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Protect Your Amazon Echo: Don't Place Your Device in These High-Risk Areas

Alexa, what are the four worst places I can put my Echo?

Katie Teague Writer II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
Expertise Personal Finance: Social Security and taxes
Katie Teague
3 min read
Amazon Echo 2020 sitting on a kitchen counter

Keep your Echo devices away from water and windows. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

If you received an Amazon Alexa smart speaker or smart display during the holidays this year, you might be looking for a good spot to place it in your home. While your Alexa speaker could technically go anywhere in your house where there's an outlet, that doesn't always mean that it should. There are some areas in your home where your Alexa smart speakers and smart displays just shouldn't be placed, due to both privacy risks and the potential to damage your Echo.

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You might know that putting your Alexa device near water isn't safe, but did you know that intruders could access your smart home device from outside if it's placed too close to a window? 

Keep reading to find out where you should avoid placing your Echo devices, and the best spots for them to go instead. (For more Amazon Echo tips, check out which Alexa settings you should change ASAP and five useful Echo features.)

Watch this: 'Hey Disney' Comes to Amazon Echo Devices

1. Keep Alexa away from your toilet

Placing an Echo near your toilet is, quite simply, gross. Think of all the germs that linger around that area -- even in super-clean bathrooms. However, if you must have an Echo device in your bathroom (and, OK, we can see the appeal), try placing it as far away from the toilet as possible. 

If you can, mount it on a wall with a sticky strip or a nail. Just make sure it's secure so it doesn't fall, and remember to place it near an outlet so you can plug it in. Also, keep it away from the bathtub (duh!). You wouldn't want to fry your Echo. 

A bathtub and shower in a bathroom with tile floor

Don't even think about putting your Echo near the bathtub.

Chris Monroe/CNET

2. Avoid putting Alexa near a sink

If you're trying to drown out the sounds of Alexa's voice, then, by all means, place your expensive Echo by a sink. However, if you want to keep it intact, never place it anywhere near water.

You don't want to risk your kitchen water sprayer going haywire and soaking your Echo device, or a tall device getting tipped into the sink. Instead, place it on a different counter, like a kitchen island, or tuck it into a corner where it's farther from splattering spaghetti sauce and water spray. It'll stay cleaner and might sound better, too.

3. Don't put Alexa by your windows

Keep your Echo away from all the windows in your house. The location could potentially give anyone from the outside access to your Echo, and that could give access to your other smart home devices. For example, if your car is connected to your smart speaker, someone may be able to unlock and start it.

An Echo Dot on a table near a window

If your Echo is near a window, move it.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

4. Alexa shouldn't go under your TV

How many commercials are out there that say, "Alexa, play…" and activate your Echo? Or if the TV says anything that sounds a lot like "Alexa," take a guess at what's going to activate. 

Not only does this interrupt the show you're watching, but it also starts recording what's said after the command. So if you're having a private conversation and Alexa kicks in, you're risking your privacy. Placing it on a side table makes more sense and is more likely to keep the voice assistant quiet until you make a command.

All of Amazon's Alexa smart speakers

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So, where should you place your Amazon Echo?

  • In the corner of your living room (away from windows)
  • A place where it's easily visible to you, so you can see when the light ring lights up
  • On your bedside table
  • On the edge of your kitchen counter -- far, far away from your sink
  • On a mantle or shelf
  • Mounted on a wall that's not facing a window

You can also read our story on the four best uses for your Amazon Echo device in each room of your home to help you decide where to place your Echo. 

Ready for more tips on what to do with your Amazon Echo? Check out these surprising things you didn't know your Amazon Echo could do and six things you haven't tried with your Amazon Echo yet.