As Amazon’s voice-activated assistant, Alexa, always listens for her next command, so does this mean your private conversations are safe? Furthermore, what does Amazon do with the information it overhears?
Here’s everything you need to know about safety and privacy concerns while using Amazon Alexa.
Is Amazon Alexa Safe In 2024?
Amazon users have found that Alexa is safe to use despite privacy concerns as of 2024. Alexa records consumer responses to improve skills and the consumer experience. Some information is shared for targeted advertising with third parties. However, consumers can opt-out of sharing by changing Alexa’s settings or unplugging the device when it is not being used.
To learn more about how Amazon Alexa uses your information and what procedures are in place to keep your info safe, keep reading!
What Are Privacy Concerns With Amazon Alexa?
One of the main privacy concerns with Amazon Alexa is that Amazon employees have access to recordings of what people say to the assistant.
Although, Amazon has said that it only analyzes a “fraction of a percent” of recordings. Still, those fractions can add up when you consider millions of Alexa-enabled devices worldwide.
Also, another concern is that Amazon can use your recordings for targeted advertising or sell to third-party companies.
Still, although the company has previously denied doing this, a recent report found that Amazon has been selling recordings of people’s responses with approximately 41 advertising partners.
Therefore, because this information is indiscriminately shared, it’s possible that some could be accidentally leaked.
Can Amazon Alexa Be Hacked?
Yes, Amazon Alexa can be hacked. However, Amazon has made it more difficult for hackers to access your device and information.
That said, one way you can protect your device is by creating a strong password.
Further, Amazon recommends using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Still, you should change your password regularly.
On top of that, another way to protect your device is by keeping it up to date.
For example, Amazon releases updates for Alexa regularly, and these updates often include security enhancements.
To update your device, open the Amazon Alexa app and go to “Settings,” then “Device Options,” and select “Check for Updates.”
By taking these steps, Alexa users can help protect their device from hackers and safeguard their privacy.
Is Amazon Alexa Always Listening To Users?
Amazon Alexa is always listening for its wake word, which by default is “Alexa.”
Once it hears the wake word, it starts recording everything you say until it hears the stop word, which is “Stop,” “Cancel,” or “Go to sleep.”
Additionally, click here for more phrases that Alexa recognizes!
What Information Does Amazon Alexa Record?
Once Amazon Alexa hears the wake word, the information heard is stored on Amazon’s servers and is used to improve the Alexa experience.
First, Amazon employees may listen to some of these recordings to transcribe them or train the assistant to understand human speech better.
In addition, Amazon keeps a record of your interactions with the assistant, including the commands and results.
Finally, Amazon Alexa may record information about your location, such as your home address or the addresses of places you’ve asked for directions to.
With that, this information provides more relevant results when you ask for specific things like weather reports or restaurant recommendations.
Where Does Amazon Alexa My Send Information?
When you talk to Alexa, she records what you say and sends it to Amazon’s servers. There, Amazon staff transcribe and analyze the recording to improve the assistant’s skills.
How Can Users Prevent Amazon Alexa From Recording Them?
If you’re concerned about Amazon Alexa recording your conversations, you can do a few things to prevent it. First, you can delete your recordings.
Remember, Amazon keeps a record of everything you’ve said to Alexa, but you can delete these recordings by following these steps:
- Go into the Amazon Alexa app
- Tap the “Menu” icon
- Click on “Settings”
- Click on “Alexa Privacy”
- Click on “Review Voice History”
- Delete individual recordings or all of them at once
Secondly, users can disable Amazon’s ability to use voice recordings to improve the Alexa experience. To do this, follow these steps:
- Open the Amazon Alexa app
- Go to “Settings”
- Click on “Privacy”
- Toggle off the “Use Voice Recordings to Improve Amazon Services”
Finally, you can prevent Amazon Alexa from recording you by physically unplugging the device when you’re not using it.
Of course, this means that you won’t be able to use Alexa either, so it’s not a practical solution for most people.
How Can You Protect Your Child’s Privacy From Alexa?
If you’re concerned about your child’s privacy, you can do a few things to protect them.
First, you can create a child profile in the Amazon Alexa app, and this will allow you to set limits on what Alexa can do and what information she can access.
Likewise, you can follow the steps listed above to stop voice recordings or turn off your device when it is not in use.
What Are The Alternatives To Using Amazon Alexa?
There are a few alternatives to Amazon Alexa that you may want to consider if you’re concerned about privacy.
For example, one option is Google Assistant, available on Android and iPhone devices as well as Google Home devices.
That said, Google keeps a record of your interactions with the assistant, but you can delete these recordings at any time.
Still, another option is Apple’s Siri, available on iPhone and iPad. Like Amazon Alexa, Siri records everything you say after the wake word.
However, Apple says that it doesn’t use these recordings to improve Siri or develop new features. Finally, Microsoft’s Cortana is available on Windows 10 devices.
Moreover, although Cortana records everything you say after the wake word, Microsoft only uses this information to improve the assistant and doesn’t share it with third-party companies.
Amazon Alexa is a helpful assistant, but it’s essential to know how your data is being used. By taking the steps above, you can ensure that your privacy is protected.