Windows 10 has received a lot of criticism for collecting personal information. Rumor has it that Microsoft is copying user’s files and information. These rumors have no basis. Microsoft is collecting basic data which they call telemetry from machines running Windows 10. This collection of data is not new. Microsoft has been collecting data and sending it home in every operating system since, and including Windows XP.

What is new is that to use Cortana effectively, more information must be collected. (We review Windows 10 and Cortana here). Also unless you are a Windows 10 Enterprise user, there is no way to disable the telemetry data in Windows 10. This is what is making people angry. Microsoft says that the company needs this information to improve the overall experience for everyone using Windows 10. If, however, they were to give us a kill switch to disable the collection and transfer of the data, they would still get plenty of telemetry from people who accepted the defaults and never used the kill switch.

Just about every company out there is collecting information about us, so it is good to be aware of all the privacy options that can be user-controlled.  Windows 10 does offer some control over privacy options. Unfortunately, the places where you can control these privacy options are spread across the operating and can be difficult both to find and to understand.

Some Windows 10 privacy and security options can be chosen during the installation. If, however, you haven’t set these they are all still available after installation.

Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up's Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.