Windows 10 adds a new "feature" that can reduce your wireless network’s security.
Those of us who have installed Windows 10 and have wireless networks should be aware of a tweak Microsoft has baked into its newly-released OS.
The new feature called Wi-Fi Sense, which is enabled by default, will share your Wi-Fi network password with your Outlook and Skype contacts. It will also bug you to give it permission to share your Wi-Fi info with your Facebook friends, too.
The feature, which was first introduced in Windows Phone 8.1, adds a Share network with my contacts checkbox that is checked by default. So at least it’s easily disabled, providing you know what that little checkbox does. Wi-Fi Sense works only with "Home" style WPA security; systems using 802.1x authentication aren’t affected. And, of course, any system participating in the sharing must be running Windows 10.
Wi-Fi network join with Wi-Fi Sense
(Image credit: How-To Geek)
Opinions seem to be mixed about the security risk that Wi-Fi Sense presents. Brian Krebs points out how Microsoft’s opt-out and share-with-all-your-contacts approach contrasts with Apple’s opt-in iCloud Keychain that syncs WiFi access information, email passwords and other stored credentials only among devices registered to the same iCloud account. The Register is more in the "not good" camp, pointing out the potential for Wi-Fi Sense sharing the keys to your Wi-Fi kingdom with your contacts’ contacts.
Either way, you now know what Windows 10 is up to when it comes to your Wi-Fi network. For the details on how to configure Wi-Fi Sense, hit this How-To Geek article.