Now that Windows 10 has had a little time out, the rumor mill has done plenty of work. In fact, it’s done so much that I’m getting questions from my client base as to whether or not it’s a good idea to upgrade. They list off the things they’ve read on some article from a less-than-credible source on the internet and express their worry that they’ll fall to the same ill fate. Today, we’re going to tackle four of the biggest myths we’ve encountered.
Top Four Windows 10 Myths That Have Gotten Out Of Hand
“Wi-Fi Sense will share all my Wi-Fi passwords!”
Wi-Fi sense is a feature that allows you to help your friends connect to the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to without them having to know the password. The concern, which originated on a less-than-reliable website in the UK, is completely baseless. The myth is that it will share your Wi-Fi passwords with your Outlook, Skype, and Facebook friends whether you tell it to or not. This isn’t how it works.
If a friend is logged on to their device and in range of the same network as you, they can be allowed by you to access that network without knowing the password for it. It’s something that’s been around for a while, is backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and is also in use by all Comcast subscribers (that’s how they make the Xfinity Hot Spots – sharing your network). If you’re not comfortable with its use in Windows 10, just ask Cortana to turn it off (ok, you’ll have to ask her to open WiFi sense, then turn it off manually).
“Windows 10 Is Allowing People To Take My Data!”
Windows has decided to do something new with it’s update process. It has implemented peer-to-peer file sharing for its updates. Instead of all the updates coming from a single data center, they are shared off other Windows 10 machines in order to make the process more efficient. The fear is that this allows others to steal your data and that it will kill your bandwidth.
The reality is that your data is as safe as it ever was, which is to say that the peer-to-peer sharing has changed nothing. The file sharing method of distributing updates doesn’t allow anyone access to anything. It’s the same method BitTorrent has been using for nearly a decade, and it’s been deemed a safe way to distribute files. Also, the bandwidth will hardly be affected, especially if you change the setting to only share with PCs on your network.
“Windows 10 is spying on everything I do and hackers can get to it all!”
Windows 10, in the defaults set during express installation, tracks a whole bunch of stuff. By default it will send your calendar and contact details to Microsoft; assign you an advertising ID that can track you on the Internet and, when using Windows apps, track your location; and send your keystrokes and voice input to Microsoft. Most people think this information is either going directly to the NSA or can be accessed by hackers. The main problem expressed to me is the concern over telemetry data, which includes a keylogger that can record your passwords and financial data. And of course, everyone’s concern is the availability of this data to outside sources.
Upon the original consumer preview release of Windows 10 (the pre-production “test” version), these concerns were huge, and very real. Microsoft had left a huge security vulnerability that made these trackers completely accessible over an unsecured Wi-Fi network. However, Microsoft corrected those security vulnerabilities before the final release of the production version. Also, they have included the ability to turn all of this tracking off in the General Privacy Settings. No need to panic.
“Windows 10 Will Crash My Computer!”
In the consumer preview version of Windows 10, crashes were a common thing. It’s essentially a live beta version of the software that’s being tested out in the wild to see what happens. Beta user testing is far more efficient than standard internal testing because end-users will find ways to mess things up that the engineers can’t even fathom. This allows more errors to be caught more efficiently. Often times, the beta versions are riddled with problems. The main concern comes from an update to the beta build that crashed everything with no sign of hope for the users.
Like the security issues, Microsoft has since fixed this problem before the final release version. So far updates do not crash Windows 10 at all. You can really have no fear of this as a result of that upgrade you’re not so sure about doing.
Let us know what you’ve experienced using Windows 10 so far. Have you had any issues not listed here? If you haven’t upgraded, is it because of any concerns not seen here? Leave your thoughts in the comments, and make sure you share this with a friend. Have an awesome Friday, and we’ll see you next week!