NEW YORK (AP) – Revelations like an Amazon Echo smart speaker accidentally sent a family's private conversation to a friend highlighting some unexpected risks for new voice-enabled technology.
According to Amazon, the error was an "unlikely" series of accidental mood signals that triggered the speaker, caused it to start recording and then led it to interpret subsequent conversation as a "send message" request.
[Related: How to make sure your Amazon Echo doesn’t send secret recordings]
There is no way to eliminate these types of privacy risks that are not completely linked. But you can minimize unwanted unpleasant surprises with these tips:
– Limit MIC : Disabling the microphone is not practical on a smartphone, but you can restrict which apps have access to it. Go to settings and turn off microphone access to all but important apps like voice recorder or video conferencing. Netflix does not really need voice access; You can simply type the name of the show you are looking for.
– ABOUT THIS CAMERA : Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praises a piece of tape over his portable camera to prevent spying if someone is to hijack his device. Buy yourself a role. Or use dressing. If you have a home camera connected to the internet, turn the camera to the wall when you're home. Just remember to turn back before leaving, or you're down the point of having a security camera.
– BLOCK THE SIGNALS : For smartphones and other gadgets you carry, a "Faraday bag" that blocks electromagnetic waves can help prevent unwanted espionage. The good will block cellular and other signals, which means that information about privacy-critical information, which your site does not leak either. Just remember, the phone will not receive any calls while it is in the bag. That's the whole point.
– INFORMATION : Apple, Samsung, and other engineering companies have worked over the years to ensure their products work "out of the box" without the users having to go through long manuals and user manuals. The disadvantage is that users are often unaware of everything their gadgets can do, good or bad. Checking reputable online reviews, guidebooks and even instructional videos will help you get the most out of new technology. They will also tell you about some known glitches and risks.
Of course, the safest way is not to buy a new gadget in the first place. It may not be useful for smartphones today, but do you really need a smart speaker or a TV connected to the internet? (As it turns out, it's actually hard to buy a TV without "smart" features today, but nothing says you have to connect it at home.)
From toothbrushes to slow cooks to toys, if companies can dream it up, it's out there. Companies often release smart gadgets without thinking about the risks and ensuring their security. This makes them simple targets for harmful hackers. This is especially true for manufacturers who are not known or specializing in toys and other non-technical companies.