Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is powerful and has many useful features. It can control smart home gadgets, play music, and make voice and video conversations.
Alexa works on smartphones, but it’s most useful on smart speakers and displays. Alexa voice commands work with Echo speakers and Echo Show screens. It’s magical.
It’s black magic if you’re worried about your home’s privacy and security. Amazon can save anything you say to Alexa, and smart home devices could share your Wi-Fi with strangers.
You can update these settings in the Alexa app for Android and iOS. Before utilising Alexa at home, complete these things.
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1. Limit voice recordings
Amazon keeps everything you tell Alexa to “improve customer experience.” You can disable it. More > Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Alexa Data Set the length of Voice Recordings.
Confirm Don’t save recordings. Alexa won’t record your queries; she’ll just process them and delete the data.
This disables Alexa’s Voice ID, which can be problematic if you have several users. Alexa can save recordings for three months. Enable voice deletion so Alexa can remove what you say.
2. Limit smart home sound history
If you enable Alexa’s security features, it records sounds like glass breaking or smoke/CO detectors going off.
If you wish to verify who accessed your smart home devices or listen to a suspicious sound Alexa picked up, you can do so through the Alexa Privacy menu by tapping Review Smart Home Device History and Review History of Detected Sounds.
These recordings can’t be stopped, but they can be limited. By default, Alexa will save them permanently, even though you can only view 30 days of smart home device data.
More > Settings > Alexa Privacy Data Management > Choose how long to save recordings > Three-month history > Confirm. Under Detected Sounds History, repeat.
3. Don’t Talk to Amazon Workers
Uncheck this option in Alexa’s Privacy menu: Aid Alexa. The software warns that turning it off will affect voice recognition and other functionality, but if you read the fine print, it lets Amazon evaluate any recordings you store. The goal is to validate that the company’s AI is working properly and increase Alexa’s accuracy. If you’d prefer not talk to a human, turn off Alexa.
More > Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Alexa Data. Turn off Voice recordings under Help improve Alexa.
4. Allow accessibility
Alexa can help with vision, hearing, and speech issues. More > Settings > Accessibility in the Alexa app offers four accessibility options.
Notify When Nearby makes Echo devices play a notification sound when you’re near them. This helps if you have visual problems and miss the Echo’s yellow notification light.
Real-time text and call captioning are incompatible with Echo Show video calls. Real Time Text displays text as you type, while Call Captioning converts any speech Alexa finds into text captions. They’re incompatible.
Adaptive Listening Mode makes Alexa pause longer before processing your words and increases its ability to spot stutters.
5. Disable Amazon Sidewalk
Amazon Sidewalk is a “shared network” It extends coverage for Ring and Alexa-compatible devices by sharing bandwidth with adjacent Amazon users. It turns part of your internet connection into a mesh network for everyone around, which might be hacked.
On the Alexa app. More > Account > Amazon Sidewalk. If Enabled, tap Disabled. Disabled means don’t use it. (If you don’t see Sidewalk, your Amazon device isn’t compatible.)
6. Disable voice purchases
Voice ordering sounds convenient but is risky with Amazon’s default settings. Anyone Alexa recognises can order from your account with 1-click ordering. Using Alexa to order items sounds convenient, but will the convenience offset the risk?
More > Account Settings > Voice Purchasing > Purchase Controls. Select No one to disable voice purchasing on Alexa. If you want to make voice purchases, pick Anyone with a voice code and utter a four-digit code.
7. Create family profiles and protect kids’.
Alexa can track each person’s preferences, contacts, and notifications separately if you set up unique profiles. Alexa can recognise people by speech (if you save audio recordings) and by face with a compatible Echo Show smart display.
Any adult can set up their own profile in your home by asking “Alexa, get to know me.” Alexa will set up their profile and Voice ID. You’ll want to do it for your children and set parental controls.
More > Settings > Your Profile & Family Include another. First name, “Kid,” birthdate. Tap the profile in the Your Profile & Family menu and follow the prompts to set any constraints and teach Alexa the child’s Voice ID.
8.Set up music and podcasts
Alexa-controlled audio isn’t limited to Amazon Music and Audible. Therefore, Alexa supports many third-party services, including Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, SiriusXM, Spotify, and Tidal.
More > Settings > Music & Podcasts. Tap Enable to Use on the desired service. Then, link your account to Alexa. If not, tap Settings and follow the directions.
If your selected service isn’t shown, tap Link New Service. Afterward, follow the instructions. If not, Alexa doesn’t support it and voice control won’t work. It’s limited, but not Amazon-only!