Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to stop data being synchronised from your Windows Phone

One of the biggest assaults on user's privacy is done via the smart phone industry where operating system manufacturers, like Apple, Google and Mircosoft collect data openly and covertly for the governments.

In today's market, the Microsoft corporation has a relatively small portion of smart phone sales where the operating system Windows Phone 8 resides on hardware made by manufacturers like Nokia or HTC.

Below is listed a few ways of reducing information being sent to Microsoft.

When setting up a Windows Phone, an email account must be used where your contact data is to be stored.

An email (hotmail.com / live.com) account can be setup for first use of the phone, but does not need to contain your phone contacts details in order for your phone to function correctly.

In order to disable the information from being uploaded, the server setting in email+accounts has to be changed from the email server to 127.0.0.1

This can be found in :

Settings -> (under the system column) go to email+account, see illustration below:





Under the Microsoft Account section there is a server field at the bottom which denotes the server where data is to be synchronised to.

This field should be 127.0.0.1, which is the internal ip address of any computer. See illustration below.

Other places of interest where data exchange could be minimised for novice Windows Phone users:

GPS Location: 

Settings -> (system tab) location (off)

Programs that claim to need to know your location in order to function correctly, can also function without the need to know where the user is, e.g weather applications, speedtest.net and other applications, excluding GPS specific ones.

Connect with Xbox:

Settings -> (applications tab) games -> Connect with Xbox (off)

People:

Settings -> (applications tab) people -> Use my location (off). See illustration below:


Backup:

Settings -> (system tab) backup
- app list+settings (backup off)
- text messages (backup off)
- photos (auto upload off)

Find my phone:

Settings -> (system tab) find my phone
- Send apps to my phone using push notifications... (unchecked)
- Save my phone's location periodically and before the battery runs out to make it easier to find (unchecked)


Music and Videos:


Settings -> (applications tab) music+videos
- Connect with Xbox Music (off)
- Xbox Music cloud collection (off)

Photos and Camera:

Settings -> (applications tab) photos+camera, Auto upload SkyDrive (off)

Search:


Settings -> (applications tab) search, Use my location (off),
- Send location information for Microsoft Tags (unchecked),
- Allow Microsoft to store and use images from vision searches (unchecked).

Browsing History:


Settings -> (applications tab) Internet Explorer [advanced settings]
- Send browsing history to Microsoft to help improve Bing services (unchecked)
- Send a Do Not Track request to websites you visit (checked)
- Cookies from websites and apps (block all)
- Allow sites to store files on my phone (unchecked)

These are just some of the ways that can be used to minimise the amount of personal data being transferred should a user require the use of the smart phone for minimalist purposes.

Other Apps that may harvest information unnecessarily

Viber:

 
Settings -> Options
- Use location services (off)
- Collect Data (off) 


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