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HolidayBuyer's Guide
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Keep your kids from shopping through Amazon Echo

Keep your kids from going on a shopping spree with Amazon Echo.

The Voice Purchasing function of Amazon's Alexa speakers is meant to be a convenience to users, allowing them order practically anything from Amazon without lifting a finger.

It's a rather helpful feature, even if it can sometimes feel a little more complicated than just whipping out a phone or laptop and ordering manually. But there are some instances where users have had items added to their cart when Alexa overhears a television, picks up on a conversation or takes orders from kids.

Luckily, Amazon does require to confirm your intended purchase with a "Yes," but you still might want to consider ramping up the security on your Alexa's purchasing power -- especially if you have kids.

How to secure Voice Purchasing with Alexa

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Taylor Martin/CNET

There are two ways you can secure your Alexa speaker from inadvertent Voice Purchases: disable the feature altogether or create a four-digit PIN.

Disable Voice Purchasing

By disabling Voice Purchasing, you can still shop with your Alexa speaker and add items to your cart. That said, you will not be able to complete the transaction from the speaker itself, and instead, will have to check out from the Amazon website or app.

To disable Voice Purchasing:

  • Go to alexa.amazon.com or open the Alexa app on your iOS or Android device.
  • Next, click Settings in the left menu.
  • Scroll down and select Voice Purchasing.
  • Click the toggle beside Purchase by voice to disable the feature.

Require a confirmation code

Creating a confirmation code allows you to keep Voice Purchasing enabled without letting just anyone to purchase something with your Amazon account.

Keep in mind, however, that you're required to speak your confirmation code aloud to complete your order. So if you happen to order something with another person in earshot, they could easily overhear the code and use it later.

To create a confirmation code:

  • Go to alexa.amazon.com or open the Alexa app on your iOS or Android device.
  • Next, click Settings in the left menu.
  • Scroll down and select Voice Purchasing.
  • If Voice Purchasing isn't already enabled, click the toggle beside Purchase by voice to enable it.
  • In the text field beside Require confirmation code, enter a four-digit PIN that you can easily remember.
  • Click Save.

It might be wise to use a code that isn't easily guessed and you might want to change it every so often. If you forget what you've set the code to, you can view it in the Voice Purchasing settings at any time.

Editor's note: The intro was edited to clarify that the Echo will not automatically order items added to the cart -- Amazon requires users to confirm their purchases.