Windows Privacy Dashboard: Taking Control of Your Data

Privacy is all anyone has been talking about in the digital world. Technological advancement also comes with the added risk of cybercrimes and cybercriminals who have become more competent at deceiving users into sharing confidential and sensitive data. On top of that, companies like Google and Facebook are becoming notorious for their data collection practices from users, which raises the question of whether they have the Privacy they claim.

Users feel more comfortable when they think and know that they have control over their data and that they also have control over aspects of the data they want to share and which ones they’d like to keep private. In this article, we introduce a tool known as the Windows Privacy Dashboard, which gives Windows users greater autonomy over which apps can access and collect their information. It allows you to disable features that could invade your Privacy.

So, without any further ado, let’s go into detail about the Windows Privacy Dashboard and what other tools you can implement

Why Is Online Privacy Important?

Online Privacy is essential in this digital age for several reasons:

1) Protection Of Personal Data

Online Privacy protects and safeguards confidential and sensitive data such as your name, address, contact details, and other personally identifiable information such as your Social Security Number. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to financial fraud and identity theft.

2) Preventing Data Breaches

Data Breaches have severe consequences for organizations, compromising the data of their consumers and employees and damaging their reputation in the process, making it hard for individuals to regain trust in them. When websites and other online services collect and store your information, there’s always a risk that your data can get exposed to hackers, who can use the data for malicious intent.

3) Allowing Freedom Of Expression

For most people, the internet is a safe space to express their genuine and honest opinions, however controversial they may be. Online Privacy allows individuals to express their sincere and honest thoughts without fearing surveillance or an adverse reaction. Online Privacy is crucial for whistleblowers and political activists who rely on staying anonymous to discuss things they feel strongly about.

4) Avoiding Targeted Advertising

Many online services and websites track your online activities and store and collect your personal information to target you with relevant ads that would interest you and perhaps something you’d be interested in buying. Online Privacy enables you to reduce the impact and prevent these data collection practices at the cost of your Privacy.

5) Upholding Consumer Laws

Many consumer laws have been implemented to protect the rights of customers and their right to Privacy. Many privacy regulations and laws exist to protect customers against invasive data collection practices and misusing their personal information for targeted advertising and personalized recommendations. Upholding the best privacy practices ensures that these rights are followed and respected.

6) Building Trust

When individuals have confidence and are ensured that their sensitive data is private, secure, and protected, they are more likely to engage in online communication, shopping, and sharing information freely. This trust is necessary for the growth of the digital economy and for it to excel.

WPD Privacy Dashboard: It’s Features & How It Works

WPD or Windows Privacy Dashboard enables you to customize your device’s settings so that no data is collected from your computer. Windows gathers some data by default to improve the user experience and for diagnostics. However, most users would not be comfortable sharing their data with third parties.

The data on your dashboard includes the data related to your Bing and Cortana searches, browsing on Microsoft Edge, and your location, voice, apps, and services activities. Once you clear the data, it gets deleted from the dashboard, and then it is also removed from the Windows system.

The Windows Privacy Dashboard enables bringing all the privacy settings and configurations in one place so that you can prevent Windows from collecting any personal data. WPD makes it easy to configure your settings to maintain your privacy. Through WPD, you can disable Customer Experience Improvement, Telemetry, Cortana, OneDrive, and other features that can invade your Privacy. Here are the typical features you will find on WPD:

  • You can manage your privacy settings for different Microsoft apps and services. You can review and clear your Browsing History, Location History, and Search History, like managing info on your Bing searches. To manage the activity history for your accounts, go to the Privacy dashboard homepage to get started. The Privacy dashboard shows the data that Microsoft apps and services have collected about you.
  • You can also manage your ad settings by heading to the Ad Settings page. When you turn the ad settings off, Microsoft will still show you ads, but they will not be personalized based on the data that they have collected.
  • WPD allows users to configure how much diagnostic data they wish to share with Microsoft. You can adjust these settings in the Privacy Section.
  • Windows also provides users options to control the data collection and telemetry level. Depending on your privacy preferences, you can choose between the levels of data sharing, including Basic and Full.

The WPD program is divided into Privacy, Firewall Rules, and Apps. With Privacy, you can customize the Group Policy so that no data is collected. The Settings are turned On by default; you can turn them off so that they stop collecting data. Some settings under the Privacy section include Allow Cortana, PerfTrack, and Microsoft Diagnostic Tool. You can disable other settings according to your needs and preferences.

The WPD program also offers three Firewall rules: Spy, Extra, and Update. You can select any of the three rules and click Copy Rules to enable the rules on your computer device. The Spy Rule blocks Windows Spy and Telemetery, The Extra Rule blocks all third-party apps like OneDrive and Skype from your device, and the Update Rule blocks any Windows Updates altogether.

Lastly, the program has an Apps section that helps you declutter your computer. You can uninstall the default applications that came installed on your computer. You can either uninstall these applications separately or click Delete All and remove them altogether.

Other Ways To Secure Your Privacy On Windows

There are other ways you can maintain your online Privacy. One way is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN masks your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic, making it difficult for your data to get intercepted by third parties. You can have Secure Data with Astrill since it is one of the best VPN apps for Windows.

It would be best to use secure web browsers like the Tor browser, specifically designed for users to remain anonymous and private on the internet. You should maintain strong passwords on all your accounts, have Two Factor Authentication as an added layer of security, and keep your operating system, software, and antivirus up to date to patch any security vulnerabilities.

Wrapping Up

The Windows Privacy dashboard conveniently lets you manage your privacy settings in one place. Users like to be in control of their data and are concerned about data collection practices and what information they’re willing to share and not share. Using tools like the Windows Privacy Dashboard gives users greater autonomy to decide who gets to access their data and what data they don’t have to share if they don’t want to. The privacy dashboard provides tools to manage privacy settings for the products that you’re using.