Ready for your daily dose of paranoia?
If you’re reading this on your computer, do you have your computer’s camera covered? What about on your cell phone? Do you have a piece of tape over the microphone on your phone when you’re not using it?
Why in the world would you want to do that? Well, because your most trusted electronic devices can be hacked.
A skilled hacker can activate the camera on your computer, and you wouldn’t even know it. Even your phone could be compromised. With a simple computer virus, your mobile device could be tuned into what you’re saying, relaying your most private conversations to a third party, and you’d have absolutely no idea.
These are pretty serious possibilities, but they can be solved by taping over your camera or turning off your cell phone. The trouble is, other technologies are finding new ways into our home. Home alarm systems are gaining in popularity, and many of them can be integrated with other technologies, like home automation. One of the most innovative additions to the Vivint system is its ability to interface with Amazon Echo.
This innovative device from Amazon is voice controlled. Alexa, your personal assistant, can complete any number of commands. You can control your home security system with the sound of your voice, which includes locking doors and turning off lights. You can play your favorite song, get the weather while you’re making breakfast, and more. It’s a handy thing to have around, but it’s listening all the time, and if it’s listening, who else might be listening?
The answer? No one! What a relief! Here’s why the Amazon Echo stands out in a world of hackable technologies.
The wake word is essential to Amazon Echo’s security
Alexa is your personal Amazon Echo assistant, which makes using the device a lot of fun, but there’s a deeper and more important reason why you must say Alexa’s name before the device will complete your request.
The name ‘Alexa’ functions as Amazon Echo’s wake word. The only time the device connects to the Cloud is after that name has been said aloud. That means the device isn’t connected to the wide web until that word is said.
Well, can’t someone online just act like they say the name of your device to activate it? That’s not the case either. The activation of the device using Alexa’s name is all done locally. It simply can’t be activated remotely.
Analog features enhance security
Electronic devices have been getting ahead of themselves. With all the excitement of the internet, everyone wants to be connected all the time, but innovative devices, like the Amazon Echo, understand that old-fashioned analog features still have a place in the 21st century.
You may not want Alexa to listen to you every minute of every day. And, although you can’t activate Alexa remotely at the moment, hackers are pretty smart, and so Amazon has added an extra layer of protection.
The mute button is connected to the microphone with analog electronics. It’s all done within the device, There’s no muting or unmuting the device from the internet because it simply isn’t connected to the internet while it’s muted, making it completely unhackable.
Hackers may be getting smarter and smarter, but so are the electronics companies. As the future of these innovative devices evolves, we’re likely to find that we won’t be connected 24/7. Instead, we’ll decide when and where we want to be connected, like the Amazon Echo devices enables us to do. After all, you never know who might be listening!