Safe Not Scammed

Is Recall Worth the Risk?

Published 12 days ago • 1 min read

Issue #16

Is Recall Worth the Risk?

Ahoy there, fellow Netizens! This week, let’s talk about Microsoft’s latest controversial feature: Recall.

Recall is currently available on Microsoft’s AI powered Copilot+ PCs. It allows you to retrace what you were doing on your computer up to three months ago. It does this by taking screenshots every five seconds and storing them locally on your machine, allowing you to explore them later in a timeline format or via search.

While Recall might be helpful if you come across something cool online but later can’t remember where you found it, it raises significant security and privacy concerns.

As Microsoft states, Recall “will not hide information such as passwords or financial account numbers.” So, if you log in to your bank account to pay your credit card bill, Recall will potentially save screenshots showing your banking credentials, account numbers, and transactions.

Given that Recall will be enabled by default, many people will probably be unaware their computer is saving this information, which is concerning.

However, Microsoft argues that Recall is safe because people can exclude specific websites and apps from the new feature, pause it or turn it off completely. But if people aren’t aware that it’s automatically enabled and saving sensitive information, they probably won't know they need to take such steps to protect their data.

Microsoft also argues Recall is private and secure because the screenshots are stored locally, rather than being sent to Microsoft. And while that’s good, security researcher Kevin Beaumont points out it’s not enough. The problem, according to Beaumont, is that infostealer malware will potentially be able to access Recall data.

So, if you accidentally download malware, perhaps by clicking on a deceptive ad, malicious actors could see everything you’ve done on your computer for the past three months. That means they could see your financial info, emails, medical details, and even any pornography you’ve watched. Not only would that open you up to account takeovers and identity theft, it could potentially put you at risk of blackmail as well!

So what do you think? Is the convenience of Recall worth the risk?

Until next time, stay safe out there!

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Safe Not Scammed

Rebecca Morris

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