By now you have probably heard that by default, Windows 10 is pretty nosy about your browsing and computing habits. After all, the new Windows’ privacy issues have been well documented.
If you’ve made the decision to skip the upgrade to Windows 10 in order to avoid those privacy concerns, guess what? A handful of recent Windows Updates have brought some of Windows 10’s nosy “tracking features” to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
Microsoft says they added the new “Diagnostic and Telemetry Tracking” features to older versions of Windows in order to acquire information about system issues and other supposedly benign reasons, but they can also use some of the info they gather to determine how (and even why) you use your computer. Is that really any of their business?
So far the new tracking features have only been found in the following four Windows Updates:
These are supposed to be optional updates, but they were installed automatically on many systems without the users even knowing about it.
You can check to see if the offending updates have been installed on your system by loading the Control Panel, clicking Uninstall a Program and then clicking the View installed updates link. If you see one or more of the updates listed above in the list of installed updates, you can safely remove them from your system and block them from being installed again.
Be aware that Microsoft can easily add additional tracking features to future updates, but at least you can remove the ones mentioned above right now and hope for the best.
Photo credit: Nicole McDaniel