Spybot Anti-Beacon – Improve Windows 10 privacy

By | December 28, 2016
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Privacy wise Windows 10 is probably the worst version of Windows to date. I guess Microsoft looked at Google and what they were doing for inspiration. I know I’m late to the party, talking about invasive Windows 10 privacy policy. What prompted me to write this article is the recently released Windows 10 Anniversary upgrade, that became available on my laptop just last week. I wanted to remind everyone that privacy settings will be reset during the Anniversary upgrade. Luckily there are tools like Spybot Anti-Beacon that can help you shutdown all the major privacy infringing apps, settings and services that Windows 10 has. Developers of Spybot Anti-Beacon have wrangled them all up, so that they can be turned off easily. Let’s dig in.

Improve Windows 10 privacy with Spybot Anti-Beacon

Sypbot Anti-Beacon is pretty straightforward application. If you ever used Spyboot Search&Destroy, you’ll notice a lot of similarities between the two. For starters there’s the “Immunize” button, which is oh-so satisfying to click. Just one small click and all the issues are fixed.

spybot anti beacon windows 10 privacy settings scanner 1

Suggested: Free System, Mouse And Keyboard Activity Monitoring – WhatPulse

There are actually 2 sets of privacy related settings that Spybot Anti-Beacon can scan for and fix. There’s the basic protection, which can be found under the “Protection” tab and then there’s also the “Optional” tab, where a bunch of additional security settings can be tweaked. The exact list of troubling Windows features that are turned off and services that are blocked include:

  • Blocking telemetry hosts
  • Stopping telemetry services
  • Blocking telemetry group policy
  • Stopping the Consumer Experience Improvement Program
  • Disabling scheduled tasks of the Consumer Experiance Improvement Program
  • Blocking Application Impact Telemetry Group Policy
  • Prevent step recording by blocking Steps Recorder Group Policy
  • Block Wifi Sense, the so called HotSpot Sharing group policy
  • Prevent apps that use the advertising ID
  • Disable peer-to-peer Windows Updates outside the local network

“Optional” tab lets you block things like Bing, Cortana, OneDrive, Office and it also has a more extensive list of telemetry hosts that you can block. Hence the reason why it’s called the “optional” tab. Some people might need and still use these. To apply immunization for each of these options, just click on the “Apply” button that’s available next to each of the categories. There is no single “Immunize” button that you can click, to apply protection to for all of them at once.

Check out: Free Portable Windows System Tray Weather App – sWeather

Final thoughts and download

Well like I said, recent Windows 10 Anniversary upgrade came to my Ivy Bridge laptop only recently. I read somewhere that updates come in waves, and it also depends on the type of hardware that you have. Inspiration for this article was the late Anniversary upgrade on my laptop, if you’re wondering why I’m just now talking about Spybot Anti-Beacon. Still I think it’s a good thing reminding readers that Windows 10 upgrades will revert any privacy settings that you might have set. Spybot Anti-Beacon sure does that.

Download: Click Here

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