Alexa, stop putting my information on Blast
Smart technology has become an essential part of our daily life. We rely heavily on everything from navigation apps to speech to text to get tasks done, get information and just make your life easier. Amazon, Alexa, is a smart speaker that has joined our world of convenience.
Users can manage information functions through voice commands and application features. While Alexa can help you with shopping, directions, and weather forecasts, it has issues. Imagine your private conversation being texted to acquaintances without your knowledge. Alexa does this too.
Alexa, be safe
With the help of the Alexa app, you can control the features both from your home and your personal devices. “Alexa, play my messages” is a common command that allows users to pair the speakerphone with their phones. To be honest, if your hands are busy, this is very useful. Since Alexa is powered by artificial intelligence (AI), the speaker stores order history to serve you better in the future. This makes the device “smarter”. However, Alexa is very sensitive to cyber threats. The stored data can and will be used against you. The police have already accessed Alexa’s information to do business.
But the least of your worries are the police when using Alexa and other voice-activated technologies. Let’s look at the few “slippages” and vulnerabilities security experts have identified. Alexa sometimes enters a different word by mistake and reads your messages when strangers are present. It can create an awkward scenario, but secondly, it can reveal personal information that you don’t want to share. In other cases, the speaker called people, texted and made unwanted purchases. This means that if someone else can access your Alexa, they can do the same.
Alexa is connected through an internet connection which is usually powered by a home or work Wi-Fi network. Infamous actors seeking to exploit your data can easily hack into the system if it is not properly secured. The type of security you buy is completely up to you, but we recommend that you use best practices first. Things like checking that the default WI-FI password has been changed. If you are pairing multiple smart devices in your home, make sure each one is connected according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
IT professionals and cybersecurity personnel across North America and Europe were studied by Spiceworks. 125 out of 500 thought implementing voice-activated systems in their networks was a good idea. The remaining 375 said they would not use smart assistants. Indeed, they all talked about tracking down vulnerabilities in traditional computer systems allowing eavesdropping in their facilities.
If the hackers are successful, they have opened the gateways that are inundated with your personal data. Many files stored on cloud systems are also not encrypted, making it much easier to access passwords, emails, and other important information. As much as we love having Alexa, turning on the lights, or our favorite show, it’s essential to have cybersecurity measures in place. These are measures, such as ensuring that your most sensitive information is stored on computers not authorized to be linked to the system. Connecting to the Internet increases the likelihood that Alexa can or will be hacked. And when it does, you’ll feel like Alexa is putting your information forward.
Alexa and any other device connected to the internet can be manipulated and since they are machines they can malfunction. You just want to be sure that the slippage doesn’t infringe on privacy. Some conversations that might be overheard are not a big deal. However, you don’t want that special conversation that she relates to others to trick you into a big deal.
Two issues are central to Alexa’s problems. The first is the permanent listening status. The second is connection to the Internet. When you respect potential machine failure and the skills of hackers, your risk is reduced. Awareness is key for you to safely enjoy the convenience that Alexa offers. Caution is the key to better securing your digital life.
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