Windows 10 rocks. I salute Microsoft for a job well done. The Rolling Stones, who’s Start Me Up was the Windows 95 song, should write a song for Windows 10. I have Windows 10 on a laptop with an i5 processor and on an $80 cheapest-of-breed tablet. It runs smooth as butter on both.

Don’t Trust a Free OS

Windows 10 is free. So is Facebook, Twitter and tons of other websites that have one thing in common – they want us to share our personal information with them. Guess what Windows 10 does?

When you install Windows, odds are you will click “next” a bunch of times and be done with it. How many people click on “customize settings?” Windows 10’s default privacy (or lack of) settings have Facebook executives drooling.

Secure Your Windows 10

It’s not too late. Click on the Windows button and then Settings. Click on Network and Internet, Wi-Fi and then Manage Wi-Fi Settings. Turn off Connect to suggested open hotspots and Connect to networks shared by my contacts. My advice is never connect to public wi-fi or networks unless you absolutely need to. And if you do, at least do it manually and not automatically. Those two settings are disasters waiting to happen.

The settings screen says, “Give and get internet access without seeing shared passwords. You’ll get connected to Wi-Fi networks your contacts share, and they’ll get connected to networks you share.”

No thanks.

Next within Network and Internet is Airplane Mode. Turn Bluetooth off unless you are actively using it. Don’t leave it on 24/7.

Customize Windows 10 in 10 Seconds

Click on Personalization and Colors. Now choose your favorite accent color. Play with the other settings on this screen to get Windows 10 to look better than ever. Purple is my favorite.

Under Personalization, click on Lock Screen and choose a photo. For me, it’s the same as my desktop image.

More Privacy Settings

Click on Privacy and General. The first option – “let apps use my advertising ID..” At this point, there’s nowhere to hide from ads. But I turned mine off – to make them work harder! I turned on the Smartscreen Filter to check web content that Windows Store apps use. I don’t mind letting websites provide locally relevant content by accessing my language list – that’s the least of my problems as opposed to sharing a wi-fi connection!

Under Location, I have this setting “off”. Click on Camera and make sure apps can NOT use your camera. Same goes with Microphone. Under Account Info, I let apps access my name, picture and other account info. Be smart and don’t download too many apps.

As you can see, my policy is to focus on the important stuff. Yes, my privacy is very important to me, but I focus on the big picture – staying away from public wifis and keeping my camera and microphone off.

Click on Calendar under Privacy. Apps can access your calendar by default. Turn it off if you don’t use Windows Mail and Calendar. Under Messaging, don’t let apps read or send messages.

Almost done! Under Privacy, click on Other devices and turn this off. Finally, under Feedback and Diagnostics, only agree to send Basic device data – the lowest option.

That takes a while, and I’m sure I missed a few. Take 30 minutes and go over all of the settings in Windows 10 one by one. Don’t have time? The Gods of Microsoft are praying for your laziness!!