December 17, 2015 Of Directors
Wi-Fi Sense is a new feature enabled by default in Microsoft Windows 10 version. At first glance, this feature looks pretty cool and also very convenient. What Wi-Fi Sense does is automatically log into any Wi-Fi hotspot your friends and acquaintances - basically your contacts - have accessed in the past, without the need to enter a password. Wi-Fi Sense also allows you to share information about your Wi-Fi connection with your contacts, allowing them to access your Wi-Fi if you want to save them the trouble of memorizing your password. Sounds great, right?
Passwords can be long, interspersed with a variety of numbers and signs, capitalized and underlined in a complicated pattern, as we are often encouraged to create such passwords for added security. So it can be quite problematic to write down passwords and enter them over and over again on your Wi-Fi network as well. Wi-Fi Sense is a great feature in this respect; eliminates the need to waste time and memory on passwords.
What's the catch?
In fact, Wi-Fi Sense isn't as benign as it seems. This technology requires you to log into your Facebook account, which isn't too bad, but instead of letting you choose which of your friends in the friends list you want to share your Wi-Fi information with, Wi-Fi Sense automatically shares. your information. with all your friends, even if that's not what you want. Also, what about the stored passwords and Wi-Fi credentials that Wi-Fi Sense has access to through this share?
Microsoft assures users that this information is transferred strictly in encrypted form, but it's not very secure considering how easy hacking has become these days, not to mention that it is, after all, information. private, which no user would feel (or should) share anywhere in the world. Arguably, anyone's privacy is in serious jeopardy, at least on the surface, but it's definitely a cybersecurity concern.
That said, let's move on to discussing how this potentially harmful technology, at least part of it, can be disabled in Windows 10. Although Microsoft hasn't found a suitable solution to completely disable Wi-Fi Sense, users can still reduce the range and power of Wi-Fi Sense to share information.
Here's how to disable Wi-Fi Sense password sharing:
- Go to the Start menu and select Settings.
- Click Network and Internet, then Wi-Fi.
- Click on Manage Wi-Fi settings.
- From this page the user is free to change various settings related to Wi-Fi Sense. For example, you can disable password sharing via Wi-Fi Sense on Facebook, Skype and Outlook. Microsoft already has your Outlook and Skype credentials, because obviously these sites are owned by Microsoft.
- You can choose to share or not share passwords with the Wi-Fi networks provided at the bottom of the page.
- We recommend that you disable all options related to Wi-Fi Sense if you really don't want Wi-Fi Sense to share your information. Also, don't forget to ask Windows 10 to forget the Wi-Fi networks you signed in to previously.
- If you don't want a Windows 10 user (PC or phone, whatever) to share Wi-Fi credentials using Wi-Fi Sense, you can change their SSID (Service Set Identifier, is the name assigned to your network) by adding _optout directly after your SSID.
- With the addition of this “_optout”, Wi-Fi Sense will literally no longer be able to detect your network to store your credentials. This prevents your contact from sharing your information with their friends, permanently eliminating a major cause for concern.