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Operating systems – can we make them private?

Every #operating #system (and #application) ever created becomes less #private with each new version.

As technology has evolved, developers are under increasing pressure to spy on their #customers and extract their #data for #exploitation.

Users are always advised to update their #software to improve its #security, its #interface and embrace new features – sometimes with good reason (like #patching a known #vulnerability). Other times the #developer is simply adding spyware. Some 'useful' applications are designed solely as #spyware and do nothing but #collect data.

As most here know, the #OS with the biggest data collection appetite is Windows 10 . #Microsoft have invested their time and money into a #business model that demands its online products extract user data to drive their #ad #targeting #revenue #streams.
Gone are the days when we could install an OS from a CD or have a choice to accept or reject an update.

#Windows is no longer a product but a “service” and with #services come #fees. Microsoft will charge for its OS’s in future. Even #windows7 will incur fees for users who prefer it to #windows10 from January 2020, the cost will rise each year.

Microsoft 'Confirms' Windows 7 New Monthly Charge

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Windows 10 has had 3 major update scandals this year alone where #devices frozen or random files were #deleted.

Thousands of Windows 7 & 8 users have had their devices upgraded to 10 without their permission, while many businesses are refusing to change from Windows 7 forcing Microsoft to extend their support for it.

I will try to explain how we can make Windows 10 #safer in future posts but users will have to face the fact that

Microsoft's Software is Malware

Furthermore it contains backdoors. I have tested this myself. I’ve turned off all updates on a Windows 7 device yet have still received updates! These were flagged up by Windows 7’s event manager – ironically, a Microsoft product betraying another Microsoft product. However, I did not disable updates in the #registry on that #device – the surest way of truly stopping updates – because one mistake can trash the system. The #hacking #community tells me they have developed a souped-up version of #XP running with all #backdoors closed, although I have no proof of this.

Microsoft's Software is Malware

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It is very rare


#Leftists create #FakeAccounts about me again

Two years ago #Leftists on #Diaspora started a #campaign against me, using #impersonation and #identity-theft in order to #defame and #bully me. They are unable to stand up to me in #honest #debate, so they use these kinds of #tactics.

Now there is another account on #Pluspora, home of #GooglePlus #refugees, with someone using my name and avatar, trying to post #disgusting stuff in people's #comments and #streams, pretending to be me in order to make me look bad.

@Really Over / @Really Over is not me!

I believe this account is in #violation of the #Terms-of-Service of #Diaspora #pods, e.g. #Pluspora Terms of Service say:

In order to make pluspora a great place for all of us, please do not post, link and otherwise make available on or through the Service any of the following:

* Content that is libelous, defamatory, bigoted, fraudulent or deceptive;
* Content that is illegal or unlawful, that would otherwise create liability;
* Content that may infringe or violate any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of privacy, right of publicity or other intellectual or other right of any party;
* Mass or repeated promotions, political campaigning or commercial messages directed at users who do not follow you (SPAM);
* Private information of any third party (e.g., addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers); and
* Viruses, corrupted data or other harmful, disruptive or destructive files or code.

Also, you agree that you will not do any of the following in connection with the Service or other users:

* Use the Service in any manner that could interfere with, disrupt, negatively affect or inhibit other users from fully enjoying the Service or that could damage, disable, overburden or impair the functioning of the Service;
* Impersonate or post on behalf of any person or entity or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;
* Collect any personal information about other users, or intimidate, threaten, stalk or otherwise harass other users of the Service;
* Circumvent or attempt to circumvent any filtering, security measures, rate limits or other features designed to protect the Service, users of the Service, or third parties.
#Diaspora #harassment #fake #fakes #IdentityTheft #ToS #TermsOfService #podmin #Theaitetos

Privacy tip #2

Turn off ‘notifications’.

Some will totally reject this. That’s okay. But consider this.
Our brains get a hit of #Dopamine whenever we get a ‘good’ #notification or a ‘like’ but receive a dose of anxiety-inducing Cortisol when we have no notifications or a bad #review.

The #corporations know this and they play us. They will send #false or repeated #messages just to tempt us back online and to continue contributing to their #ad #revenue #streams. Don’t let them. A special #offer on a product, a barrage of notifications from our #apps, a breaking #news story, every time their #developers #click a mouse, or what Jenny said about Ryan Gosling’s butt, etc...

Notifications are usually not as important as we might think. And studies show their effects contribute to mental health issues.
Notifications do not have to be accessed immediately. Our #battery will be grateful if we consider turning them off – they drain the hell out of it. I estimate at least 90% of notifications can keep for later. They will always be there when we #login.

App notifications seem relatively pointless to me, but I’m prepared to be convinced otherwise.

#Social #media notifications should not be used for the main contact for life-or-death emergencies. We have phones for that.

Here are ways to turn notifications off if we want to.

Windows 7

Some of the #Windows #messages are useful to individuals so it’s not easy to second guess user preference, but a popular #hacking #technique involves #pinging a PC using a particular protocol I won’t explain here. It targets #troubleshooting #routines and the #error #message #text #files (i.e. notifications logs) because they will reveal a person’s complete set-up.

Consequently, #security buffs and other #hackers turn off most notifications so these #text files are not generated.

As mere mortals we may not be bothered with that, but it’s worth checking some options. Right-click the little flag icon bottom right of our screen and select Action Center. Here, there’s a raft of settings for different actions. Most are probably useful to keep.

Many W7 users ‘filter’ MS #updates or block them altogether (some will still update though) and this is the place to do this. Windows 10 has removed this feature because their focus is, as always, procuring customer data for advertiser targeting revenues through their spy patches, which is why all their products are now online dependent and not #standalone anymore.

Each previous version of Windows is more private than the next one but Microsoft have collected user data without their users’ knowledge or permission since 3.1.

Do inspect Microsoft’s Customer Experience Improvement Program settings in the action center. Click NO. It’s just a way of logging a customer’s data – and with their permission.

Turning off notifications in Windows 10

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Disable notifications for Microsoft Edge browser on Windows

Click the three dot menu next to the address bar
Go to Settings

Go to Advanced Settings

Click Notifications

Click Manage

Here, we can ditch sites who send us annoying push notifications.


How to disable notifications for Safari on Mac

In the menu bar, go to Safari

Click Preferences

Click Notifications

Choose Deny for the sites you don’t want notifications from.


We can turn off the sound of notifications by selecting ‘Do not disturb’ in the Iphone’s SETTINGS section. This doesn’t actually stop them, just silences that annoying whistle we constantly hear on the bus.

We can turn off ‘show previews’ here too by selecting NEVER, but some like this feature despite its privacy implications.

The best way I’ve found to actually stop notifications is to deselect the notifications box on each app individually. This means we have to open every app and turn off the notifications always on option. There are 5 other settings here we can use to turn off annoying sounds, banners or history options.

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Disable notifications on Opera for Windows, Mac and Linux

Go to Preferences

Click Websites

Click Notifications

Click Manage Exceptions

Click Behavior

Select Block to stop certain sites sending annoying notifications.


Like the Iphone, the best way to stop an Android's notifications is App by App. We should also consider if we want to keep some apps. Uninstalling unused apps will save space and battery. Some apps will still run in the background and collect data even if we closed them down, especially Google Android apps.

Go to Settings > Apps > All apps and uncheck the show notifications box.
You may consider clearing the cache of each app as this could save you considerable memory. But think very carefully before you CLEAR DATA. This is more radical – it will save more space but will delete things you may need like a browser’s, memory, bookmarks, favorites, etc, or an anti-virus program’s database of bad guys.

Facebook (always a good idea, IMO)

Turn off web push notifications in your browser

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Constructive feedback welcome.

More tips soon...