It is the age of the internet. The internet has effectively intervened in almost all the aspects of our life and has undoubtedly made things easier and better. Every day researchers and developers create new products that make use of the internet to make life easier. This new genre of tech is called the IoT (Internet of Things).
Today, you can control your home AC or thermostat while you are on the way using an app on your smartphone so that when you get home, the temperature would be perfect. With a simple band on your wrist, you can check all of your vital signals and the associated app will set for you a fitness regime so that you can get fit methodically. The latest and hot-selling line of products in this genre is the voice-controlled speakers. Today we will be looking into one such device, The Amazon Echo.
What is An Amazon Echo?
The Echo is a voice-controlled smart speaker with capabilities to control your smart home, made and sold by the American retail giant, Amazon. It was first released as a smart speaker in 2015 and got an amazing update in the new version that released in 2017. It costs just $99.99 and brings with it an amazing amount of functionalities. It has Dolby powered speakers which even has a woofer for an enhanced sound experience because a speaker is basically all about the sound it produces right?
Apart from playing music, it can make calls, control your lights, change the room temperature, operate garage doors, tell you the news, advice you on the weather, help you with cooking, control your TV, play games, control the Raspberry Pi GPIO; the list is very long.
If you have been using the internet long enough you will undoubtedly ask a question at this point, how secure are these devices? Apparently, the Amazon Echo has direct access into your life, and anyone taking control of it gets access to your conversations, your lifestyle and your habits. They are also connected to other services and devices such as your home door and email accounts. This is why keeping the Amazon Echo secure is of utmost importance. In this article, we will tell you several different methods to secure the Amazon Echo.
Ways To Secure The Amazon Echo
Here are some recommended methods to keep your Amazon Echo secure from attackers:
Make it deaf
The Amazon Echo has an array unit of seven microphones on top of it listening intently for the wake word and commands. This can prove quite problematic sometimes. Anyone can say the wake word within a right radius, and there have been reports of the device making purchases from commands that it heard from TV ads. You also don’t want an electronic device listening to your top secret conversations. Completely security is not a thing, yet.
This is why it is always advisable to press the mute button on top of the Amazon Echo and make it secure. Mute it when not needed and make it a habit of muting it when you are going out of your home. It is also advisable to keep the Amazon Echo away from doors and windows so that sounds from outside do not order a Ferrari using your money.
Keep your Wifi network secured
The Amazon Echo operates using your wifi network and therefore keeping the network is necessary to keep the Echo secured. Keep a strong password and make sure to change it now and then.
Change the wake word
A wake word is a preset word that the Echo responds to. If you feel your Echo is compromised one thing you can do is change the wake word as soon as possible. However, the choice of wake words is limited as of now. You can change it to either “Amazon,” “Echo,” or “Computer.” The default is “Alexa.”
You can change this setting inside the Alexa App under the Device tab in Settings.
Use PIN protection
Voice-enabled purchases are something the Echo is capable of doing. You can make purchases off of Amazon only using your voice. But this can be easily misused by anyone with access to your Amazon Echo. To prevent that, set up a PIN number in the “Voice Purchase” tab inside the Alexa app and make sure you change this PIN frequently.
Turn ON Notification Sounds
If you turn this setting ON, it will give you a notification when it gets woken or when it has executed a command. This will let you know if the device has woken up or did something accidentally. This feature can be a lifesaver
Update it frequently
Keep your Echo device, Alexa app, and all connected products up to date. Updates often fix vulnerabilities and make the Amazon Echo more secure.
This post was all about securing the Amazon Echo. The Echo has access to a lot of information regarding you and has direct access to your life. Therefore it is very important to keep the device safe and secure. Hope this article helped you achieve that.
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