6 Alexa features you should turn off on your Amazon Echo now

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Alexa is becoming a fixture in more households than ever before. But, along with all of the clever new features, some are definitely worth disabling.

Sarah Tew / Tips Clear

Voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant are just getting smarter. Lots of hidden advantages will improve your experience, and Alexa Third Party Capabilities add even more. But for everyone cool new games and smart home integrations there are also features that make Alexa less intelligent. Yes, turn out Certain features allow you to use your Amazon Echo speakers and displays more safely and better than before.

Whether you’re worried about privacy you don’t want friends “drop by“Unsolicited or just for Alexa to stop sending your questions and commands back to you. Here are six features that you should now disable in the Alexa app.

Come round

Alexa’s drop-in feature is a cool option for Connect friends while for example continued COVID-19 Lock. Unlike a phone call, drop-ins don’t require you to “answer” the call: your friend only speaks through your device’s speaker. Sounds cool the first time you use it, but it’s easy to forget that once admitted virtual visitors will always have unannounced access to stop by. Unless you want to risk friends or family using the feature at inconvenient times, you should turn Drop In off until you are ready to use it.

In the Alexa app, tap Devices, select the device you want, and then tap Communication. From here, you can disable Drop In or restrict it to specific devices.

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It’s nice to virtually share a cup of coffee with a friend. It’s not nice that this friend “comes over” unexpectedly while you’re still in your pajamas.

Josh Miller / Tips Clear

Premonitions

Over the past two years, Amazon has been very slowly ramping up its use of hunches, this follow-up Questions Alexa asks you after you interact. Sometimes these suggestions are helpful, e.g. For example, offering to lock your door at night or suggesting a new way of using timers. However, they can also be annoying and annoying when you are in the middle of a phone call and do not want to tell your voice assistant to stop talking.

To turn off Hunches, tap More in the Alexa app, then Settings, and then tap Hunches. A simple switch controls the function.

Use of your voice recordings

It’s frustrating that Amazon still by default selects users for its program who use voice recordings for research purposes. Whether you’re uncomfortable with that like me Data acquisition potential of such a function, or you don’t like the idea of ​​a real person taking care of your daily interactions with (or possibly just near) Turning this feature off on your Echo device is probably the best step.

To turn it off, tap More in the Alexa app, then Settings, and then tap Alexa Privacy. A separate page will open where you can tap Manage Your Alexa Data. Scroll down and turn off the use of voice recordings. A popup will ask you to confirm the decision (Amazon apparently wants you to keep it).

While you disable this feature, you can also choose to automatically delete your voice recordings after three months. This option is on the same page as Using Voice Recording.

Skill ratings

While you’re looking at the Alexa privacy page, another menu that you should read is Manage Skill Permissions. Here you can scroll down to see which skills (Amazon’s word for apps and features) need access to everything from your address and contact information to your Amazon Prime payment information. Many of these permissions are disabled by default. Every now and then, however, you should check what skills you’ve enabled over the months or years of using Alexa and whether you’ve been given one-time access that you weren’t given. I don’t want them to stay forever.

To control these permissions, tap More, then Settings, then Alexa Privacy, and then Manage Skill Permissions.

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The Echo Show 5 and Show 8 both have physical locks to block the camera.

Chris Monroe / Tips Clear

camera

This is really simple, but easy to forget. If you are using an echo show ($ 230 on Amazon) Make sure your camera is disabled or covered when you are not using it. Hacking laptop cameras and other web cams is an infamous way of spying on people – one used by governments and individual hackers alike – and disabling your camera is an easy way to protect yourself.

To disable your camera, simply use the physical switch on each Echo Show device.

Activate short mode

OK, this does not technically switch off a function, but the short mode actually “switches off” Alexa by sending your questions and commands back to you. It’s one of my personal favorite features because Alexa’s parrot can get on my nerves quickly when I play music (and I can usually tell my command was immediately misinterpreted without the voice confirming it).

To activate short mode, tap More, then Settings, and then Voice responses. From here, turn on the short mode (and, if you wish, the useful whisper mode too).

These are my favorite disabling features on Alexa-enabled devices, but which ones are yours? Do share some of your tips in the comments or let me know why you think mine are wrong.

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