If you own an Amazon Echo device, you also have all the perks of Alexa, which is one of the most popular smart voice assistants in the market, it can help you order online, check the weather and even control your home’s lights and temperature.
However, for it to do all of that it needs to record your voice, that way it can react to the commands that you give, but even if it’s useful and very modern, some people wonder if their Echo devices listen to everything around them including private conversations.
Well, let’s set your mind at ease by explaining how this device works as well as what does Alexa does.
Does Amazon Echo Listen to Your Conversations?
Amazon’s Alexa will always be listening but it won’t do anything until you use the wake word, which can be “Alexa” or “Echo” until you say that specific keyword, your device will be on standby.
However Alexa will record anything in the room once it’s activated by the wake word, and sometimes it may be activated by accident.
Still, in theory, every recording made by the device is not sent to anyone, it works very similarly to how google saves your search queries.
If you are worried about the device recording something it shouldn’t then there are ways to protect your personal information and conversations while still using the device
How to Stay Secure When Using Amazon Echo
There are a few stories around the internet exposing some vulnerability issues with Alexa, but just like any other device, we are open to breaches, hacks, and other types of data vulnerability due to an internet connection.
So what do we do? we look for ways to stay secure. Here are a few tips on how to stay secure while using an Amazon Echo device:
Don’t Save Your Recordings
There is a voice history that you can choose to save or not to save, this includes everything Alexa has recorded from online retailer orders to general commands.
If you want to see and listen to any of these voice recordings saved by your Echo device and even see how Alexa responded just go to settings and then go to Review Voice History.
If you don’t want your recordings saved, you can turn off the setting whenever you want.
Delete Your Voice History
Deleting your history is a good idea to avoid having your recordings listened to by the wrong person, thankfully you have full control over your history.
You can review your voice recordings hear, and delete them individually, all at once, or automatically by going to Settings, then Alexa Privacy and finally select Review Voice History
Secure your Wi-Fi network.
The best way to secure Alexa and your Echo device is to start by securing your Wi-Fi network, this includes a good antivirus and good protection through passwords and attention to privacy.
Use an Antivirus
This seems like an obvious one but you need to remember that if your home router gets compromised, all of your smart devices will be in danger too, so remember to have an active antivirus to stay protected against unknown threats on the internet.
How to Stop Alexa From Listening After a Command
This is a very easy process, and it will make you feel safer if you are still worried about having some private conversations listened or recorded.
Follow these steps to stop Alexa from listening by turnoning off Echo’s microphone:
- First, you have to find the microphone button on your device, which looks like a microphone (or a circle) with a strike through it.
- Then you’ll press the button
- A sound will play and the indicator light will turn red, this means that it’s off and Alexa is not listening at all to any commands.
- If you want to use Alexa again, you have to press the microphone button until it’s not red, say the wake word and then press it again.
This will guarantee that the device won’t register any sound, so if you feel safer that way then go for it.
Can Alexa Record Conversations in a Room?
Yes, Alexa can record conversation in a room but only if it’s activated with the wake word. Alexa won’t randomly record conversations as if it were some sort of eavesdropping device from Amazon, so just make sure you don’t activate it by accident.
When you get an Amazon Echo device, you’ll have access to Alexa, and it will be able to record every sound in the room after you use the wake word, if you don’t, your device won’t be recording, it will be “listening” in stand by until you activate it.
However since it can be activated by accident, you should always take precautions even if it’s not that common.