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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Privacy

The miracle of the modern app is that it can help you in astounding ways. By analyzing your data, your movements, and your computer, it can make you more efficient and save you a lot of steps.

But plenty of people are creeped out by the notion of software tracking their movements around town, tracking the Web sites they visit, or even listening to their world through the built-in microphone. These on/off switches, therefore, are intended to shut down your apps’ access to every conceivable shred of useful data about you and your PC.

  • General. Turn off your apps’ access to your name, photo, typing suggestions, and preferred language. For example, some app might want to grab your Windows account photo to use as your headshot for other services (Facebook or Twitter, for example). But only if you give permission here.

  • Location. Clearly, this item is generally intended for tablets and laptops—computers that get moved around. It refers to apps that function best if they know where you are: a movie-listing app, for example, that can show you what’s playing at local theaters.

    Of course, letting such apps know where you are also means that your location might get transmitted to the software companies that wrote those apps. Here you can find on/off switches for each app’s access to your location—or you can turn off location tracking altogether by turning off the “Let Windows and apps use my location” switch.

  • Webcam, microphone. TileWorld apps also ask your permission before they access your ...

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