How to stop Alexa spying on you – settings to change NOW to stop strangers listening in
WORRIED that Alexa is listening in to your private chats? You're not wrong – complete strangers can end up listening to you without your knowledge.
The good news is that it's possible to shut out snoopers, so read on to find out how.
Is Alexa spying on me? The truth revealed
As far as we know, Amazon isn't using your Alexa to eavesdrop on everything you do.
But there is a big exception: Amazon will sometimes send your voice clips off to "graders".
They will listen to clips to make sure Alexa is working as intended – improving the system all round.
However, Alexa will sometimes record you without your knowledge, because she thought you said her name.
This can result in her saving audio from your home – and you'll have no idea she's doing it.
The Sun recently revealed how Amazon-funded "graders" have heard family rows, conversations about money and audio from steamy romps.
Stop Alexa sending your voice clips to strangers
The good news is that you can stop Alexa from sending your voice clips to strangers.
First, open the Amazon Alexa app and then nagivate to Settings.
Then go to Alexa Privacy and then Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa.
You'll find a page that explains: "Training Alexa with recordings from a diverse range of customers helps ensure Alexa works well for everyone.
"With this setting on, your voice recordings may be used to develop new features and manually reviewed to help improve our services.
"Only an extremely small fraction of voice recordings are manually reviewed."
Amazon warns you that turning the setting off will mean "new features may not work well for you".
But if you'd rather stay safe from snoopers, simply flick the switch off.
What is Alexa?
If you've never heard of Alexa, here's what you need to know…
- Alexa is an "intelligent" personal assistant built by Amazon.
- You can find her on several different devices, including Amazon's Echo speakers.
- Alexa responds to voice commands, and can talk back to you.
- She can perform thousands of different tasks, including telling you about the news or weather.
- But she can do more complex things too, like ordering a pizza or arranging an Uber taxi pick-up.
- To activate Alexa, you need to say "Alexa" to an Amazon Echo speaker.
- Alexa currently only works in English and German languages.
- Because she's powered by artificial intelligence, Alexa is constantly getting smarter.
- Alexa will also get more used to your voice, and better understand what you want her to do over time.
Stop Alexa listening completely
You can also make Alexa stop listening to you completely when you don't want her to.
If you're doing something you'd rather keep private, you can press the physical microphone button on your Amazon Echo device.
This electronically disconnects the microphone inside the Echo, making it impossible for Amazon to hear what's going on in your room.
It's easier than physically unplugging the device, because there's no "reboot" time when you want to activate the microphone again.
It might be worth only activating the microphone at times when you actually want to use Alexa – like when you're cooking.
In other news, we reveal the best Alexa tips and tricks.
A terrified mum says her Amazon Echo speaker urged her to kill herself.
And Amazon recently launched an Alexa ring and a smart oven.
Do you trust Amazon to protect your privacy? Let us know in the comments!
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