1.    05 Sep 2017 #1
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts : 49
    Windows 10 Home x64

    Need some help to understand Windows Defender telemetry.


    This topic it may have been discussed somewhere in tenforums, if so please redirect me.

    I decided to use Windows Defender (WD) and SmartScreen (SS) as AV. I would like to tweak its settings to avoid telemetry as far as it does not reduce the effectiveness of its protections.
    Do I need to send cloud telemetry?
    I understand that Disabling SS will lower the protection but I read that SS send a lot of things and it is of a privacy concern for many.
    Does SS have access to the browsing history and surfing habit of the user? Does it send details of apps, files, TV series and the like the user watch or download?
    With the upcoming W10 fall upgrade WD will be greatly enhanced with a number of new features. I suspect more telemetry too.

    I'll much appreciate any thought, suggestion and insight how to find a balance between security and privacy.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    06 Sep 2017 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Trnava
    Posts : 2,855
    Windows 10.4 Home 1709 x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Pulcinella View Post
    Does SS have access to the browsing history and surfing habit of the user? Does it send details of apps, files, TV series and the like the user watch or download?
    Only MS can tell you that and they will not, but this says something:

    Privacy: URLs that are collected may unintentionally contain personal information (depending on the design of the website that is visited). Like the other information that is sent to Microsoft, this information is not used to identify, contact, or target advertising to users. In addition, Microsoft filters address strings to remove personal information where possible.
    Manage Privacy: SmartScreen Filter and Resulting Internet Communication


    Quote Originally Posted by Pulcinella View Post
    Do I need to send cloud telemetry?
    No. I disable all cloud features, I prefer AVs with heuristics. The tradeoff is, that the computer is mostly unprotected against new threats, but that is usually fixed within 24-48 hours by signatures updates.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pulcinella View Post
    I would like to tweak its settings to avoid telemetry as far as it does not reduce the effectiveness of its protections.
    As for cloud protection, you can customize those settings.

    Code:
    Block at First Sight / 0 - Enable / 1 - Disable
    reg add "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\SpyNet" /v "DisableBlockAtFirstSeen" /t REG_DWORD /d "0" /f
    
    Cloud-based Protection / 0 - Disable / 1 - Basic / 2 - Advanced
    reg add "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\SpyNet" /v "SpynetReporting" /t REG_DWORD /d "1" /f
    
    Send file samples when further analysis is required / 0 - Always prompt / 1 - Send safe samples automatically / 2 - Never send / 3 - Send all samples automatically
    reg add "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\SpyNet" /v "SubmitSamplesConsent" /t REG_DWORD /d "1" /f
    Configuring SpyNet reporting

    Enable Block at First Sight to detect malware in seconds | Microsoft Docs

    Enable cloud-delivered protection in Windows Defender Antivirus | Microsoft Docs
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    06 Sep 2017 #3
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts : 49
    Windows 10 Home x64
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by TairikuOkami View Post
    Only MS can tell you that and they will not, but this says something:
    Thanks for the information. Really appreciate your time and effort.

    In regard the below statement:


    Privacy: URLs that are collected may unintentionally contain personal information (depending on the design of the website that is visited). Like the other information that is sent to Microsoft, this information is not used to identify, contact, or target advertising to users. In addition, Microsoft filters address strings to remove personal information where possible.

    Does SS collect the same even if I don't use Edge or IE?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    06 Sep 2017 #4
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts : 49
    Windows 10 Home x64
    Thread Starter

    @TairikuOkami

    Would you recommend disabling this settings?Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    06 Sep 2017 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Trnava
    Posts : 2,855
    Windows 10.4 Home 1709 x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Pulcinella View Post
    Would you recommend disabling this settings?
    I would not say recommend, but if you are concerned about privacy, then you should keep it disabled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pulcinella View Post
    Does SS collect the same even if I don't use Edge or IE?
    No, but if it detects an unknown file, it might upload it online for the analysis.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    06 Sep 2017 #6
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts : 49
    Windows 10 Home x64
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by TairikuOkami View Post
    No, but if it detects an unknown file, it might upload it online for the analysis.
    So in a way SS monitor other browsers activity too. Or you mean that once a file is downloaded SS may access the computer folders and upload a newly downloaded file. Or that SS or WD have access to files and folders to monitor for old or new files?

    BTW I use O&O ShutUp to disable Spynet and others unwanted Telemetry.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    06 Sep 2017 #7
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Trnava
    Posts : 2,855
    Windows 10.4 Home 1709 x64

    SS is like a realtime AV, it monitors all files, which are being accessed, they do not have to be from the internet.

    Windows Defender SmartScreen Filter Frequently Asked Questions
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    06 Sep 2017 #8
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts : 49
    Windows 10 Home x64
    Thread Starter

    Edit to post #6

    @TairukiOkami
    I can see the answers on the link you sent me.

    Manage Privacy: SmartScreen Filter and Resulting Internet Communication

    Thanks again, I guess does not make much sense using WD without SS. If I stick with it I have to accept some compromise.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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