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Reminder! If You Haven't yet, Turn Off Windows 10 Keylogger Now


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#1 NickAu

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 04:07 PM

 

Do you know? Microsoft has the power to track every single word you type or say to its digital assistant Cortana while using its newest operating system, Windows 10.
 
Last fall, we reported about a 'keylogger' that Microsoft openly put into its Windows 10 Technical Preview saying the company 'may collect voice information' as well as 'typed characters.'
 
It was thought that the company would include the keylogger only within the Technical Preview of Windows 10, just for testing purpose. But, the thought was Wrong!
 
 

The keylogger made its ways to Windows 10 public release offered by Microsoft for free due to which Windows 10 gained millions of adoption in just a few days after its first roll out back in July – but the free upgrade is not always free.
 
Yes, besides various privacy issues, there is a software component that tracks your inputs using your keyboard, voice, screen, mouse, and stylus, however, it is a bit more complicated than you thought.
Reminder! If You Haven't yet, Turn Off Windows 10 Keylogger Now

 

Didn't MS say they would remove the keylogger once the release WinX?



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#2 Aura

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 04:19 PM

If you disable the second option, there's just no point in using Cortana anymore as well.

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#3 brainout

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 05:57 PM

Yeah, but you can't get rid of Cortana; you can't uninstall her or Groove Music or any of the other basic phone-home features.  I shut her off in Services, disabled them, and 30 seconds later she was back on.  Point is, only Enterprise really has the ability to turn the telemetry off.  Telemetry would be fine if you knew what was being sent back and you really had control or view of it.  But you don't.  This isn't a slur on Microsoft.  I know what THEY mean by doing it, but it's not them I'm worried about.  It's the third parties who know now they can subpoena for MSFT's stash for Mr. or Mrs. X Customer on Windows 10.

 

So I don't take seriously all those privacy options being off, but did turn them off and now don't use the OS at all.  Will later clean the drive and remove MS account, install local and then remove the drive.  It's the only way to be sure.  I wish that weren't true.


Edited by brainout, 08 September 2015 - 05:59 PM.

(Away, Notifications Off) AUDIT PREMISES, my guidon.  -- brainout or brainouty on vimeo or Youtube, domain brainout.net


#4 Plumber

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 08:42 AM

I dualboot with 10 and did a clean install but didn't create an account so Cortana does not work anyway.

#5 brainout

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 12:39 PM

Just because Cortana doesn't respond to you, doesn't mean the data isn't being slurped up to send back to Redmond.  I can't prove WHAT is happening, so must assume the worst.  MSFT ignores your settings and that much we do know.  So what does it slurp up?  We don't know. So now we are in a litigious position with whatever data we have on our machines, and if anyone knows we're using Win10, they can go to Redmond and petition for that data.

 

Which is no problem, if  1) there is no confidential data on that machine, or 2) whatever confidential data there might be, is unrelated to the party petitioning.  But how can you know, who will petition for data on someone else you know, whose data is on your machine?  So that's a hanging Sword of Damocles.

 

No thanks.  I got enough problems with Windows eating my day, to add that one to the list.


Edited by brainout, 12 September 2015 - 12:40 PM.

(Away, Notifications Off) AUDIT PREMISES, my guidon.  -- brainout or brainouty on vimeo or Youtube, domain brainout.net


#6 Aura

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Posted 13 September 2015 - 06:29 PM

For those who cannot enable Cortana due to localization restriction (which means, you live in a country where Cortana isn't available yet, like me in Canada), Cortana doesn't "phone" home at all. For me, the SearchUI.exe process exists, but is constantly in a "suspended" stance (most likely because it's not enabled) and I looked at the connections using TCPView and the process doesn't show anywhere in the list. So these users shouldn't have to worry about it. I expect it to be the same for those who use local accounts (since Cortana cannot be enabled there).

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#7 itsreallycheryl

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 01:59 PM

How do you turn it off? I am brand new here. Thank you.



#8 Condobloke

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 07:21 PM

G'day itsreallycheryl, and Welcome to BC.

 

 

Here's How You can Turn Off the Keylogger
 
  • Click on the Start Menu, then open Settings.
  • Click on Privacy settings, which you'll find in the very last row of the menu.
  • Once you are in the Privacy menu, click on General
  • Under 'Send Microsoft info about how I write to help use improve typing and writing in the future' – Turn it to Off.
  • Now move ahead to the 'Speech, Inking and Typing' menu and click Stop getting to know me. This will help you turn off the speech tracking through dictation or Cortana.

 

This is taken from THIS PAGE


Condobloke

Outback Australian  

 

fed up with Windows antics...??

 

LINUX IS THE ANSWER

 

I USE LINUX MINT 18.3  EXCLUSIVELY.

 Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with your Microsoft product.

 

Success is not Final, Failure is not Fatal,

 

It is the Courage to Continue that Counts.

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#9 sparklestar

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 05:16 PM

If you are comfortable using windows 10 then why would you want to turn off this feature?



#10 Foldingchair

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 05:59 AM

Isn't it a bit stupid to be complaining about ALL of this, but still use Windows 10? If all of these things worry you so much (which I doubt is necessary), why not pick up a Linux distro instead? Or stay on Windows 7 or 8 for now. Honestly though,  Even Windows 7 and 8 have built in keyloggers that CANNOT be turned off without breaking something, nor is Microsoft honest about what they do and don't collect. They are with Windows 10, which I think goes a long way.

 

I just don't get it that people complain and whine about everything, but then still use Windows 10. All the while complaining. It's like stabbing yourself with a knife, but then while doing so, complain that it hurts. Just stop stabbing if it hurts so much. :whistle:

 

EDIT: All of you who are worried about what Microsoft does and does not collect are a little hypocritical. You trust webshops and internet providers with ALL your basic (and not so basic) personal information that is more than enough to track and stalk you, yet you worry about Microsoft? You have a Microsoft account. That is enough for Microsoft. The majority of data they do collect in Windows 10 really is to improve the product and to learn about their userbase as a whole. I highly doubt anything is collected on an individual level, simply because that's not interesting enough for "the big boys". It costs too much time and money to sift through every single person. All data is collected as a mass, and from that, for example, they pick averages for statistics.

 

If you installed Windows 10, used a previous Microsoft product, or have a Microsoft account, they already know enough, and very little will be new to them. I trust Microsoft with certain information more than I do Google or all those Webshop companies. The majority of THEM actually sell your information. Where do you think all your spam comes from? It's not Microsoft you need to be worried about, trust me. All of you here probably have a smartphone too. or Facebook, or a Google account, or accounts at webshops. Well there you go. Microsoft is now just being bullied about what Google and Apple were years ago. For the first time they're opening up, being honest with consumers.

 

You have no right to be concerned about your privacy. Anonymity and in some cases Privacy on the internet are a big joke. The internet was created BY people who want to monitor everything, TO monitor everything. Your ISP knows about you, your authorities know about you, your webshops and their third party partners know about you, etc.


Edited by Foldingchair, 04 October 2015 - 06:11 AM.

"Peace and blessings be upon you all."


#11 brainout

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 06:34 AM

No offense, FoldingChair, but you really need to read the aka.ms/msa and see the concern.  But I'll try and summarize it in simple terms: pretend you were married and your spouse had been 'normal'.  Then all of a sudden, is not.  You don't just immediately file for a divorce.  You try to find out what is wrong.  And you do complain, if you think you can reason with your spouse.  But instead of getting answers, you get silence.  So then you re-diagnose everything, alternately blaming yourself or your spouse, asking around to others, try to see if they have the same problems you do.

 

So only after a protracted period of diagnosis and problem-sharing, do you actually contemplate divorce.

 

Linux has its problems, too.  So just dumping Windows to go to Linux is not a solution.  For most of us have been 'married' to Windows for years, and we can't just jump on some new software.  We tend to be older, to use Windows for work stuff, so it's not a question of gaming or merely surfing on the internet and playing on Facebook.

 

Hope this explanation helps.


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#12 sparklestar

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 08:26 PM

@Foldingchair, Windows 7 has a built in keylogger that cannot be turned off? Please tell me more about this and can some other people on BC tell me if this is true? Sounds completely untrue!?

 

I don't trust webshops and ISP's with all my information. Webshops have almost 0, ISP's have as little as possible, and, if one limited local party has your information, how does that then make it not worse for multiple foreign huge corporations to have more info too? That's like saying if you gave 1 guy your phone number it's the same thing if 100 guys have it.

 

I have 1 fake MS account to use games for windows and it has no personal info with it.

 

Your expectation of a limited non-individual collection of your data by MS is naive when you consider the news from the last couple years, including hacker break-ins and man in the middle attacks that scoop up personal info.

 

If you already have a MS account or ran windows 98 or something, how is that just as much info for MS as a keylogger used from today forward!? That's crazy talk. Is apple keylogging everything you type? Do you have zero privacy on a mac?

 

 

You have no right to be concerned about your privacy.

 

Amazing.



#13 rp88

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 03:24 PM

I know it's an argument that has been discussed loads but I would suggest, that as far as I see it, the key reason people find windows 10 far more concerning than ISPs/websites/webstores/webmail accounts/... is because windows 10 is an operating systems, it sees everything a user does:

1. whereas an ISP cannot see anything a user does through tor, they alos cannot see precisely what you do on an https website, they know you're visiting exmaple.com but they don't know which page of it you're looking at. And ofcourse and isp can only see things done online, offline stuff, the contents of your documents... is not at all vsible to them. And if you need to be really really private you can combine use of tor/vpn with a mobile broadband dongle paid for in cash and topped up in cash when it's balance gets low, in such a case the isp need not know who you are as all your transactiosn to them will be a simple matter of physical coins and notes(although such dongles are pretty expensive for a not very fast or high bandwidth connection).
2.a website cannot see what you do on other websites (so long as you block cookies/adverts and sometimes scripts) it can only see the information you give to it.
3.a shopping website you use sees your payment information, so yes that's sensitive, but it doesn't see everything you do, only what you do on it's site, block scripts/adverts/cookies and it won't be able to track you round the rest of the web, cookies can be set to be cleared every time you close your browser.
4.webmail accounts can see the content of emails going through them, but if you want to email something really private to seomone you could put it in a text file, put this text file in an enccrypted 7z archive, phone the recipeint and tell them the password, then email them the encrypted archive, the webmail service cannot read such encrypted documents. Certainly people hamdle a lot of private stuff through webmail, but their webmail provider can only see what they do in webamil, not everything else they ever do. Google* and facebook only collect the information you put through them, the searches you run (for private ones you could use duckduckgo or go via tor or a vpn), the things you post on facebook (which were never meant to be private anyway, if you have something private to discuss you don't use a platform designed for mass sharing for such discussions)... but an operating system can collect everything.

Windows 10 however, being an operating system is postioned such that everything, all your browsing, all your emails, the content of all your files, your every word of typing, or even some would suggest every word cortana might overhear if you speak near a microphone. Up until now it has been a matter of certain services which collect data only getting at data you choose to give them, things you do within those services, the personal information you might give them on signup, and there are as explained above ways to fairly easily minimize what data is collected. But with an operating system it's sifferent, it sees everything, every private file you have, it could technically (though I expect this would be too much work to be worthwhile for any snooper) even track your mouse movemements and see how long you spend hovering over particular things, and it's much harder to avoid.

Yes you can use alternative operating systems but microsoft is doing all it can to get users of older windows systems onto windows 10, including sending out updates (which people came to trust and previosuly thought were all safe) which exist only to annoy the user with "upgrade for free" prompts, they have been downloading windows 10 onto windows 7/8.1 machine against users wishes and some might suggest they have gone as far as forcing some users to upgrade (thought this could be a matter of users accidentaly clicking something or not realising what was going on rather than full forcing).

And ofcourse you can move to linux, but if ms have their way very soon machines will all have secure boot which cannot be turned off, making the device capable of only running windows 10, no longer will it be possible to run multiple operating systems on a machine or to replace the preinstaleld os with a better one. So linux is at risk if a worst case scenario occurs and no-one manufactures proper computers anymore which a user can change the OS of.

That is wht people are happy (or a more correct phrase might be "just about half ok with") to have the sort of tracking that google/webshops/websites do but are not happy with an operating system doing it.

*ignoring google made tablets and phones, things get a little more complicatd if you factor in those

Edited by rp88, 05 October 2015 - 03:29 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#14 sparklestar

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 07:54 PM

Very well put.   I think some users have the opinion of "Well, I never use any of those measures and I can't be bothered and never would, so who cares if people who do use them lose that capability".

 

I also think that people who are being subjugated hate (if only subconsciously) the idea that other people are industrious enough or intelligent enough to resist subjugation. It irks them because if everyone else was subjugated too, then they would feel better about themselves. I figure that this has got to be true, because it's the only thing that explains why instead of saying "Oh interesting, well, to each his own :) " they *scoff*, as we see with Foldingchair...



#15 britechguy

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 09:40 AM

It really is amazing to see someone make the bald assertion, "You have no right to be concerned about your privacy."   I can't really argue with what follows, "Anonymity and in some cases Privacy on the internet are a big joke," but as much of that is because too few care about taking the basic, and reasonably easy, steps to protect what they can.  The assertion that, "The internet was created BY people who want to monitor everything, TO monitor everything," is just pure garbage, and anyone who's been around since the dawn of ARPANet knows that while the first part of that assertion could be argued as being true (though I don't think it is) the second is simply not.

 

As for me and my house, we still take steps to maintain what privacy and anonymity we can while using the internet.  Things like turning off keyloggers, using browser add-ons like Ghostery and HTTPS Everywhere (if you don't want to go so far as using Tor), and the like are perfectly reasonable methods to accomplish as much retention of personal control as one can.


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