windows-10-free-updateShort Bytes: Microsoft has some options in Windows 10 to enable the privacy protection, but according to some latest research done by experts, Windows 10 stills talks to Microsoft servers even when told not to.

With Windows 10, Microsoft aimed to make an OS that could be called complete in every sense. To make this happen, Windows 10 uses the Internet to support many features. There are ways to stop Windows 10 from tracking you by tweaking some settings in the OS. With these, you can turn off Cortana, location settings and other ways that interact with Microsoft servers.

According to the different analysis done by security experts, these options to stop Windows 10 from spying on you are not enough. Knowing the fact that Windows 10 uses your data to improve your experience wasn’t so surprising, but going through all the pains of changing privacy settings only to know that your Windows 10 PC is still talking to Microsoft is really frustrating. Analysis by tech website Ars Technica shows that Windows 10 still communicates to Microsoft and some of the information is identifiable. In another report by a Czech website Aeronet.cz, it was said that Windows 10 acts like a terminal instead of an operating system.

In the analysis, even with Cortana and Start Menu web search disabled, typing in search sends requests to www.bing.com requesting a file called threshold.appcache. This file has some Cortana information, even though Cortana is disabled. According to Aeronet, on any normal day, Windows 10 performs a collection of texts entered on the keyboard, these texts are stored in temporary files and every 30 minutes, this data is sent to following websites:

oca.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net
pre.footprintpredict.com
reports.wes.df.telemetry.microsoft.com

This transfer of data is encrypted, but the transmission of data may contain identifiers revealing your machine’s identity. The telemetry server that is communicated here, stores your network location, IP and geographical location. pre.footprintpredict.com sends your keyboard input to Bing to provide you predictive suggestions next day.

Microsoft is way ahead of Google as it collects any text typed in any application on Windows 10.

Let’s suppose you are running Tor or VPN services and communicating to someone and sharing some secret information. Well, Microsoft knows everything you are typing anywhere on your PC.

Ars writes: “Some of the traffic looks harmless but feels like it shouldn’t be happening. For example, even with no Live tiles pinned to Start (and hence no obvious need to poll for new tile data), Windows 10 seems to download new tile info from MSN’s network from time to time, using unencrypted HTTP to do so.”

Talking more about the trouble, Windows 10 send data to a Microsoft server named ssw.live.com. It is used for OneDrive and Microsoft services. Your Windows 10 seems to transmit information to the server even when OneDrive is disabled and logins are using a local account that isn’t connected to a Microsoft Account.

Read the complete reports here: Ars Technica, Aeronet.cz

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Adarsh Verma
Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]