Question: do you have an Amazon Alexa sitting atop a counter in your house right now? Of course, you do! It’s been one of the hottest selling holiday items for the past several years, which, based off of our calculations, means there are at least a BILLION of them placed around homes throughout America.
Ok, our calculations might be a bit uncultivated, but you can’t argue our point that most everyone we know–and you know–has at least one that they talk to on a daily basis.
Now, this device is all fine in good; after all, it’s capable of making our lives a heck of a lot easier, but it’s also capable of doing some very creepy things. Just recently, we compiled a list of quotes from folks all over the Internet, telling their stories of Alexa operating in autonomous and, frankly, very creepy ways. If you dig hard enough, you’ll quickly find that the device sort of has a mind of her own–and this may be because her technology gets smarter by listening to every single thing that you and your family is saying.
Yep, we’re not kidding…
But, to make things even worse, the device doesn’t just listen to every little thing that you say, she also records all of your commands as well. Though there’s some debate about exactly how much she can comprehend and/or record when she isn’t specifically being spoken to, there is plenty of bizarre evidence out there to suggest that she is listening all of the time.
So, if you’re not the most technologically-savvy person in the world, then you may be wondering why this matters–after all, isn’t the government tracking all of our emails and phone calls, anyway?
While you may be (partially) right about that, what’s scary about the fact that Alexa can record a clear history of commands–and potentially private conversations–is that hackers can find ways to get into your device to defraud or even endanger you later.
Confused? Here’s an example:
Let’s say that you and your family are planning to take a vacation to Hawai’i in December. You decide to partake in some hands-free vacation planning around the dinner table, and you ask Alexa a series of questions about your impending trip. They might consist of queries like:
- How much are plane tickets to Hawai’i for the dates of December 15th-December 27th?
- Which credit card should I use for these airline and hotel bookings?
- How do you best secure a home when on vacation?
They might seem like innocuous questions, but it also reveals to hackers that your house will be empty from December 15-27, that you will be purchasing the vacation with a specific credit card, and that you have plans to secure your home in a very specific manner while away.
Yep, those are not intimate details we would want a hacker to know about either.
So, what are you to do? Well, delete your history, of course! To learn how to do this in seconds flat, be sure to watch the video below. Make sure that you protect yourselves, folks. Robots are not always our friends!
What are your thoughts on this Alexa issue? Do you use the device? Has yours ever been hacked into?