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After Amazon Echo misfires, ways to protect your privacy



NEW YORK (AP) – The revelations that an intelligent Amazon Echo spokesperson inadvertently forwards a family's private conversation to a friend highlight some unexpected risks of new voice-enabled technologies.

According to Amazon, the error was "unlikely" a series of unintentional vocal queues that triggered the speaker, caused him to start recording, and then led him to interpret subsequent conversation as a "send message" request , [Related: How to make sure your Amazon Echo doesn’t send secret recordings]

There's no way to eliminate these types of privacy risks before you completely disconnect. However, with these tips, you can minimize the likelihood of unpleasant surprises for privacy:

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1; KILL THE MIC : Most intelligent speakers have a physical button to disable the microphone, so no private conversation can be recorded start with. You can do this in sensitive conversations. The button on the echo turns red; Other devices have similar hints. It does not make sense to leave the microphone off all day long. If the echo can not hear you, it can no longer give you toilet paper or play soft jazz.

PLEASE TURN : Disabling the microphone is not possible on a smartphone, but you can restrict which apps have access to it. Enter the settings and disable microphone access to all major applications, such as: As voice recorder or video conferencing. Netflix does not require voice access. You can simply enter the name of the show you are looking for.

ABOUT THIS CAMERA : Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is known to place a piece of tape over his laptop's camera to prevent anyone spying on his device. Buy yourself a role. Or use bandages. If you have a home camera connected to the internet, turn the camera on the wall when you are home. Remember to turn it back before you leave, or you can beat the point of having a surveillance camera.

BLOCK THE SIGNALS : A "Faraday Bag" for smartphones and other devices you carry With you, blocking electromagnetic waves can help prevent unwanted spying. The good block cellular and other signals, which means that confidential information such as your location is not leaked. Remember, your phone will not receive calls while it's in your pocket – that's the whole point.

BEING INFORMED : Apple, Samsung and other tech companies have been working on it over the years. Their products work "out of the box" without the need for users to sift through long instructions and user guides. The disadvantage is that users often do not know what their devices can do, whether good or bad. Reviewing serious online reviews, tutorials, and even instructional videos lets you get the most from new technology. They will also tell you about known malfunctions and risks.

Of course, the safest approach is not to buy a new device. This may not be practical for smartphones these days, but do you really need a smart speaker or a TV connected to the internet? (As it turns out, it's actually difficult to buy a TV without "smart" capabilities these days, but there's no telling you need to plug it in at home.)

From toothbrushes, to slow cookers, to toys, when companies are It's out there. Companies often publish smart devices without worrying about risks and ensuring their safety. This makes them easy targets for malicious hackers. This is especially true for manufacturers that are not well known or have specialized in toys and other non-tech companies.


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