Privacy and Data Security

February 15, 2022

Windows 11 has simplified your desktop operating environment giving you less control over windows updates choices and delivery, and control over privacy settings. By default they turn everything on and try to get you to accept cloud services that you may not need. They have programs they include as defaults in the home and pro versions of the software. Some items are difficult to remove. Microsoft advertises it is more convenient and secure. I ask, for whom?

Microsoft is a cloud storage and service provider. When you give them your data freely, no questions asked, it is what it is. They have your data. Do you believe it is secure? Is it creepy that it is so convenient? It should be.

System administrators can access your data. I believe our government also has special relationships with some of the following companies (corporate entities) who contract with them. Read the end user license agreements to understand them and you will understand these things I speak of.

When you use cloud providers, especially free providers, you are giving up control over the security of the information you have trusted to the provider.

Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, and anything social. Twitter. Verizon, Apple. Many phone providers are also cloud providers. It started with a company called Tracfone who had a free phone program for low income families. They studied the lives of those who used the free services. Interesting company name! So now there are many companies providing phone services and you pay big money for that service.

Consider not just your computer but also your phone. Your phone is where you are most exposed to having your privacy breached. It already is. Most people do not realize it. Look up Edward Snowden. He can tell you what and how. Your phone has a GPS chip, a Camera, a microphone, your contacts, calendar, pictures, files, call history, texts, voicemail and the applications you loaded on it. SMS stands for SIMPLE MESSAGING SERVICE and seems secure because its just on your phone. The technology is not encrypted and the messages are warehoused in clear text at the phone provider. Read your end user license agreements.

The applications on your phone for these other cloud providers additionally run in memory at all times unless you log out of them and in some cases uninstall them. They provide a window into your life to access everything you have on the phone including your physical location. Read your end user license agreements.

As far as Windows 11 please be aware of all of your privacy settings and turn off what you do not need. Also look for the background programs section in settings. Most of these do not need to run at boot time. Only when you choose to run them.

Web browsing safety. Do not store your passwords and payment information in your browser. Write it down or use an encrypted password program like keypass to store these sensitive details.

Avoid allowing a website to trust your device. The trust a website has in your device is commonly leveraged by attackers to perform cross site scripting attacks which are terrible especially when they have been used against your banking website, your social media accounts, or your email.

How do I know what websites I have trusted? Just open your browser to any of the types of sites I have mentioned. If you find you are logged in without providing any credentials you have accepted the trust relationship. They stored a cookie in your web browser and are able to log into your account without you passing credentials. This is the situation a hacker can leverage to gain access to your accounts for their nefarious purposes.

I can help you live a more secured digital life.