Digital Privacy and Alexa

If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am passionate about privacy: digital privacy to be specific. The fact that our smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices are always listening to us, storing that information, and even selling it makes me crazy.

I’ve recently learned that the Amazon Alexa device keeps everything until you delete it. Whoa! I can delete that data on Alexa? (By the way, Alexa is just like Apple’s Siri.  You can ask questions, set timers, and ask either of them to look up information on the web. Alexa is available with the Echo Dot and the Echo Show.)

Here’s how to maintain some level of digital privacy on your Alexa:Digital Privacy and Alexa

First, open your Amazon account on your computer using your favorite browser.  We like Firefox because it tends to be a little more respectful of our privacy than some of the other browsers.

  • Then, hover over the “Accounts and Lists” down arrow.
  • Next, click on “Your Content and Devices”  about 3/4 of the way down the list.
  • Then click on “Alexa Privacy” and then “Manage Voice Recordings.”  From there, you will see an option to delete everything.

According to Tom’s Guide, some of the newer devices allow you to delete your history on a day-by-day basis by merely saying: “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”

Digital Privacy in the News:

There have been several articles that have caught my eye recently.  Here is just a sampling:

  • Amazon confirms it keeps Alexa recordings forever
    • “If you (like so many of us) hate listening to recordings of your own voice, you may be in for an unpleasant future, as Amazon has confirmed it hangs on to every conversation you’ve ever had with an Alexa-enabled device until or unless you specifically delete them.”
  • How to stop companies from selling your data
    • “The second you fill out an online survey, purchase a new home or subscribe to a magazine, your information may be scooped up by a data company and sold to a subterranean market for personal information on millions of people. These data brokers are building profiles about you, using thousands of pieces of information such as your age, income, race, ethnicity and interests and helping marketers use this data”
  • Simple steps to take to keep your data secure
    • “Social media services have become a significant part of our lives. However, despite these various benefits, some would still opt out of social media if it helped to restore their digital privacy forever.”
  • Tracking us with Digital “Fingerprints
    • “If there’s one lesson to learn about digital privacy, it’s that we can never grow complacent. Even if we secure our data so we are not tracked online, the ad tech industry will find ways to monitor our digital activities.”
  • Location Privacy and your Smartphone
    • “Most smartphone users don’t really lock down their security settings, sticking with the default settings that came with the phone. When they add a new app to their phone, they may not think to check what data they are sharing with the app developer.”

Conclusion:

Be diligent about your Digital Privacy!

Please forward this to your friends with an Alexa device.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

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