Amazon Echo: How to protect your privacy at work from home – CNET


Does Alexa always listen?

Chris Monroe / CNET

With states blocking and companies asking employees to work from home because of the novel corona virusThere were concerns on the Internet that Alexa is tapping confidential conversations. This can be alarming, especially if the The speaker can be activated without your knowledge. For example, if it waits for the wake-up word and hears a similar-sounding term, your echo may hear your command.

This is not the first time that Echo users have privacy concerns. Alexa users were alerted last year after discovering Amazon saves your audio recordings his checked by Amazon employees.

Last September, the giant technology company added new commands to help users knows exactly what information Alexa is collecting and made it easier to do Delete voice recordings. There are also some new security features for the Echo Show ($ 200 at Best Buy) Camera (this is the Amazon Echo ($ 60 at Amazon) with the screen) to keep people from worrying about being watched.

If you work from home and are concerned about the confidential information of your work, read these answers to protect your data.

Disconnect or mute your Echo speaker from the computer

If you’re worried that Alexa is tapping confidential work calls, whether it’s a customer’s account information or your company’s security information, just pull the power plug out of the wall socket while you work. However, if you use your Echo for reminders, timers, or daily routines, you can leave your speaker connected and turn the microphone off, or place it in another room outside of your location.

Can the Alexa skills listen to me?

Last year, security researchers discovered malicious abilities that take advantage of the Unicode’s string of echoes – which is unspeakable. This will make your speaker listen and wait for you to say the wake-up word so the app can listen to you. The researchers found that these malicious apps were removed. However, you should be careful about which apps you download.

Go through your skill settings in the Alexa app and disable any settings that you haven’t used in a while. Read reviews of apps that you’re not sure about to make sure no issues are found.

Read Alexa and Google Assistant fall victim to listening to apps for more informations.

alexa-delete commands

You need to enable voice deletion in the Alexa app before you can use the privacy feature.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

How to manage and delete audio recordings on your Amazon Echo

You can view the audio transcripts of your Alexa commands and delete them in the Alexa app. You can also ask Alexa to delete your recordings, but you 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 set it to automatically delete recordings after three or 18 months. Go to your Alexa privacy settings and enable them Delete recordings automatically.

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Do Amazon employees know what I’m saying at all times?

The Amazon Echo doesn’t start recording until you give Alexa a command. Once you say the wake-up wordAs with Alexa or Echo, audio recording begins and saves 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 always waiting for the wake-up word, turn the microphone off by pressing the microphone’s mute button on the top of the device.

Amazon says once they have the transcripts, they manually review and comment on a small fraction of one percent of Alexa requests to improve the voice assistant. However, you can deactivate this function and Prevent Amazon employees from listening to your recordings.

Go to the settings > Alexa data protection > Manage your Alexa data > Deactivate the setting that says Use voice recordings to improve Amazon services.


Press the microphone button to turn the microphone off.

Ian Knighton / CNET

How can I be sure that my Echo Show camera is not recording me?

If you have one of the earlier Echo Show devices like the first and second generation, they are not equipped with a privacy screen. However, you can deactivate the camera by pressing the off button. You will know that when the red light comes on, it is off. The lens is not covered, but you can always stick a sticker or a thick piece of tape over the lens if it bothers you.

The Echo Show 5 ($ 90 at Best Buy) or the new Echo Show 8 ($ 130 at Amazon) Integrated privacy shields that cover the lens when not in use.


The Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 have integrated privacy screens.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Does Amazon Echo Show use facial recognition?

In contrast to Google Nest Hub maxThe Amazon Echo Show doesn’t use facial recognition to know that you are you. However, it is worth noting that Amazon has an optional facial recognition service called recognitionAllows you to add image and video analysis to your applications.

Amazon also owns Ring, a doorbell security camera company that considered adding facial recognition to his video doorbells in the past. The company has recently been due to its controversial partnerships with some police departments.

Can other users see what I’m asking Alexa in my Echo account?

Everything you ask Alexa is saved in the Alexa app as transcripts and voice memos. If you share the app with others, they can see every command you gave Alexa. If you’re worried that someone will see what you said – for example, if you asked Alexa to buy a gift – delete the transcripts immediately (see the first section above).


If you share your Echo account with others, they can see everything you say to Alexa.

Chris Monroe / CNET

I have connected Alexa to personal services. Is it safe?

If you use Alexa to Access your bank account information or have it connected to your home security system ($ 40 at Walmart)You are probably wondering what is stopping someone from accessing this information. Fortunately, most banking services require you to create a PIN code for added security so that only you have access to your bank account information.

Look for security systems that allow 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 function, keep your echo away from doors and windows to prevent outsiders from gaining access – or even better. get another security system.

Would you like to learn more about your Amazon Echo? Check out these 10 weirdest things you can do with Amazon Echo and this 5 unexpected uses for your Amazon Echo.