If you haven’t already, turn off Windows update now. Microsoft has recently started installing Windows 10 spyware without consent. A good friend of mine had a bunch of systems at the company where he runs IT hacked by Microsoft over the weekend, which broke the certificate store for WPA-2 and thus their wifi connections.
To be clear, Windows 10 is spyware. Microsoft has changed their business model from selling a product to selling data – your data – to whoever they want. Windows 10 comes with a EULA that gives them the right to steal everything on your computer – your email, your private pictures, your home movies, your love letters, your medical records, your financial records – anything they want without telling you. “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”
If this happens to you, I suggest contacting your state attorney general and filing a complaint against Microsoft. Hopefully a crushing class action suit or perhaps jail time for the executives that dreamed up this massive heist will help deter future corporate data thieves, though that’s certainly irrational optimism.
I wish I could recommend switching to Linux for everyone, but there’s a lot of software that still depends on Windows and a lot of users that will have a hard time migrating (developers: please stop developing for Microsoft). Apple seems unequivocally better in refusing to act as key player in bringing about Total Information Awareness. I’m not a huge fan of their walled garden and computers as overpriced fashion accessories approach, but it is far better than outright theft. For those that are slightly computer savvy, there’s Linux Mint, which is quite usable and genuinely free.
These instructions might help prevent that disaster of an update being visited upon you (and possibly law enforcement visits to come after Microsoft starts sifting through all your datas and forwarding on whatever they find). The latest reports suggest they aren’t enough, but it is the best I have found other than isolating your windows box from the internet completely.