Tag Archives: windows

Spybot Anti-Beacon – Turn Off Windows Tracking

Tracking / telemetry features in software is rather controversial.  Often split between two groups.

Group A will want the features that go along with the tracking, for example: having Google Now tell you when a package is scheduled to arrive just because you got an email about it.

Image from EFF

Image from EFF

Group B will be on the side of privacy for the sake of privacy.  They fear that all of these features are putting in place an infrastructure to be taken advantage of by bad actors, such as the implementers of the features themselves or even someone like the NSA.

I typically find myself in one camp for certain issues, and the other for well… others.

In Windows 10, I don’t use any of these features, such as Cortana.  So I’m perfectly happy to disable any kind of information sharing my computer and Microsoft are making use of.

Spybot Anti-Beacon

If you are like me and want to disable as much of the windows 10 tracking as you can, I recommend you check out Spybot Anti-Beacon.  It’s a tool that helps you disable the tracking features.

It also works for Windows versions going back to 7.

Description from their site:

Spybot Anti-Beacon is a standalone tool which was designed to block and stop the various tracking (telemetry) issues present in Windows 10. It has since been modified to block similar tracking functionality in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 operating systems.

Check it out, it’s neat.

Windows: Change Yourself From Admin to a Standard User

A practice that can help maintain security on your Windows machine is to not run as an Admin all the time.  It’s far more secure to run as a Standard User and when you need Admin privileges, you enter the credentials of a different user that is an Admin.

But what if you’ve already been running as an Admin for a while and have your account set up just how you like?

This was my thought process whenever I heard the advice of running as a Standard User instead of an Admin.

Next time I set up a machine for myself, I’ll set my main account as a Standard User…

But it turns out that was entirely misplaced hesitation because switching down to a standard user couldn’t be easier.

Simply create yourself an extra Admin account with a good password, and then in the Users section of the Control Panel, change the level of your own account down to Standard.  Done!

Get More Information from Windows Task Manager

Every once in a while I’ll find I need to force close a Java application.  So I open up the task manager in Windows, only to find…

java processesThe names are all the same, and the descriptions don’t help very much, either.  I can sometimes know based on the memory footprint, but that’s too much of a guess for me.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve murdered something innocent when I force close an application that was working just fine.

So the problem here is a lack of information, which we can rectify by going to “View | Select Columns…” and adding the column “Command Line”, which will display “The full command line specified to create the process.” – Quote Source

This will often give you enough added information to determine which application is represented by which process.

java processes - with command line