Since the release of Windows 10 it has been no secret that Windows is collecting a great deal of data about its adopters be default. Though some of this tracking cannot be opted out of most of it can, and this blog will cover these techniques for Win10 next week. What is more alarming (at least to me) is that Windows is quietly installing some of these privacy-invading “features” on Windows 7 and 8.1 machines in the form of updates. These updates send a great deal of information about your usage back to Microsoft. Fortunately for users of Windows 7 and 8.1 these updates can be quickly and easily uninstalled.
The updates are (each is hyperlinked to a full description at microsoft.com) :
To uninstall these updates navigate to Control Panel>>System and Security>>Windows Update. Click “View Update History”, and the click “View Installed Updates”. This will open a list of the updates that have been installed on your machine. Search for each of the four updates listed above. If you find that any of them have been installed, right click on the update and select Uninstall. You will be asked to confirm your decision.
I am disappointed that Microsoft has chosen to hold user privacy in such disregard, though my disappointment does not rise to the level of surprise. This is a great example of something I talked about in Your Ultimate Security Guide: Windows 7 Edition. Allowing updates to download and install automatically can have some serious negative consequences. I prefer to download updates automatically but choose when to install them. This gives you the chance to avoid updates like these that are not in your best interest.