Protect against data mining on Windows, in Chrome, and on Android

Is it true that Microsoft's latest push gives of Windows 10 for free, is simply a trick to get customers to agree to let them mine personal data?

If so, is there any way to protect myself from having my information sold by companies who's software I download?

I download free apps on my Android phone too and it always worries me when that list pops up that request access to things I don't think are necessary.

Surely there is a way to prevent this and still be able to use software that I have a need for.  Please let me know if I can protect my personal usage data somehow on both my Windows PCs and my Android phones.

Assistance is greatly appreciated.
frugalmuleAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows 10 for free, is simply a trick to get customers to agree to let them mine personal data?

NO.

There is Wi-Fi Sense in there and I turned ALL that stuff OFF. No more or less secure that Windows 8 or Windows 7 really in terms of personal data.

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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
Mine is Windows 8 still currently.  What all should I turn off in my Windows OS?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
There is nothing in particular to turn off in Windows 8. Just do not use insecure hotspots. I use my own USB Internet stick.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
If you are worried about data-mining don't use any internet products, i.e. Google, Amazon, Ebay, Paypal, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, the list is endless. Don't use any Apple devices or Android Devices.

Microsoft wants everyone on 1 version of the operating system. Supporting 4 major versions of an operating system gets expensive.. Most users don't upgrade their o/s anyways so it's not much of a revenue loss, They upgrade the O/S only on purchase of a new PC.

When you setup Windows 10 don't use the express settings and you will be prompted for what you wish to share and what you don't. Later on you can go into the settings / privacy settings and enable disable what you want. With the one platform approach many of the options are more suited to a Phone or Tablet.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
All one needs to is pay attention to the settings. As. I noted earlier, turn off sharing access on your Wi-Fi.
frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the comments.

John,  
You said you use a USB stick for internet access.  Can you point to what you are referring to?

At home I use Time Warner cable for internet.
If I have my phone with me, sometimes I turn it into a hotspot.
If I am doing a small conference and others need access, I use an ATT device that gives me 10 users on my existing data plan. I pay an extra $20 per month for the privilege of owning the device.

I like the USB stick idea.  What are referring to?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I use a Nokia CS-18 USB key with a plan from my ISP
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
The share wifi settings is a 2 step process.. (1) enable it and (2) select who to share it with.. both can be turned off at any time.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
In Windows 8.1 you should look at Wi-Fi security by wireless profile as suggested above.

In Windows 10, if you turn off Windows sharing at installation, it works forward on all new profiles. I did this.  If you do not turn sharing off at installation, then you need to secure by wireless profile. I do not have to this (I did check) because I turned off sharing at installation.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@frugalmule - Thanks and I was happy to help.
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