iStock_000042348230_SmallSince the July 29 release of Windows 10, we’ve been hearing a lot about this newest update from Microsoft. A lot of the comments have been positive, thanks to the innovative new features released with the new operating system. On the other hand, we have also heard about a few flaws in the system that we hope will be resolved soon.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about Windows 10: Because of how the new system works, you may be subject to some security concerns in the following areas.

1. Each user on your device is automatically assigned an advertising ID, attached to the email address linked to their account. Microsoft will be using those Ids to tailor the advertisements you see while surfing the web or using certain applications.

2. Much of your personal information will be synced with Microsoft’s servers. A feature called WiFi Sense will allow you to encrypt and share information, such as your WiFi password, with your contacts. Of course, this only happens if you choose to share the network.

3. Cortana, the system’s personal assistant, collects information about you in order to provide its service. It’s meant to be helpful in areas such as reminding you of appointments, or notifying you about news that will interest you. But because Cortana has to “get to know you”, this means any of your personal information could be stored by the system.

None of these features are intended to be intrusive, but some users might be worried about them. And of course, we often don’t know a risk exists until a hacker takes advantage of it. So if you’re concerned about the security of Windows 10, take these steps to protect yourself:

  • Perform a custom install, rather than following default prompts. This allows you to choose which features you want to enable.
  • If you have already installed Windows 10 using the Express settings, click on “Settings” in the Start menu. From there, navigate to “Privacy” and then click on the “General” tab. You should now see sliders that allow you to turn on or off the features that concern you. Next, navigate to the “Location”, “Speech, Inking, and Typing”, and “Other devices” tabs. Within these tabs you can opt in or out of certain Windows 10 features. Keep in mind that doing so may disable some core features of the system.
  • You can also disable certain WiFi Sense features via the “Network and Internet” tab under General Settings.