Windows 10 Quick Tips – Cortana & Bing


Cortana And Bing Don’t Forget

nosy-neighborCortana is your personal assistant. She is forever eavesdropping on your activity and searches. She perhaps knows your habits better than you. Not only that, but she shares everything she knows with her old pal Bing. For privacy-conscience people, this may be an unacceptable situation. Do not be dismayed, my friends, for I know a way to give them both a severe case of amnesia, and in this week’s Quick Tips article I am going to share it with you.

Cortana First

cortana-feature-image

 

To give the blue babe a case of forgetfulness, follow these simple steps:

  1. Use the Windows Key + I to open the Settings App
  2. Choose Privacy
  3. Choose Speech, inking & typing

That should bring you here:

cortana-privacy-setting

Click the indicated button to either turn her On or turn her Off.

Note: Your screen may differ if you are not using the latest Creators Update version of Windows 10. If so, you may have to hunt and peck a bit.

Now For Her Buddy, Bing

bing-logoIf you’ve been using Cortana all along, whether you knew it or not, she has been sharing all her knowledge with her BFF, Bing. You can also strip Bing of its memory by following the next few easy steps:


 

 

  1. Follow the same steps as you did before to get to the Speech, inking & typing screen
  2. This time, click on the link labeled Manage my voice data that’s stored in the cloud with my Microsoft account
  3. This will open a Microsoft Privacy web page. You may be required to log in using your Microsoft User Name and Password.
  4. Once there, drill down the page until you see a button labeled Edit Cortana data

Note: You will also see several other buttons on this page that will let you clear other forms of information the data-hungry search engine is storing.

clear-cortana-data

Clicking this button will bring up the most annoying of windows, namely, the one that asks if you are sure you want to do what you just told it to do. Gads, I hate those things!

Final Thoughts

It is clear that Microsoft is heading down the road of making things privacy-related more complicated for its users to control. The above exercise was actually easier in previous versions of the operating system.

Some people are not bothered in the least by all the snooping these corporate giants are doing in the name of “providing better service” to its customers. Horse Hockey! What they are truly interested in is gaining as much information about individuals and their behavior as is possible. It’s worth a great deal of money these days and, let’s face it, money is the driving force in the corporate world. It is not, nor has it ever been, because they want to be your friend.

Some people will tell you, “I don’t care what they know about me. I have nothing to hide!”


There is an intrinsic flaw with this way of thinking. It has nothing to do with your guilt or innocence. The real point here is, the more they know about you, the more control they have over society as a whole. In all of human history, control is ultimately what bankers, politicians, and the government in general are craving. And information is power. This is nothing short of domestic spying in the most seemingly innocuous of ways. (It’s the boiling frog story.) If you think for a New York second that the likes of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, et al, are not sharing your information, then naiveté is too subtle a word. Not even your medical history is sacred anymore.

Sorry about the tangent… I am old and get fired up about these things… heck, simply being old makes me mad, so it doesn’t take much to push me over the brink. Back to the things at hand…

I hope this Quick Tips post helps you reclaim a little bit of that control and, as always, if you have any suggestions and/or comments, please let us know,

Richard

About the Author

Richard Pedersen

Richard received his first computer, a C-64, in 1982 as a gift and began dabbling in BASIC. He was hooked! His love for computing has led him from the old “XT” boxes to the more modern fare and from clunky 10MB hard drives to smooth and fast modern day SSD drives. He has run BBS services, Fido mail, and even operated his own computer repair business.

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