least a little bit safer now. Finally, we would also recommend you to check your device with Reimage in case a virus or PUP is hiding in it. Third-party software (adware, browser hijacker, doubtful plug-ins, toolbars, extensions) are also known for using cookies and sharing browsing-related data with third-parties, so make sure that they are all deleted as well.

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About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Security researcher

Lucia Danes is the news editor at UGetFix. She is always on the move because the eager for knowledge makes her travel around the globe and attend InfoSec events and conferences.

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