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5 ways to protect your Google Home device



Although Google does not (yet) have the most popular digital assistant on the market, its smart speakers – Google Home, Google Home Max, and Google Home Mini – are rapidly gaining market share and impressing users with a growing set of skills and abilities.

  Google Home and Google Home Mini. "title =" Google Home and Google Home Mini. "/> <span class= Google Home and Google Home Mini. If you're new to Google You may not know how these devices collect and store your information and how they relate to your existing Google accounts.

Because you must use your Google credentials to set up and use Google Home and many Google Assistant features. A A significant portion of your personal information is the responsibility of a single company, which may be preferable if your data is in tens or thousands Distributing hundreds of third-party apps, but centralizing presents some challenges.

"If you trust Google to take good care of y. Our data, in general, in one place compared to all others, are good," said Jeff Wilbur, director The nonprofit Online Trust Alliance. "If everything is somehow centralized, there is a risk that someone who has access to your Googl e-account receives, has a wealth of content – your voice queries, payment history and search history. "

MORE: 5 ways to back up your Alexa device

As with any intelligent technology out there There are some general best practices when it comes to securing your network and devices. For example, you should change your default passwords, use a Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol on your router, update your device's firmware regularly (which may not happen automatically, as with your smartphone apps), and disconnect it Network and the firewall for your smart home products, if your router allows it.

Once you have a strong and secure home network, follow these steps to further protect your Google Assistant-enabled devices Devices and Personal Accounts

Experts suggest that the biggest problem with Google Home is not the product itself is, but what devices (smart home gadgets) and accounts (banking) you use, how many Google services you use and how vulnerable Google's servers could become an attack.

"Data sent to Google by Google Home is encrypted, so Google Home does not really pose any new security risks," said Craig Young, a computer security researcher with the Triplewire Vulnerability Research and Exposures team. "The risks stem from the possibility that Google's data centers might be compromised and the fact that Google Home users are encouraged to link their account to other services."

One way could be to create a new Google Account for use with your Google Home device and separate this new account from the credentials you use for Gmail and other Google products. If you can, you should not link bank, credit card and other payment accounts to your device.

When connecting your other smart devices or personal accounts (such as Netflix) to your Google Home, you should know which commands are enabled or disabled, device and account features, and whether additional safeguards are available to protect individual devices. For example, Google Assistant can lock the Smart Bar of Strikes but not unlock them by voice command.

Enable Voice Match

Use Google Home's Voice Match feature to get to know your voice, personalize your device responses, and block strangers. Accessing sensitive information When you and your family members activate Voice Match, Google Assistant will provide personalized music playlists , Commute times, routines, news briefings and payment experiences. The device will only provide personal results if it identifies your specific voice.

To set up Voice Match, open your Google Home app, click on your device and tap on "Multiple users is now available", "Link your account". or "Receive personal results with Voice Match" (depending on whether you are the main user). You'll need to say "Hey Google" and "Ok Google" several times to train your device to recognize your voice, and everyone has to follow the same steps from their own Google Account.

MORE: How to Set Up Multiple Users on Google Home

If you do not enable Voice Match and your personal result feature is enabled, anyone can request and receive your personal answers, the Wilbur Online Trust Alliance said, will make your device vulnerable. You can completely disable personal results in your app by going to Menu> More Settings> Devices.

Even if you use Voice Match, your friends or children can continue to interact with your device. You will not be able to get only certain sensitive information. Google Home only supports six unique Voice Match users. It's also not perfect because similar sounding voices can trigger your device.

Manage and delete your old recordings

Google stores your conversation history with your Google Assistant on their servers until you delete the recordings. Although simple functions like setting a timer and polling the weather report can not endanger your personal information, questions about your commute, your bank balance, and your health concerns can hold risks – and hackers, as well as people with your Google Account credentials. You can find and use this information.

Hear and delete your voice recordings in the My Activities section of your Google Account. This is available both in the Google Home app and on the web at myactivity.google.com. (It also shows your search and browsing history.)

MORE: How to delete Google Home footage

In your app, open the Hamburger menu in the upper-left corner, click My Activity and manage individual records or sort by date to delete multiple files at the same time. If you are using a web browser, click "Filter by Date & Product" under the search bar and turn on the "Language & Audio" option. From here you can delete individual records, daily files or the entire history.

Deleting old records can impact Google Home's performance because the service uses this history to improve responses. But at least go regularly through your inquiries and remove records that no stranger should hear.

Use Two-Factor Authentication for Your Google Account (Accounts)

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) creates another level of security between malicious actors and your personal information. Your Google Home is connected to your Google Account, which includes Google Drive, photos, Gmail, music, search history, and more. So if a hacker cracks your Google password, not only does he have access to your device, and your voice recordings also have a lot of what you do on the Internet.

Although it's a bit of a process you need to set up, 2FA protects your data by making it almost impossible for a cybercriminals or even a prank loving friend who has your password to access your smartphone to log in Sign in to Google Account, listen to your recordings, or gain control of your Google home.

Muting your device when you're not using it

Google Home did not use any other gadgets, caused by spurious commands – ahem, Alexa – but that does not mean that your device can not or does not accidentally record sensitive conversations , Phrases that you think are not related to "Ok Google" and "Hey Google" can still wake up your device. Mute the microphone if you do not want to record your voice.

Right now, Google Assistant recognizes only "Ok Google" and "Hey Google," but consumers might soon be adjusting their devices' Wake words, which could reduce the number of false positives.

Google Home has a microphone mute on the back of the device, while Google Home Mini and Google Home Max have an on / off switch that turns orange when the microphone is turned off. Keep in mind that after the speaker mutes, no voice commands will respond until you re-enable the microphone.

Another way to make sure your device is not listening is to turn it off completely. To do this on a Google Home device, simply disconnect the power cord – there is no power switch. Experts recommend that you either mute or unmute the device if you do not need it or know that you will have a private conversation.

"Do not murder anyone, and if you do something that's considered intimate, disconnect it," said Steve Shillingford, a security expert and founder of Anonyome Labs.

Before you set up your digital assistant and connect it to personal accounts or other hackable devices, you should research potential security holes and decide if anything is known. Risks are worth taking.

"Be as aware as you can be," Wilbur said. "Everyone has a different tolerance for what is acceptable and unacceptable, are you looking around to say, is this device known to have a problem ?, and you'll quickly find out if any concerns have surfaced."

Credit: Tom's Guide


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