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Amazon Echo Safety

by Paula Novodvorschi | Mar 05, 2020

Your Amazon Echo® can take care of almost anything for you. The smart assistant can help you shop, read emails, report traffic, recite recipes for dinner, play music, control your smart home appliances, and more!

Amazon EchoWith more than 50,000 voice commands available, there’s little you can’t do with your Amazon Echo. You can use the smart assistant to manage your home automation and even arm or disarm your smart home security system, like your GVTC connectHome® service.

However, you should always make sure to secure your Echo.

Luckily, your Amazon Echo offers security and privacy settings that you can use to keep it safe. In this article, we’ll first cover privacy issues and then visit security as a whole. Let’s get to it.

Amazon Echo Privacy Tips

You want to take these simple steps to stop cyber criminals or spies from taking advantage of your network-connected device.

1. Use a Stronger WiFi Password

Your Amazon Echo relies on a WiFi network to access the internet. Make sure you have set a strong password for that WiFi connection.

Password ProtectionIf you haven’t changed your default WiFi password, then you want to start from there. Ensure your password is very hard, if not impossible, for hackers to guess or decrypt.

According to privacy and information experts from Carnegie Melon University, you should set passwords that meet these standards:

  • Use lengthy passwords with at least eight digits — preferably longer
  • Don’t use single dictionary words; instead, string six or more words together
  • Mix the password with upper and lower case letters
  • Blend in numbers
  • Use symbols (like & $ @ * _ ! = ; {} and more) to substitute between or in words

2. Use a Secure Internet Connection Only

Don’t use public or shared WiFi networks for your Amazon Echo. Doing this exposes you to security threats.

At Home on Couch

Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to secure and encrypt your internet connection. Encrypted internet access secures the data that your smart assistant shares with Amazon’s cloud storage. Since most VPN services support routers, you shouldn’t have any issues connecting your WiFi device.

Amazon Echo Security Tips

These tips cover security vulnerabilities or potential cyberattack channels you want to patch or keep protected.

1. Disable Voice Purchase or Use a PIN for Protection

If you don’t mind making your purchase without relying on a smart assistant, then you may consider disabling your voice purchase.

Or, you can set up a PIN to prevent unauthorized persons from making purchases with your Amazon Echo. Use these steps to set up your voice PIN:

  1. Open your Alexa app
  2. Go to “Settings”
  3. Choose “Voice Purchase”

Easy peasy, no?

2. Delete All or Specific Echo Voice Recordings

To improve its performance and accuracy, Amazon Echo records and stores all your communications with Alexa. To make sure no one accesses these recordings, you can review and delete them occasionally.

Here’s how you can delete specific recordings or all your voice recordings:

  1. Open “Settings” in your Alexa app
  2. Click “History”
  3. Locate the recording you want to delete
  4. Tap “Delete”

Alternatively, you can delete all your interactions with Alexa. Here’s how to do it,

  1. Open your Amazon device account
  2. Click “Your Devices”
  3. Under “Actions” choose the appropriate buttons for your Echo or other Alexa-enabled devices
  4. Choose “Manage Voice Recordings”
  5. Click “Delete”

3. Disable Address Book Sharing with Family and Friends

You have the option to share your smartphone’s address book with your family and friends. Although this feature gives you the extra convenience of sending messages and emails using Alexa voice commands, you may want to disable it occasionally for extra security.

The security risk is that eavesdroppers could listen to your message, or Alexa could accidentally send messages you didn’t authorize intentionally. You could even take it a step further by calling the Amazon customer service team to delete all the data related to sharing your phone book.

House Cameras4. Switch Off Your Amazon Echo’s Camera

If you have the Echo Show, you can now make video calls with your device. Keep your camera turned off whenever it’s not in use.

At the top of your device, press the “Off” button to switch off the camera and mic. You should now see a red LED light to signify that you’ve disabled both features.

5. Use the Sound Notification

By default, your Amazon Echo comes with its sound notification feature turned off. You’ll want to turn it on to know when you accidentally wake the smart assistant.

  1. Go to your Alexa mobile app
  2. In the menu section choose “Settings”
  3. Choose your Echo from the “Alexa Devices”
  4. Select “Sounds & Notifications”
  5. Toggle the switch to “On”

Put Your Amazon Echo to Work Safely

connectHome Devices

Your Amazon Echo should safely boost your productivity. Why lose hours searching for your lost remote control? People lose 4.5 hours every week, searching for a lost TV remote. Multiply that time by 52 weeks, and you’d spend nearly ten full days, every year searching for your remote control.

You don’t have to waste any more time with that.

The GVTC Elevate integration with Alexa helps you use your TV without a remote control. You can talk to your TV instead of getting frantic about a lost remote control. Talking productivity, you can also use Alexa voice commands to engage your home automation systems, like your GVTC connectHome®.

Use these safety tips to keep your Amazon Echo safe, and start talking to your TV instead of losing time searching between the couch cushions. Shop GVTC offerings in your area to get started today.

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