If you use Amazon Echo devices whilst working from home and you don’t want Alexa listening in on important business calls, here’s some settings you can change now.
Amazon Echo and other smart speakers can be activated without you knowing. Either by hearing a similar-sounding term or from a dodgy skill added to Alexa. Although Amazon say these kind of apps have since been removed.
Many users have been concerned about privacy for a while after discovering that Amazon stores audio recordings which can be listened to by Amazon employees.
Amazon have taken steps to improve privacy, and it’s now much easier to delete voice recordings. However if you’re concerned about Alexa listening in on confidential information here are our top tips to keep you protected.
Mute your Echo speaker (or just unplug it!)
The simplest and most secure method is to just unplug the speaker from the mains.
Of course if you rely on Alexa for any reminders that is not going to be helpful, so you may just want to press the button on your devices to turn off the microphone instead.
Just remember to turn it back on when you need it.
Delete audio recordings on your Amazon Echo
You have been able to login and do this for a while from your Amazon account on the web. However you can now do this simply by talking to Alexa (NOTE: you do have to enable this setting first). You can say things like:
“Alexa, delete what I just said”
or “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”
Our favourite tip: You can also choose to automatically delete recordings after 3 or 18 months. Go to your Alexa Privacy settings and turn on Automatically delete recordings.
Opt-Out of Amazon employees reviewing your recordings
Amazon say that audio transcripts and recordings are uploaded to their servers for processing. Amazon say that they manually review a small percentage of Alexa requests to help improve the service.
You can simply opt-out of this and prevent Amazon employees from being able to listen to your recordings:
Go to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data > switch off the setting that says ‘Use Voice Recordings to Improve Amazon Services‘.
What about the camera on my Echo Show?
If you’ve got a 1st or 2nd generation Echo Show, those don’t with built in privacy shutters. Instead you can diable them by pressing the off button, or just use a piece of tape (high-tech!) to cover the camera lens.
If you have a Show 5 or 8, those have built-in privacy shutters you can close when not using the camera.
Can other Echo users on the same account see what I’m asking Alexa?
Everything you ask Alexa is stored and uploaded to Amazon’s servers.
If you share the same account on the app with others, they will be able to see the history of every you’ve asked Alexa.
If you’re worried about others seeing something you’ve said, then just use the voice delete commands in the tips we gave earlier in this article.
Are you concerned about security or privacy concerns whilst working from home? Please contact us.