Computers & Technology

By Darryl Budge

Take control over new Windows 10 features

Windows 10 danger

Wi-Fi Sense security and privacy explained

When you first join a Wi-Fi network on Windows 10, a check box appears asking you if you want to "Share access with your contacts" (that is, everyone on your or Hotmail, Facebook and Skype contacts).

If you tick yes, your Wi-Fi passkey is stored on an encrypted Microsoft server so that your friends can automatically join your Wi-Fi network when they are nearby. Your friends will never see the actual passkey, and they cannot share your Wi-Fi network with their friends (unless you give them your passkey). You can also exclude Wi-Fi Sense from any particular network inside Wi-Fi settings (only on a PC or device that has Wi-Fi).

If you have serious concerns about your network security, particularly in your business, I would recommend turning off Wi-Fi Sense sharing by adding _optout to your network's name (i.e. SSID in your Wi-Fi router settings). Microsoft states that joining the optout list may be delayed by several days.

Get more info here:

Three tips on controlling timing of Windows 10 auto updates

Select a restart time to finish installing an update: Tap the 'Start' button, choose the 'Settings' app, select 'Update & security', then tap on 'Windows Update', where you can schedule when Windows Update does its work.

Be notified every time your PC requires a reboot: Click on 'Advanced' towards the end of the 'Windows Update' screen. On the next screen, under the drop down menu 'Choose how updates are installed', select 'Notify to schedule restart'.

Restrict background updates (if you use a Wi-Fi or cellular connection): If you do not want Windows 10 downloading anything automatically in the background (including updates, live tiles and most apps) you can do that by setting your Wi-Fi or cellular connection as 'metered' (this setting is not available on wired ethernet).

Had a Windows 10 update or new driver go haywire?

First uninstall the bad update, then before you restart your PC download and run the "Show or hide updates troubleshooter package" from

For more information about Windows 10, see our review at

Tech website Ars Technica has written a comprehensive guide for beefing up your privacy and advertising settings in Windows 10. See

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