Windows 10

Everybody is analyzing your personal behavior. That’s how companies like Google and Facebook make money. Your data is their product.

I don’t think the kind of data collection they are doing is inherently nefarious. They are just trying to serve targeted advertisements. That said, I don’t like it simply on a standpoint of principle. I’ll do what I can within reason to keep companies from tracking my behavior.

Wellp, the problem is when (not if, but when, if they’re not doing so already) they sell that data to insurance companies, the IRS, etc.

Buy stuff or even browse at There goes your car insurance through the roof…

Interested in setting up an account in the Caymans? I’m sure the feds would also be interested in that, too.

Too much interest in fatty red meats, or grills? Careful your health insurance premiums don’t get bumped up a notch, too.

Checking out the “wrong” political sites? Well, I’m sure lots of groups might like to know, too.

What they’re doing officially in China with their “social credit” system there, is coming unofficially here, but through corporate entities compiling your “score” on the sneak. (Try “opting out” from Experian or Equifax or any of them collecting data on you.)

Use a good VPN while on The Internet.

Never use public WiFi without a VPN

Install Malwarebytes

Change passwords OFTEN,stop using 123456

As I noted before, the ability to do something with Microsoft software does not necessarily mean it is allowed under the license agreement (see the agreement below).

If you purchased a Windows 10 OEM license as standalone software, you may transfer it to another device you own (if you remove it from the other device). If you purchased a computer with an OEM license included, you may not transfer it to another computer.

Some folks sound like they own a lot of Microsoft stock.

You took the words out of my mouth! I'm sure they are collecting anything and everything from as many sources as possible, uploading everything to super computers and already have your social score carved in stone for future reference.

I upgraded to Win10 Pro from Win 7 Ultimate years ago, and now am being informed that my version of Win10 Pro is reaching “end of life” and will not be getting further updates. WTF? I only upgraded to Win 10 Pro at the time because it was touted as the “last version of Windows” being released (???). So, am I now stuck with purchasing the “latest” version of Win10 Pro, or is there something I am missing?

You must be on Windows 10 version 1703 or earlier. If you upgrade to a more recent version you’ll be fine.

I think the latest version is 1909, which is just a tiny upgrade from 1903.

CCleaner was taken over Avast a couple of years ago is now a data collection app for them, they claim to have fixed it but......

Use instead.

It’s 17 03 that’s going unsupported and not 19 03.

I’m sure I do have some in my portfolio, but the info I’ve been sharing has been motivated by 3 things:

1. Microsoft licensing is involved in a significant part of my day to day work, and I’ve been through audits (not fun)
2. Someone was wrong on the internet! xkcd: Duty Calls
3. I don’t want someone to think they are following all the rules and then later get a nasty surprise because their information is wrong.

As a friend on the forum I’m happy as long as you know the facts so you can make your own informed decision. You do you.

I have dropped clients who have (and refused to rectify) not honored Microsoft license agreements because my company can get audited and possibly sued if we’re involved.

MS “scare” terminology. I would not worry too much about it. Your PC will continue to function just fine, just like Win7 continues to do.

Yes, there “may be” some security benefits, minor improvements, or performance enhancements by upgrading to the newest version. BUT, there is also the chance it will screw up your machine. IMO the chance of an update messing up your PC vs. NOT updating is the greater threat.
The 2x/year pace of completely new versions of the OS is simply stupid. They are turning the user population at large into beta testers, and they aren’t doing a sterling job of it.
MOST people will be OK with an update. A few will get royally messed up systems.
If you can, always have a full backup before a major update……which is not always practical because MS may cram the new update down the pipe to you whether you want it or not. One of the main advantages of PRO vs. HOME is better control of updates.
Recommendation - Stay a minimum of 6 months behind the main upgrades. Stay a minimum of 30 days behind security updates.*
Personally I have a main PC that I use that is generally a year behind. I also have a test bed that is fairly up to date. The test bed is always used to test new updates before I put it on the working PC. I have had updates seem to work but screw up a necessary function (infrared), and it took days to straighten it out. They have screwed up infrared 2x now in Win10, and will not even acknowledge they have done it.

Another good thing to do is to image your HD before installing updates. That way you can revert back to the date of the image in a matter of a few hours.

A useful summary page for Windows 7 End of support info from Microsoft:

Anecdotal, but the thousands of endpoints I am responsible for (typically Dell business class machines, which have good driver support) rarely have driver or patch issues. I haven’t seen a Windows update ruin a computer in my environment yet when allowing the updates to install automatically. Most “Windows 10” problems we see are solved by a reboot or user education. Your mileage may vary, but I like a lot of what they are doing.

As noted by others, there have been issues with some of the updates Microsoft publishes. If you go to “Settings” and click the update button, you get the most recently released patches, and this may cause you more trouble than allowing the updates to install on their own (the ones it will install automatically are typically security patches and stability fixes rather than “Feature Updates”).

Backups are always important. Image backups are especially nice. Acronis is a great tool for image based backups, and is reasonably inexpensive for the amount of work it does. It is a good idea to have a large external drive to hold these backups, and to keep more than one copy (one current, one older). Test them occasionally so you know they are good.

There are many cloud storage options out there today, with Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive being some of the more simple to use. An economical and robust option is Backblaze Pricing for Backblaze Online Backup which features unlimited storage for $6/month.

Besides all the drama being shared here, dropped by to share a nice, backbone piece of software for Windows: Process Hacker.

Of course that is a tool of ultimate power class. If your antivirus software complains about it, you may want to change your antivirus software. ;-)

P.S.: the cheap OEM license keys you can buy on eBay and other places actually work, btw. You can even buy them with authenticity stickers.

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 01:19

I am aware of that, and I never said otherwise.

I was just pointing out the latest version.

If you're going to upgrade, you might as well upgrade all the way up to 1903 or 1909.

That is (or rather was) sometimes the goal, but it is time and energy-intensive. People confuse what is macro-scale data collection (trends and correlations) with micro-scale surveillance (what can we sell to THIS specific person based on their data).

Rather than try to have an AI compute what products you are likely to buy based on your recent internet (or real world) activity, they can now use relevant data points from everyone to make a very accurate - sometimes frighteningly so, hence the “my phone was eavesdropping on me” posts - prediction and target you with ads and other content.