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If you use a computer with either Windows 7 or Windows 8, you’ve probably seen a notification recently about Windows 10. (What happened to 9? Don’t ask. Just roll with it.) You may have even been prompted to update already, or, if you’re impatient, you may have updated your computer manually using the installation tool released by Microsoft.
   And Windows 10 is surprisingly good, especially if you’ve been using Windows 7 or trying to use Windows 8 without a touchscreen. It takes up less hard drive space, boots faster, and unlike previous Windows updates it doesn’t expect you to upgrade your hardware. It moves the Windows 8 Start screen tiles to the side of the Start menu, opens everything in windowed mode instead of the previous full-screen “Metro” apps, and gives everything a modern graphical overhaul. It generally behaves more like a computer OS and less like a tablet one. Unless you tell it otherwise; there’s an optional Tablet Mode.
   But there’s one area where Windows 10 still acts like a tablet/phone OS, and that’s privacy. Given that tablet/phone operating systems are notoriously terrible about privacy — terrible enough that they inspired my Data Hygiene series in the first place — that’s not a good thing. Though it’s less in your face than it was before, Windows 10 still has Windows 8’s obsession with their own Store filled with tablet-style “apps” (They’re called programs on a computer, Microsoft, come on), and just like on Android and iOS, those apps want to feed you ads and read all your contacts and get access to your camera for ill-defined reasons. So once you’ve got your computer updated, there are a few settings you absolutely must tweak to keep yourself safe.
   Fortunately, it’s not too hard to access the Settings in Windows 10: It’s right on the Start menu, and Privacy is one of the top-level categories. As soon as you open it up, you’ll see that by default all those apps have access to your entire computer. Go in there and just turn it all off. There may be one or two things you want to leave enabled, but choose those specifically instead of leaving them all on. Location may be useful on your phone if you use Google Maps to get around town, but there’s absolutely no reason to have it enabled on a desktop or even a laptop. If you really like that live Weather tile on your Start menu you can enter your location manually. It was a big misstep for Microsoft to make these enabled by default, but when it comes to free apps, if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product being sold to someone else.
   There’s one other setting worth looking at that’s been the subject of a lot of tech blogs since the Windows 10 launch, and while it’s worth auditing, it’s not quite as bad as it’s been made out to be. That’s a “feature” called Wi-Fi Sense, hidden away under “Manage Wi-Fi settings” in the Wi-Fi part of the Network & Internet settings menu. The idea is that it can automatically connect you to “suggested open hotspots” and share your home Wi-Fi password with your Skype contacts and Facebook friends, as well as connecting to hotspots that they’ve shared with you.
   The first one of those, “Connect to suggested open hotspots”, should just be turned off. Automatically connecting to any public Wi-Fi is a bad idea since others can take advantage of it to trick your computer into connecting to their computer first and then accessing your traffic. Just Say No to automatically connecting to any Wi-Fi that’s not your own.
   The second is less damning, though, because it doesn’t automatically share anything — you have to take a second step to tell it which networks you want to share, and while the main setting is on by default, all your networks have to be opted in. There’s no point to leaving it on if you’re not using it, so it’s best to turn it off, but it’s not a bad feature to enable when you want to have a bunch of friends with laptops over — say, for a D&D game — or take your laptop to a friend’s house.
   Though these mobile-style app settings are troublesome, Windows 10 as a whole is a solid operating system, and if you have an eligible computer there’s no good reason not to take advantage of the free update. Just remember that regular privacy setting audits, especially right after a big software update, are an important part of good data hygiene.