How to stop Alexa from listening – 5 simple tips

A concern of the modern world is how to stop Alexa from listening. While Amazon’s voice assistant can be fun and informative, knowing how to stop it from listening can give you peace of mind. It’s important to regularly review your privacy settings when using Amazon’s smart home assistant – or any smart home gadget for that matter – especially if you use a few Alexa-enabled devices in your home. Staying in control of the smallest details will keep you in control and help you maintain a “healthy” smart home.

Having one of the best Alexa speakers on hand to answer your questions or play your favorite song instantly is handy, but you wouldn’t be the first person to ask if it’s still listening. You might have even taken the idea a step further and wondered if there was a spy camera in the device that watched you as closely as a dog ogling your Sunday roast. Fortunately – according to Amazon – the answer to that question is no, there is no “spy” camera in your Alexa device, so there is no need to run behind the sofa and hide, but you will want to maybe rethink eating your roast in front of the dog.

However, it is a truth that yes, Alexa is still listening. Have no fear though, as Alexa is only “passive listening” and calling for Alexa’s word “wake up” so that she can respond to your requests.

However, with a few small changes to the settings, you can stop listening to Alexa when you don’t want to, delete all Alexa voice recordings, and generally increase the security of your smart home.

How to stop Alexa from listening in 5 easy steps

Please note that this feature is providing correct information at the time of posting. Livingetc and the author of this article cannot be held responsible for any changes you make to your personal accounts.

It is essential that you carefully review your privacy and security information and read the fine print before making any changes to your account.

1. Know when Alexa is recording

Amazon Echo Show 8 In The Kitchen Important To Know How To Stop Alexa From Listening

(Image credit: Amazon Echo Show 8)

According to Alexa, no sound is stored or sent to the cloud unless you use the “wake word”. It could just be Alexa, or Amazon, Computer, Echo and so on. You can know when Alexa sends your recording to the “secure cloud” as a blue indicator light will appear or an audio tone will sound on your Alexa device. Something to know if you want complete privacy.

You can also configure Echo devices to alert you when they record by emitting a short audible tone whenever audio is sent to the cloud. You can do this in the settings of the Alexa app.

2. Use the mute button to mute the microphone

If you want to stop Alexa from listening temporarily, you can use the mute button to mute the microphone and stop audio to and from the device. This indeed defeats the goal of having an Alexa device on hand to answer all your requests, or be able to control your other Alexa-enabled devices, but it can be useful if you want complete privacy. This also comes in handy when you want to prevent young children from asking Alexa to play their favorite song every two minutes – and we know how boring it can get if everyone in the house has a different song request. !

To mute your Echo device, press the button shown with a circle and a line crossing it. The button turns red when cut. Saying “Alexa” will not turn the device back on and you will need to press it again to turn the sound back on and use Alexa normally.

Amazon's privacy settings are essential to know How to prevent Alexa from listening

(Image credit: Amazon privacy settings)

3. Turn off the camera when you don’t need it.

You don’t need your Echo Show’s camera to be on in order to use Alexa, so unless you’re using it for a video call or to sign in on another device, you can turn off the camera as well. To do this, all you need to do is turn off the slide button on the top of the device. Put it back on again when you want to use it normally.

4. Delete your Alexa voice history

When you talk to Alexa, a recording of what you say is sent to Amazon’s servers. Things like “Alexa, open YouTube” Where “Alexa, play The night starts to shine from BER” (give it a try!) will be listed in order of date. To review what has been saved through your Alexa device, you can go to your Alexa app or view your Amazon account privacy settings. You can even read your history records and we have to admit that we found that rather confusing.

If you want to delete this voice history, you need to go to “Privacy settings”, “Review voice history” and filter by day and on which Alexa device you want to delete. There is an option to remove all devices at any time, which is useful if you use multiple Echo devices in your home. You can also delete what you said by asking the Alexa device yourself, but you’ll need to go to Manage your Alexa data in your settings account first to enable this feature first.

In the Manage your Alexa data section, there is also an option to choose how long to save your recordings, as well as an option called “Do not save recordings”.

If you have a fully automated home, you’ll know that like many smart home devices like smart heaters or smart alarms, Amazon is designed to get to know you and your lifestyle to “improve your user experience.” “. The more you use Alexa, the more it will adapt to your speaking patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences – that’s the idea anyway, but some may find it a bit intrusive.

When you ask Alexa a question, it will record what you say and send a recording to Amazon’s servers. These requests are associated with your Amazon account so that you can easily access other Amazon services – such as Kindle or Audible – and Amazon can keep track of the songs you like and make recommendations.

With that in mind, when you delete your voice history, Amazon warns you that it “may degrade your experience.” While this is worth considering before deleting your voice history, if you want a fresh start – like you do when clearing your cache or browser history online – then this is the way to do it. While this won’t stop Alexa listening, it will remove track of your voice and recordings, which can be reassuring.

Amazon Echo Show

(Image credit: Amazon Echo Show)

5. Check your Alexa privacy settings and manage the processing of your voice data

It’s worth taking a moment to explore your Amazon account privacy settings and enjoy reading. To secure your account, it is possible to set up voice PIN codes for certain features such as Alexa purchases, for sensitive smart home requests such as unlocking doors and using the best Alexa skills which sometimes require banking information. sensitive.

One thing worth highlighting is the way Amazon handles your Alexa voice recordings. If you read the fine print in the Alexa privacy settings section of your account, you’ll find the part that says “Help improve Alexa.” You will find it in “Privacy settings”, then “Manage your Alexa data”.

Here, Amazon tells us that “Training Alexa with recordings from a wide range of customers helps ensure that Alexa works well for everyone.” This informs you that a “small fraction of voice recordings are reviewed manually” – by humans.

If you want to disable this feature and prefer to keep your recordings private, you must uncheck the box that says “Use voice recordings”. As previously stated, Amazon will tell you that this will mean that “voice recognition and new features might not work well for you,” but we think it’s worth considering if you want to reign supreme in privacy features.

What happens when you go on the Echo show?

This feature is specially designed for Amazon Echo Show devices and works as an audio and visual intercom. This means that two Alexa-enabled devices can connect instantly so you can see and hear someone in another room and have a two-way conversation, for example. The echo will flash green when you connect.

Some people may not be comfortable with this feature, but there is a way to turn it off.

To deactivate the Drop-in function on an Echo Show, you must:

1. Open the Alexa app and open devices.

2. Select Echo & Alexa then choose your device

3. Select Communications and Drop In and choose the permissions to disable / enable.

What are the best things to ask Alexa this Christmas?

Once you’ve changed your settings and know how to stop listening to Alexa, it’s definitely time to do some silly things. Here are 5 of our favorite holiday questions to ask Alexa this month:

1. Alexa, tell me a Christmas joke

2. Alexa, am I on the beautiful list?

3. Alexa, where is Santa Claus?

4. Alexa, where does Santa Claus live?

5. Alexa, what’s the best Christmas movie?

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