Q: Is it true that Windows 10 records what I type on the computer? If so, why?
A: By default, Microsoft collects data from your interaction with Windows 10. This includes typing on the keyboard, using spoken commands or writing with a stylus on a tablet or touch-screen computer. As for recording your keystrokes, the company says it does “collect your typed and handwritten words to improve character recognition and provide you with a personalised user dictionary and text completion suggestions”. Some of this collected data is stored on your PC, but some of it is uploaded to Microsoft to help improve those tools.
Along with your typed, scrawled or spoken input, Windows 10 uses information from your Contacts and Calendar programs to “help personalise your experience”, particularly in interacting with the voice-activated Cortana software. Other virtual assistant apps, like Google Now and Apple’s Siri, also need access to your personal information for similar reasons, so Microsoft is not alone. Most apps these days also want to get the location information from your computer or device, for mapping and marketing reasons, so you see geographically relevant ads.
If you chose the “Get going fast” Express settings route over the more hands-on Custom option when you originally set up Windows 10, most of the data-sharing permissions are on by default. However, you can always go back into the system and change things. Keep in mind that by doing so, you may not be able to use some of the Windows 10 apps and services that need access to your information.
To adjust your privacy controls, go to the Start menu and select Settings; you can also press the Windows and I keys to open the Settings box. On the Settings screen, choose Privacy and go through the several categories of listed permissions until you feel more at ease.
Q: My Android tablet freezes often and I frequently have to restart it. Is there an easy fix?
A: Unless you can see that a flaky internet connection or a specific app is causing the problem, finding the cause of the tablet’s erratic behaviour may take some time and patience. Start by confirming you have all the latest available Android systems updates.
Lack of memory and space causes problems, too, so close apps you are not using and make sure the tablet has some free space left. Visit your device’s Settings area and choose Apps or Storage to force-quit apps or check available space; deleting cached data in the Storage settings may help.
If nothing fixes the freezes, backing up the tablet and doing a factory reset to fully erase the tablet’s contents offers a fresh start, and you can restore your personal files and apps afterwards. Check with your wireless carrier or tablet manufacturer for specific factory reset instructions for your model.