A Home-made Kill Switch And Other Ways To Keep Your Lives Private With Alexa Always Listening
There's a way to keep Alexa in check.
A guy named Shawn Hymel who works as an engineer at SparkFun Electronics has successfully hacked an Amazon Echo and added a kill switch that will turn off the smart speaker when told to do so.
According to Consumer World, the home-made kill switch can be triggered by a custom voice command such as "Alexa, trigger Echo shutdown". The command will instantly turn the power off preventing Alexa from listening further or saying things that should not be spoken in front of a toddler.
Once the coast is clear and damage has been prevented, the user can turn the Echo back on by using another voice command this time addressed to the kill switch. This can also be done by pressing a button.
The kill switch has not been made available for purchase but Hymel posted the instructions here. Simply follow his instructions and be prepared to dole out around $100 for the project.
Aside from the home-brewed kill switch, there are other ways to stay secure and protect one's privacy from the likes of Alexa.
San Diego Tribune has listed a few methods.
The Echo has a mute button that can be physically clicked to put Alexa in mute mode. This cancels Alexa's "always listening" ability.
Those with Amazon accounts are better off deleting old recordings. It is under "Manage my device" on the dashboard of the Amazon web page. This will make dealings with Alexa less personalized but will make owners' lives a bit more private.
Owners can set up an "end of request" tone which can be heard when the smart speaker has ceased listening for queries.
Google Home along with its AI Google Assistant works the same way as Echo and Alexa though which one is better is up for debate. Google Home gathers data and analyzes them to personalize "transactions" with the owner. Speaking of transactions, anything that a user does with his or her Google account is recorded. Users should take the time to check the details that Google has of them and to avoid having financial transactions and linking other important accounts to Google.
Owners can also put it in the mute mode using a physical button. They should also be always wary of the LED lights on the Home. It changes colors when listening.
Alexa Went On A Dollhouse Shopping Spree After Hearing “Command” From News Anchor On TV
News anchor inadvertently tells Alexa to order dollhouses for Echo owners watching the news program.
Amazon's Alexa Is All Over CES 2017 From Ford Cars To Whirlpool Washers To GE Lamps
Amazon's Alexa has so far dominated the CES 2017 as a number of products including a car, refrigerator, washing machine, smartphones, lamps, and a smoke detector will have Alexa-capability.
After Alexa's Porn-Filled Tirade, Are We Ready For Mattel's $300 Amazon Echo Clone For Children?
Mattel, the popular toymaker, will soon release its own smart speaker called Aristotle which will have two AI's, one of which will be Amazon's Alexa, the same Alexa that went on a porn-filled tirade in front of a boy recently.
A Leak Has Reinforced That Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster Is Coming
A leaked Mass Effect artbook listing on Amazon seems to point to the reality of there being a Mass Effect Trilogy coming soon.
Never Forget to Feed Your Pet: Best Automatic Pet Feeders in 2020
Do you struggle with remembering to feed your pet? Then you should get an automatic pet feeder so your furry friend never misses a meal!
MORE IN ITECHPOST
Shoot It Right From the Start - Unfold Digital Photography with These 11 Methods
Right from the beginning, if you start taking pictures from a digital camera, it would create an excellent collection of exotic images.
2 NASA astronauts are home from ISS, proving SpaceX can safely bring people to and from space
After a two-month mission, SpaceX brings back home 2 astronauts, proving that it could transport people to and from space safely.
Something is Surely Brewing Within Destiny 2
How are you keeping on? There's a whole lot of content in the game and even though some of it is going away, the great variety won't go anywhere. On top of that, new stuff will be added and the huge add-on announced not that long ago kind of gives you hint about that. If you've played this game long enough, then you know you can't have everything, but what if there was a way? Of course, we're talking about Destiny 2 boosting. But it's not just good for herding some items. Our services can be used for any in-game goal, small or big.