Customizing Windows 8.1 for one's privacy!

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by intelarmamd, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. intelarmamd

    intelarmamd MDL Junior Member

    Dec 21, 2012

    I have read in some places that Windows 8.1 intrudes one's privacy. For example it saves everything into its Skydrive cloud storage. Plus its Bing search spies everything one searches. Also the Micrsoft account is another spying tool. I remember I read somewhere a few weeks ago a detailed list of what one should disable and what one should do, I mean the page had a detailed tips and tricks to achieve privacy but now I can't find that page. Could the fellow forum members mention whatever knowledge they have to achieve privacy on Windows 8.1. I mean every one could pinpoint the issues related to privacy it would be quite helpful for me to make a list of all known issues and take appropriate steps in order to make my Windows 8.1 as secure as Windows 7. :)
  2. Espionage724

    Espionage724 MDL Addicted

    Nov 7, 2009
    - Don't use a Microsoft account for login (disconnect ethernet once prompted for PC name during setup; skip connect to wireless)
    - Don't use IE (if you don't have to; if it's uninstalled, SmartScreen should also automatically disable too)
    - Don't sign into any Microsoft services via programs (if you don't have to; things like GFWL or Skype)
    - Don't use UEFI + SecureBoot + TPM (there's no telling what OEMs and/or Microsoft could of cooked up to happen during the boot process; MBR boot generally speaking should be safer)
    - Opt-out of customer experience improvement (mine was disabled by default)
    - Disable UAC (to prevent Modern UI apps from working)
    - If disabling UAC, may as well remove all Modern UI apps (there's two commands from Windows 8 that work fine for doing this)
    - Disable everything allowing Modern UI apps from accessing anything (under Immersive Control Panel, stuff like allowing apps to use the Mic and etc.)
    - Disable all live tiles (if removed all Modern UI apps, the only live tile left should be Store)
    - Clear Tile personal data (Start Screen > Settings > Tiles > Clear)

    Some of that might be a bit overkill or based off of unconfirmed information though.
  3. geobot

    geobot Guest

    #4 geobot, Feb 3, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2014
    Don't want to intrude your privacy?
    Don't connect to internet.. Don't use Computer..

  4. Yen

    Yen Admin
    Staff Member

    May 6, 2007
    The OP asked how to customize w8.1 to have more privacy.
    Anyway it's like shouting out loud and hoping nobody has heard it....M$ products are designed to earn money with personal data, hence they included apps, store, account, 'modern' UI.
    Each release of windows has become worse concerning privacy compared to the previous edition....
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  5. MDL After Death

    MDL After Death MDL Novice

    Feb 3, 2014
    What about creating a custom ISO build with an answer file disabling all the undesirable features?
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  6. Terepin

    Terepin MDL Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Stopped reading there in fear I would die. From laughing.
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  7. eydee

    eydee Guest

    Don't forget the start screen. All your roomates/family members will see your installed programs, pictures, videos, emails etc. The larger your monitor the worse it is. Get rid of it if you can. M$ thinks everyone is a loner and lives alone...
  8. free1975yuly

    free1975yuly MDL Expert

    Aug 24, 2011
    I believe that all operating systems that including Windows,OS X and Android except (maybe) Linux and Unix are tools for spy their customers.Include here Smartphones.
  9. Garbellano

    Garbellano MDL Addicted

    Aug 13, 2012
  10. lievre

    lievre MDL Senior Member

    Sep 18, 2012
    What do you think? You're on the internet, first of all.

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  11. CorporateRAT

    CorporateRAT MDL Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    Windows 9 will most likely have built-in keylogger sending all keystrokes directly to Langley :D
  12. solarstone2149

    solarstone2149 MDL Member

    Dec 11, 2009
    best answer here
  13. sevenacids

    sevenacids MDL Addicted

    Aug 17, 2012
    #14 sevenacids, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
    I wouldn't recommend disabling UAC as it affects not only Store apps but all applications installed, and might turn into a security threat because of malware. If you really disable UAC, make sure you're not logged in with an account that has admin rights (the local account created during setup has admin rights granted but is safe to use when UAC is enabled because it requires you to confirm all critical tasks). Apart from that, I don't see what UAC has to do with privacy, it's just a technology that prevents any application to run with admin rights (using an admin account) unless you want or need to. Therefore, I'd leave UAC enabled and remove all unwanted Store apps instead.

    I also don't see what live tiles have to do with privacy as they work like a feed, they receive information and don't send any. The only reason I see that makes sense to disable them is if you don't want others to read that information on the screen, but that's kind of a local problem - just make sure no one is lurking. And personal tile data is just a cache of the received tile XML + assets (like images) stored on the local machine.

    Just my two cents.