I have a friend who calls Cyber Monday “Happy Unsubscribe Day,” for her practice of seeing which unasked-for emails from businesses pop into her inbox, then deleting the offenders. It’s a nicely automatic piece of digital housekeeping: Cyber Monday happens and you find out from whose email lists you need to depart. In this season of online transactions and end-of-year assessments — coming off a year in which we keep learning how tech companies use our data without our knowledge or consent, and we keep learning how loosely they value security — it behooves us to do a little digital housekeeping. Below, you’ll find a collection of helpful how-tos on safeguarding your data. Here’s hoping for a more rigorously private 2019. Know What Your ISP Knows About You How to Secure Your Outlook Email Messages with a Digital ID Best Practices for Backing Up and Securing Your Personal Files How to View and Control Your Private Online Data
Here’s how to take charge of the information collected about you by technology companies. Like many people, you probably have online accounts with Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and companies. We all know that these businesses monitor and store certain data about our online activities. But exactly what information do they have? And how can you review, modify, and remove it? The process differs for each company, but the goal is the same. You want to be able to see what data is stored about you, clear any data you don’t want the companies to have, and restrict the type of data they can collect about you going forward. This can be a time-consuming task as the companies don’t make the process quick and simple. But you should still make an effort to review the information being collected about you. Let’s check out the steps for four of the top tech players. Microsoft Using a Microsoft Account is handy as it gives you one set of credentials for Windows, Office, Skype, and other Microsoft apps and services. But that also means Microsoft collects a lot of information about you. To review and modify all this data collection, sign into your Microsoft … Read More
You’ve probably seen the confusing, contradictory headlines: There was a rule that was set to go into effect by the end of the year that would require ISPs to get our approval before they used or sold our usage history, location information and browsing history. There are rules permitting ISPs to use and sell our Social Security numbers. Breaking! ISPs indicate that they already give us the option to opt in or out of the information they collect! With all this contradictory coverage, one thing is clear: privacy as a user perk — or right — is becoming big news. Given the changes and the improved disclosure that Windows 10 Creators Update is bringing to privacy options, it’s clear that it’s not just the ISPs that need to be more transparent with what they do with their collected data. We all want our vendors to tell us what they are doing and what they are collecting. I disagree with the articles and headlines that infer that ISPs can sell our Social Security numbers. In the United States, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers are considered PII or Personally Identifiable Information. This is normally an item that is legally protected — and safeguarding that data … Read More
You can adjust and strengthen Windows 10 security settings through Group Policy. Here’s how. You want to tighten the security features and policies in Windows 10 but you’re not sure where to go. Well, there is a Settings screen where you can enable or disable several privacy settings. But if you want to manage and maintain the security settings in the OS, one method is through the Group Policy Editor. Using this tool, you can control settings for anyone who uses the same computer. You’ll find settings for password length and complexity, the account lockout policy, the Windows firewall, and the audit policies. Though Group Policy is typically used in an organization, it can also be recruited to tweak settings on an individual computer, whether that PC is used by one person or by multiple people in a home or small office. The local security policies for Windows 10 are contained in a Group Policy snap-in called secpol.msc. By opening this snap-in in your Group Policy Editor, you can tweak each individual setting. This gives you the power to set security policy for any Windows 10 computer in your home or office. Anyone who logs into a computer for which … Read More
Even before Windows 10 first became available back in 2015, concerns about privacy and the operating system have gotten play on different tech sites and in forum comments. Initially, it seemed as if Microsoft avoided addressing those concerns and stayed quiet, choosing not to get specific about privacy on their new OS. This, of course, ramped up users’ concerns and it was up to Microsoft to work on addressing those concerns. That resulted in Microsoft creating a new, extensive privacy portal that contained a statement from CEO Satya Nadella, as well as information about the data Microsoft collects. Microsoft’s privacy approach is based on six principles as laid out by Satya Nadella in his letter about privacy: Control – We will put you in control of your privacy with easy-to-use tools and clear choices. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.