Many websites have published a list of settings that you should disable Windows security settings, but most do not explain in detail what each of these settings does, which makes it difficult to separate the facts. Here’s a walk through these Windows security settings, what we know about what they really serve, and how to turn off what really matters. Windows security settings have some useful new features, but if you believe what the rest of the Internet says, it also comes with others that kill any privacy hint for the user. However, that idea is somewhat exaggerated. Let’s take a look at what each element of Windows security settings actually does, and which ones pose a risk.
Please don’t disable blindly Windows security settings
Let’s start with the most obvious Windows features. Open the Windows 10 settings and go to Privacy> General . Most of the settings in this section are self-explanatory, but here’s what they do:
- Allow apps to use my id. Advertising: This helps Microsoft to deliver more personalized ads in the applications that have them. You can disable it without affecting the user experience.
- Activate the Smartscreen filter: This sends the addresses you visit within applications purchased in the Windows Store to Microsoft to check that they are not within a list of malicious sites. Google does this, but locally, that is, with the list on the computer itself, and only sends the URLs if we have the option to share usage statistics. I think it’s a pretty useful feature, so I’ve left it enabled. Keep in mind that this only affects the addresses we visit in other apps than the Edge browser. Below we explain how to enable or disable it in Edge.
- Send information to Microsoft about how I type: This function serves to improve autocomplete suggestions. It is supposed to be what we write with the keyboard, or with the handwriting function on touch screens. Its definition is somewhat broad for my taste. I recommend deactivating it.
- Let websites offer relevant local content: If you speak a language other than English, this feature might be useful. Feel free to deactivate it.