“Better to deactivate”: Experts advise against 5 Amazon Alexa functions

Deepak Gupta January 7, 2022
Updated 2022/01/07 at 3:51 PM

Has with the echo speaker Amazon’s Alexa Has found its way into numerous households. It is particularly practical to have tasks carried out simply using an Alexa voice command. However, as experts know, the functions that the devices come with as standard are not recommendable in every case. It can make perfect sense to turn this off.

Amazon’s Alexa: Pay attention to these functions

Not everything that Amazon’s Echo can do is helpful. On the contrary, some Alexa functions can leave you feeling uncomfortable or simply hinder the performance of the device. If you deactivate or change the following settings of Amazon’s Alexa, many problems can be solved. The experts from Home & Smart also advise.

# 1: Turn off the Alexa listening feature

Your Amazon Echo can be set so that voice recordings can be used for research purposes. For this purpose, these are sent anonymously to Amazon employees who listen to them. Criticism has already risen, because at least insiders say that such voice recordings should be able to determine entire addresses of users.

To change this practice, you can tap “More” in your Alexa app, go to Alexa settings and open “Alexa privacy”. There you simply switch off the Alexa function. This is also possible via your Amazon account under “My content and devices”.

# 2: Limit Alexa Skills Access

The Alexa skills you use can also be problematic in terms of privacy. As with apps on your mobile phone, these Alexa functions also access various data, which can range from your address to your payment information on Amazon Prime. So it can’t hurt to adjust these Alexa settings, also via the “Alexa data protection” menu. There you will find the item “Manage Skill Permissions”.

# 3: Turn off too much asking

If Alexa talks too much to you, you can put an end to it by switching on short mode. The Alexa function only allows the digital assistant to respond with tone signals or short answers instead of parroting your questions. This Alexa setting can be an advantage, especially for simple actions, such as switching paired devices on or off.

  • Alexa app> Settings> Alexa voice responses> Short mode

# 4 Don’t allow Alexa to ask follow-up questions anymore

If you use your echo speaker regularly, you may have noticed one thing. Following one question, Alexa asks another. Sometimes this Alexa function is helpful, but often enough it is also annoying. Switching off can therefore be useful at least for peace of mind.

  • Alexa app> Devices> Settings (gear wheel top right)> Attention mode
  • # 5 Turn off the camera function

    Anyone who owns an Echo Show is also in the focus of a camera. If it is not in use, the experts at Home & Smart recommend that you at least cover it. Switching off is of course even more effective. The potential danger of being watched by a hacked camera is greater than you might think. You can also easily deactivate it mechanically on the device. So you don’t have to make any additional software settings.

    Conclusion: Not every Alexa function is necessary

    If you want to use your Amazon Echo more securely and / or more conveniently, it can’t hurt to adjust some Alexa functions or deactivate them right away. If you have made the appropriate Alexa settings, you can look forward to significantly more privacy and better operation. By the way: Your Amazon Echo has a function that not even the Alexa app has.

    Sources: Home & Smart, own research

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