Security researchers have recently found Amazon's Echo devices, the company has been challenged by consumers who over the microphones that always listen for your command. Alexa users grew even more alarmed after discovering that Amazon to be .through your Echo speaker. And this isn't the first privacy case -- since we were first introduced to
During September's Amazon event, SVP Privacy is absolutely foundational to everything we do in and around Alexa.", saying "We care about this.
To that end, the giant tech company added new commands to help users Echo Show's ($230 at Amazon) camera (that's the Amazon Echo ($60 at Amazon) with the screen) to keep people from worrying about being watched.and made it easier to . There are also some new security features to the
If Amazon's new privacy measures aren't enough for you, look to these answers as a way to keep your data protected.
Can the Alexa skills listen in on me?
Recently, security researchers discovered malicious skills that use the unicode character sequence -- which isn't pronounceable. This leaves your speaker listening and waiting for you to say the magic word, allowing the app to listen in on you. The researchers have noted that the apps have been removed, but you should still be cautious about which apps you download.
Go through your skills settings in the Alexa app and disable any that you haven't used in a while. Read the reviews on apps you're unsure of to make sure nothing troublesome has been detected.
Readfor more information.
How to manage and delete audio recordings on your Amazon Echo
You can view the audio transcripts of your Alexa commands and. Or, you can ask Alexa to delete your recordings, but you'll need to enable the setting first. Then you can say "Alexa, delete what I just said" or "Alexa, delete everything I said today."
You can also manage your Alexa data in the app and choose to automatically delete recordings after three or 18 months. Go to your Alexa Privacy settings and turn on Automatically delete recordings.
Do Amazon employees know what I'm saying at all times?
The Amazon Echo only starts recording when you say a command to Alexa. Once you say the wake word, like Alexa or Echo, it starts recording the audio and stores it in the Alexa app on your phone. The transcripts and voice recordings are then uploaded to Amazon's servers for processing. If you don't want your Echo listening for the wake word at all times, turn the mic off by pressing the microphone's mute button on top of the device.
Amazon says once they have the transcripts, they manually review and annotate a small fraction of one percent of Alexa requests to help improve its voice assistant. However, you can opt-out of this feature and.
Go to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data > toggle off the setting that says Use Voice Recordings to Improve Amazon Services.
How can I be sure my Echo Show's camera isn't recording me?
If you've got one of the earlier Echo Show devices, like the first and second generation, they don't come equipped with the privacy shutters -- but you can disable the camera by pressing the off button. You'll know it's off when the red light comes on.
The lens won't be covered, but you can always place a sticker or thick tape over the lens if it bothers you.
Does Amazon Echo Show use face recognition?
add image and video analysis to your applications., the Amazon Echo Show doesn't use facial recognition to know that you're you -- though it's worth noting that Amazon does have an optional face-detecting service called , which you can use to
Amazon also owns Ring, a doorbell security camera company, whichin the past. That company has also taken heat lately due to its .
Can other users on my Echo account see what I'm asking Alexa?
Everything you ask Alexa is saved in the Alexa app as transcripts and voice memos. So if you share the app with others, they'll be able to see every command you've given Alexa. If you're worried about someone seeing what you've said -- for example, if you told Alexa to buy a gift -- then delete the transcripts immediately (see the first section above).
I have Alexa connected to personal services. Is it secure?
If you use Alexa to security system ($45 at Walmart), you're probably wondering what's stopping someone from accessing that information. Fortunately, most banking services require you to create a PIN code for extra security, so only you have access to your bank account info.or have it connected to your home
As for security systems, find one that allows you to use a personal code so that only you or other household members can turn off the alarms. If your security system doesn't have a PIN feature, keep your Echo away from doors and windows to prevent outsiders from having access -- or better yet,.
Want to know more about your Amazon Echo? Check out theseand these .
Originally published earlier this month. Updated to add new information about malicious apps.