One of the cool things about using a package management system is you can look at a central repository to see if there are interesting and useful tools for making your life as a Systems Administrator easier. Even if your title isn’t a Sys Admin, you end up fixing your own machine anyways.
In the Chocolaty public repository, there is a package Blackbird which will secure your Windows machine for privacy and it does a lot. It removes not only the common privacy inhibiting updates, it also helps speed up your machine by turning off many services you don’t need.
What’s the big deal, I got nothing to hide?
Maybe you don’t and I’m not one to judge. The reality is, many big software companies indiscriminatly collect information through the Windows operating system. We don’t really know what they use this information they collected on us for. I like keeping my information private. Here is a perspective given by Alok Bhardwaj TEDx talk. His company also developed the Epic privacy browser.
Isn’t removing Windows telemetry updates enough?
One would think so. According to the Blackbird site it does the following:
- Removes Windows updates that enable tracking – 51 updates.
- Disables services that talk to Microsoft – 23+ services.
- Blocks IPs addresses used for Telemetry – 364 urls
That is a WHOLE lot of settings to tweek.
In command line type:
PS C:> choco install blackbird
Download from here.
Blackbird has a few command line options, here are a few useful ones:
-? Print all the options available.
-v Verbose mode. Displays additional info on all changes being made.
-s Silent mode. Skips any pauses
-scan Full system scan. Green is good/red is bad.
-std STD mode. Force removal of known spy tasks.
-l Fix network/LAN connectivity issues.
-i Fix Bluetooth pairing issues.
-bak Backup mode. Backup current system settings to an external file.
Blackbird needs to be run in Administrator mode.
Before making any changes on your Windows machine, make a backup:
PS C:\ blackbird -bak
I like seeing all the changes made and making sure networking works correctly. In Powershell in admin mode, type:
PS C:\ blackbird -v -l
I’d recommend checking for updates on blackbird periodically. Of course, with Chocolaty, this would be a snap.
PS C:\ choco update blackbird
If you cover both your local Windows machine with securing your browser activities with TOR Browser or any other privacy browser(i.e. epic) and aVPN service, you should have great privacy on your Windows machine.
Feel free to give comments and feedback.
Until then, have a good day.