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Do you use Windows with a local account or with your Microsoft account?

Why do you use it and what is the best option for privacy?

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I only use local accounts and the fact the Windows installer forces you to use a Microsoft account if you're connected to the internet during installation is really really dumb.

 

From a data privacy perspective if you're going to use Windows use a local account but Windows 10 has a whole ton of extra meta-data collecting tools built into the OS. It doesn't stop with just a Microsoft account they collect a whole bunch of data about how you use your computer.

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for privacy, a local account is best.. not that it makes *much* of a difference most likely...

 

and i use a local account, because i prefer my computer's password to not be bound to an online account's password.

(and those few legacy things that cant deal with an MS account)

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Microsoft Account, because Visual Studio required me to sign in.

For privacy, it probably wont make much of a difference.

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I used domain accounts on my own domain so kind of neither, but they're essentially local accounts. Everything in terms of data collection and privacy is disabled or set to the least amount possible through group policy.

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I use my Microsoft account because some of the games I play on my PC were purchased through the Windows store, so I have to be logged in to play them (i.e. Forza Horizon 4, which I purchased well before it was added to Steam).

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Local, only log in to individual apps like the MS store.

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On 3/31/2021 at 6:17 PM, WaggishOhio383 said:

I use my Microsoft account because some of the games I play on my PC were purchased through the Windows store, so I have to be logged in to play them (i.e. Forza Horizon 4, which I purchased well before it was added to Steam).

It doesn't need to be linked. You can add accounts to the Store in a local account... not that it actually brings much privacy

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I use a Microsoft account. I like the easy setup experience it brings and sync between my devices. Something I always wanted. My account, thought, is "private", what I mean is that I made an Microsoft account just for my PC account, not shared with anyone, never used to send emails. I get MS store purchases emails and that is about it.

 

I see it as an additional security layer of sorts. My full name isn't in my account, just first name for the login screen.

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Local account, got zero need to have a m$ account

Used -700% storage

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On 3/31/2021 at 11:30 PM, Blizzforte said:

Why do you use it and what is the best option for privacy?

obviously the best option for privacy is to use a local account... it's the one that sends out the absolute least information.

 

I use a local account whenever I can because frankly it's just more convenient to me but at work I have to use a microsoft account.

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26 minutes ago, Sauron said:

obviously the best option for privacy is to use a local account... it's the one that sends out the absolute least information.

 

I use a local account whenever I can because frankly it's just more convenient to me but at work I have to use a microsoft account.

This makes me want to change to local as well. Can I change and keep all my files, settings, and folders intact? 

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57 minutes ago, Blizzforte said:

This makes me want to change to local as well. Can I change and keep all my files, settings, and folders intact? 

You can change back and forth, at any time.

Local account doesn't send less information (beside login account checks, pulling Bing reward points, and, if enabled, anything related to sync between accounts).

As a MS linked account, automatically setups OneDrive, Email/Calendar, Store, of course, those will pull info from MS servers for these services to all work... of you have a local account, and sign up to each app, you'll get to the same point.

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I use a local account. I just sign in for the MS apps I use.

🤖

 

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1 hour ago, Intergalacticbits said:

I use a local account. I just sign in for the MS apps I use.

Mainly because when this first started with windows 10 I felt like they were turning my laptop into a smartphone.

Taking all my privacy and data.

Only they weren't giving me anything I wanted in exchange.

Like the kind of real control over the look, design choices and sound of my personal Windows 10 that I wanted.

So for me it is just a kind of protest thing about them not making any real changes I wanted to the OS.

 

People say that there are benefits to signing in with the MS account though.

I've heard people say that major hardware upgrades are easier and total system backup is better too.

I don't know how true that is or that much about it though.

Plus I still feel I should get something in the OS for giving them basically everything data wise.

I mean it's not like they give us a laptop for free. We pay for them.

I would just like to get a more personal OS experience for what seems to me like a giant privacy trade off.

🤖

 

Microsoft doesn't grab your data unless you put stuff on OneDrive. This, obviously, includes auto backup of personal data to OneDrive feature if that was setup (which is the feature you mentioned about backup. Great for those who don't want to handle a backup system, or have a NAS to setup File History or other backup solution)

 

Privacy is the same between local and linked account (if you ignore sync profile setting feature, and you don't enable clipboard sync feature). The difference is your data won't be linked to your name which it can grab from your MS account, if you put your full or real name. The other difference is that you are on logoff state for all MS built-in services. So Edge, would be logged off, and not logged in, which would associate your web activity to your profile, instead of machine (or license key). On the end for MS they don't care, it's the same. Marketing data sold, at least for Google, (which should be the same industry wide) they don't care about you specifically. They care what marketing research agency are interested is that is age groups and likings. Data that they buy and go through for their clients (companies). Companies deal with them to know if a product will sell or not, worth the R&D or not, how to market a product, what color and material the device should be, and make ads for which age group that will/should maximize sales.

 

Oh and Bing ads platform... but this, like marketing data collection mentioned above, only applies to Microsoft services (Edge, Outlook Web (aka Hotmail)), and so on, and not your PC activity or what you have on your PC. Telemetry data isn't the same. Hardware specs, tracking users behaviors when accessing something, is all used for internally for making a better OS (which is used to pushed Microsoft services which the company makes money on. Windows isn't the main revenue for Microsoft by a long shot. It's Azure, Office, XBox, Surface, custom solutions for companies and government, and such.

 

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@GoodBytes When a person does sign into windows with their MS account would all the preinstalled apps on that computer know everything there is to know about that device?

I know you kind of already spoke to this but just to clarify it for me.

Will those app makers know my name, all my data and how old my pc is?

My fear is they will see and after a few years will say his device is old so lets just start turning off parts of its functionality to make him buy a new one right away.

 

Whereas my thinking is, I want to buy when I want to not when software companies want me too.  I just don't want to lose control over my device. If you know what I mean.

 

 

Also when you go to  websites signed in like that on a pc will those websites see everything I mentioned?

 

You seem to know about this stuff so I just wanted to here what you say the truth is about these questions.

🙂

 

You see I don't have a Face book account for the same reason because I don't want to live like that ( in public).

 

 

 

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I use a local account on both my desktop and laptop.  Privacy reasons, and I like to keep my apps, icons, settings, etc. separate between the two.

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8 hours ago, Intergalacticbits said:

@GoodBytes When a person does sign into windows with their MS account would all the preinstalled apps on that computer know everything there is to know about that device?

I know you kind of already spoke to this but just to clarify it for me.

Will those app makers know my name, all my data and how old my pc is?

Each software on your system (any type, anything), can, if the developers choose to, collect any information from your system, including reading personal files with or without your consent, however, assuming the software is legit, would be mentioned in the app privacy policy. So yes, there is trust involved.

 

Developers using the Windows Store has the following information that they can get:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/publish/usage-report

 

Store apps/games are also subject to user-controlled privacy settings. Win32 apps (stuff you get outside of the store) have near full read access to anything on your system. 

Privacy controls are found under Settings > Privacy. Again, this affects only apps that was acquired from the Store and UWP apps. These settings are useless for Win32 apps acquired outside the Store.

 

Quote

My fear is they will see and after a few years will say his device is old so lets just start turning off parts of its functionality to make him buy a new one right away.

I have yet to see this. But if that occurs, just switch to the competitor software. 🙂

 

Quote

Whereas my thinking is, I want to buy when I want to not when software companies want me too. 

All software you purchase, and most that you get for free, including open source ones, you only get a license of the software (or source code in the case of open source). You don't own it. The owner can decide to do what it wants, including revoking your license. But as most of developers aren't interested in shooting itself in the foot and lose all its users, that doesn't typically happen.

 

Quote

I just don't want to lose control over my device. If you know what I mean.

Assuming we are talking about PCs (not Apple device, nor Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony game consoles, etc.), you always have full control of your device. Software can't do anything to restrict things, beyond temporary (malware or parental control type software... just format and re-install Windows (backup your stuff), or switch OS and your stuff will be fully accessible (to the max abilities of the OS that you are using, of course).

 

Quote

Also when you go to  websites signed in like that on a pc will those websites see everything I mentioned?

No. They will only have what you give them. There is an exception. if they integrate with Microsoft Sign in system, and you choose to pick that login method instead of their own, then they may get your name (well, the one associated with your email that you are using to login), depending on what they request from Microsoft, and if you allow it. This is why, if you try these types of thing, say from Spotify, where you use your Google account, for the first time, Google (or whatever you are using) will tell you if what the site is requesting, and if you want to allow it or not.

 

 

Quote

You see I don't have a Face book account for the same reason because I don't want to live like that ( in public).

As the saying goes: Anything that you put on the internet is there for life, and is public... and if I may add: or have high chances to become public in some point in time if it was set private in some site restriction system.

 

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53 minutes ago, PianoPlayer88Key said:

I use a local account on both my desktop and laptop.  Privacy reasons, and I like to keep my apps, icons, settings, etc. separate between the two.

Just to say, for personal knowlege:

To turn off sync of your account settings, the option is under Settings > Accounts > Sync your setting.

Turn it all off.

 

Now your settings will be separate between your devices

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49 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

Just to say, for personal knowlege:

To turn off sync of your account settings, the option is under Settings > Accounts > Sync your setting.

Turn it all off.

 

Now your settings will be separate between your devices

Ahh I wasn't aware of that ... although something I've wanted to be able to do, I'm not sure if that would work....

Basically, I'd want to be able to set it up so that when I upgrade to a newer PC, I can basically resume where I left off, without having to reinstall or get a new Windows license.
 

Tentatively planning to upgrade / build a new desktop around November 2022 or so, idk when. (depends on DDR5, part prices, performance, looking at 2nd-gen DDR5 TR/Epyc probably.)  Current desktop was built in January 2015, previous one was February 2008.  Hoping my next one lasts at least as long as my current and previous ones combined (at least with the same case+motherboard).
I'd like to be able to restore my desktop settings, installed apps, their settings, in Chrome: (open tabs, form history, bookmarks, saved sessions (in Session Buddy), etc), same things in FireFox, the 50 or so images I have open in GIMP right now (okay not quite, I think it doesn't properly support session saving unless idk how to set it up), among other things.
Basically, almost as if I hibernated from the old PC, then booted on the new PC.

I'd still want to keep my laptop and desktop sessions separate (and any other PC I might run at the same time).  (I wonder if there's a way to do that with one microsoft account ... I do have a few others but I don't want to "waste" them, for lack of a better way of putting it.)

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Desktop is a local account.

Laptop is a MS account.

 

My MS account has about the same amount of information on it as my Local account, so it's not like it matters anyway.

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3 hours ago, PianoPlayer88Key said:

Basically, I'd want to be able to set it up so that when I upgrade to a newer PC, I can basically resume where I left off, without having to reinstall or get a new Windows license.

Then you just move your old SSD into the new build and hope everything works fine, usually does.

There's no centralized way to get everything back for non-store apps. Firefox can sync things if you're logged in to it with a Firefox account, Chrome will do so when you're logged in to it with a Google account etc, but each non-store app either does it its own way or doesn't.

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Well I have a local account of course,  but I noticed you can download quite a few things from the store without it, but anything that's paid won't work, there doesn't seem to be a way to just check out with pay pal or something.  Also I haven't tried with games at all,  i suspect at least most of them will require an account though.  Not sure does MS actually have free games, I guess angry birds and minesweeper?  🤣

I'm actually one of those people who thinks that anonymity is overrated. Some people confuse privacy and anonymity and think they go hand in hand, and that protecting privacy means that you need to protect anonymity. I think that's wrong. Anonymity is important if you're a whistle-blower, but if you cannot prove your identity, your crazy rant on some social-media platform shouldn't be visible, and you shouldn't be able to share it or like it.

 

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Again you just log in to the store only, without adding it to Windows entirely. Option's a little hidden since it'll try to have you do the latter first.

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3 minutes ago, Kilrah said:

Again you just log in to the store only, without adding it to Windows entirely. Option's a little hidden since it'll try to have you do the latter first.

right,  but what i meant is, it doesn't require a log in at all,  that's how I got a bunch of codecs etc... it even stores download history  - although tbf it seems to have forgotten most of it (was like 10 items, I see only 2 currently)

 

9 hours ago, Kilrah said:

There's no centralized way to get everything back for non-store apps. Firefox can sync things if you're logged in to it with a Firefox account, Chrome will do so when you're logged in to it with a Google account etc, but each non-store app either does it its own way or doesn't.

That's why I always clone,  most stuff will just keep working, funny enough only app I know which will require you to login again is Steam,  but Chrome for example just works in my experience .

 

 

I'm actually one of those people who thinks that anonymity is overrated. Some people confuse privacy and anonymity and think they go hand in hand, and that protecting privacy means that you need to protect anonymity. I think that's wrong. Anonymity is important if you're a whistle-blower, but if you cannot prove your identity, your crazy rant on some social-media platform shouldn't be visible, and you shouldn't be able to share it or like it.

 

Linus Torvalds 

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