Four features you may want to disable on an Amazon Echo device
We all love our Amazon Echo devices. They do a lot for us, from helping search for information, to playing our favorite Alexa games, and even controlling our appliances. But many of these new devices that use voice assistants are always listening and tracking your information.
The Amazon Echo is just one digital device we use on a daily basis. Because it is a smart speaker, we can easily forget about making security and privacy a priority.
Disabling these four features below will help ensure your privacy and security are protected while using your Amazon Echo device.
Amazon Echo Security settings
Drop In is a feature on the echo device that allows you to connect with family and friends who also use Alexa. Once this setting is turned on, family and friends can just drop in at any time without your permission. Consider scheduling times with family and turning off Drop In when not in use.
From the Alexa app, tap Devices, select which device you want, then tap Communications. From here, you can turn off Drop In or limit it to specific devices.
Over the past two years, Amazon very slowly has been ramping up the use of Hunches, those follow-up questions Alexa asks you after you interact. Sometimes these suggestions are helpful, for instance offering to lock your door at night or suggesting a new way to use timers. However, they can also be disruptive like when you're in the middle of a phone call and don't want to tell your voice assistant to stop talking.
To switch off Hunches, tap More in the app, then Alexa Echo security settings, then Hunches. A simple toggle controls the feature.
Use of your voice recordings
By default, Amazon keeps recordings of all the interactions you have with your Alexa device. Amazon states that it is for their research purposes, but if you don’t want your echo conversations to be recorded, you can turn this feature off by tapping “More” in the Alexa app, navigating to Settings, and selecting Alexa Privacy.
A separate page will open, where you can tap on Manage Your Alexa Data. Scroll down and switch off Use of Voice Recordings. A pop-up will ask you to confirm the action.
While you're turning off this feature, you might also consider setting your voice recordings to automatically delete after three months, an option you can find on the same page as Use of Voice Recordings.
While not yet available in all areas, Amazon Sidewalk allows you to expand the bandwidth of your network to help devices, such as your Ring Security Cams, Outdoor lights and motion sensors, work better at home and beyond the front door. While this may sound like a cool feature, your neighbors could potentially use your bandwidth.
This feature is also enabled by default. To disable Amazon Sidewalk, navigate to More, settings, Account settings and Amazon Sidewalk in your Alexa app. Tap to disable it.
Whether you have just purchased your Amazon Echo device, are interested in Amazon Echo security settings for your device or how it works, Outlook Enrichment’s adaptive technology trainers can help. Learn how to make the most of this smart speaker and protect your privacy. Contact us to get started.