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Privacy in Windows Phone 8.1

Privacy in Windows Phone 8.1

Mobile devices can contain a lot of personal information. Some, you may be happy to share. Some, you would rather not. That’s why Microsoft builds Windows Phone 8.1 with privacy in mind, because your privacy is our priority.

Protect your privacy when you use location services

Before your phone can use location services—for a mapping app, say—you must also allow the specific application, feature, or website to access your phone’s location.

Location services can enable a richer experience for many phone apps. For example, maps can display your current location if you're not sure where you are in relation to an address. Or Bing can show nearby businesses in your search results.

Note This topic is about Windows Phone 8.1. If your phone is running Windows Phone 8, some options and icons may look a little different, and some features may not be available. Check to see which software version you have, and find out whether an update is available.

To turn location services on or off

  1. In the App list tap Settings Settings > Location.

  2. Turn Location services Location Settings on or off.


To turn the Location icon on

You can see when an app is accessing your phone's location information by looking for the Location icon Location Settings. To make sure this icon is turned on:

  1. In the App list tap Settings Settings > Location.

  2. Select the Show icon check box.

Note Choosing not to display the Location icon doesn't turn off location services. It simply hides the icon to reduce clutter on your phone's status bar.

Privacy Settings in Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone

Note This topic is about Windows Phone 8.1. If your phone is running Windows Phone 8, some options and icons may look a little different, and some features may not be available. Check to see which software version you have and find out whether an update is available.

On your Windows Phone, you can delete your Internet Explorer search history and use the SmartScreen Filter to help protect against unsafe websites. You can also set Internet Explorer to send a Do Not Track request to websites you visit to signal that you don't want that website to track your browsing.

To delete your Internet Explorer browsing history

  1. In Internet Explorer, tap More More Settings , and then tap Settings. (You can also access Internet Explorer's settings through Settings More Settings > Applications in the App list.)

    Application Settings

  2. Tap delete history to erase browser history, cookies, saved passwords, and temporary Internet files from your phone and any of your devices that currently sync Internet Explorer settings.

To change advanced Internet Explorer settings
  1. In Internet Explorer, tap More More Settings , tap Settings, and then tap advanced settings. (You can also access Internet Explorer settings through Settings Settings on the App list.)


    More Advanced Settings
  2. Manage any of the following settings:

    • Turn on Allow access to my locationMore Advanced Settingsto be notified when a site requests your location.
      Note For more information about the Microsoft location awareness policy and Windows Phone, see Location and my privacy FAQ.
    • Tap Use SmartScreen Filter if you want to be warned about websites that have been reported to Microsoft as unsafe or suspicious.
    • Tap Send a Do Not Track request to signal websites you visit that you don't want them to track your browsing. (Even though you’ve expressed this preference, websites may continue to engage in activities you might view as tracking. This depends on websites’ specific practices.)
    • Under Cookies from websites and apps, tap Accept all, Block some, or Block all to set which cookies Internet Explorer accepts.
    • Block some blocks two kinds of third-party cookies: those that do not have a privacy policy and those that save information that can be used to contact you without your explicit consent. It also restricts first-party cookies that save information that can be used to contact you without your implicit consent.
    • Under Website passwords, select Remember, Don't remember, or Ask each time to define how Internet Explorer will handle passwords you enter into websites. (This feature isn't available on all Windows Phones.)

Cortana's settings

One advantage of a digital personal assistant is that she won't take it personally if you want to adjust her settings and how she works. You can get to Cortana's settings in two ways:

  • Press the Search Search button to go to Cortana, and then tap Cortana's NotebookCortana's Notebook > Settings.
  • In the App list, tap Settings Settings, swipe over to Applications, and then tap Cortana.

Here's what you can do in Cortana's settings.

Flip the master switch

You can turn Cortana off or back on again any time you'd like. Turning her off won't delete anything from the cloud or from Cortana's Notebook, so if you turn Cortana back on, you'll still have access to anything you did before.

To turn Cortana off, open Cortana's NotebookTurn Cortana off > Settings, turn Cortana off Cortana's Notebook , and then restart your phone.

How to clear your data

After you turn Cortana off and restart your phone, you can manage your data both on the phone and in the cloud from Cortana's settings:

  • To clear the items in Cortana's Notebook on your phone, in Cortana's settings, tap Delete phone data.
  • To view the Settings page on the Bing.com dashboard, in Cortana's settings, tap Manage cloud data. From here, you can clear your saved places, interests, and other Cortana data.

For more detailed info about how to manage your data, see Cortana and my privacy FAQ.

Look for flights

If you'd like, Cortana can detect if you get an email about a flight or a package and automatically add that information to your interests. For flights, she can send you alerts to let you know whether the flight is delayed, and when you go to Cortana you'll see the flight's progress and other information.

If you'd prefer that Cortana not detect flights automatically, clear the Detect tracking info, such as flights, in email messages on your phone check box.

Change your name

Cortana will call you whatever you'd like, as long as she can pronounce it. If you didn't tell Cortana what to call you while you were setting things up, you can open Cortana's Notebook Cortana's Notebook > Settings and select Have Cortana call me by name. Then tap Set my name to tell her what to call you. You can preview how she'll pronounce it and correct her if she doesn't get it right the first time.

If you'd just like to use a new name (Snoop Lion?), or adjust how she pronounces your name, open Cortana's Notebook, Settings and then tap Change my name.

Sign in or out of Facebook

You can use Cortana to sign in to Facebook to let Cortana and Bing.com give you more personalized, tailored suggestions by allowing Microsoft to access certain Facebook information.

For more detailed info about how Cortana and Bing work with Facebook, see Cortana and my privacy FAQ.

Cortana and my privacy FAQ

For more detailed info about how to manage your privacy while using Cortana, see Cortana and my privacy FAQ.

Note Cortana is available only on phones with Windows Phone 8.1, and in some countries/regions. Check to see which software version you have and find out if an update is available.


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