Delete Your Digital Assistant’s Voice History Regularly
Bugs found in Alexa’s web services could have allowed hackers to gain access to voice recordings and personal data stored on Amazon’s servers. Some of the vulnerabilities could even allow hackers to remotely install Alexa Skills on someone else’s device without their knowledge. Despite the severity of these shortcomings, you are safe in this particular case, but it is a great reminder to delete your smart speaker audio recordings already.
Amazon has fixed the bugs and says there is no evidence that any of these vulnerabilities were exploited, and Check Point’s head of product vulnerability research, Oded Vanunu, said in a statement to Wired that the security flaws were not obvious and it would be difficult to execute the attack.
However, even if it is unlikely that hackers penetrated these loopholes, the fact that they existed at all confirms a thought we often make: digital assistants like Alexa pose a privacy risk.
I’m not saying that AI assistants are useless – Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and the smart devices they use undoubtedly make life easier – but they carry more responsibilities than you might expect. Part of this responsibility includes regularly deleting your voice history.
Why you should get into the habit of deleting your smart assistant’s voice history
Even if you are not worried about Amazon, Google or Apple employees listening to your conversations, it is impossible to know that your data is protected from outside access.
It took an elaborate test attack from a cybersecurity company to uncover flaws in Amazon Alexa’s web services. There may be other flaws – whether Amazon technology or technology used by other companies – that companies are unaware of and that could be exploited by attackers.
However, if there were no data at all, hackers would have nothing to steal from you. Fortunately, deleting digital assistant voice recordings doesn’t take much effort.
- You can set your Alexa or Google Assistant entries to be automatically deleted after a certain amount of time. Siri doesn’t, but Apple at least anonymizes the recordings so they don’t compromise privacy. A plus …
- It is easy to delete the voice assistant history from Amazon, Apple and Google manually at any time (this guide will also show you how to stop recording your conversations altogether, if any). You can customize these AI assistants to remind you when it’s time to manually delete your entries.
- At the very least, get in the habit of telling Alexa to delete the entries at the end of each day .
- Yes, and mute your smart speaker when not in use.
Whichever way you do it, make sure that deleting your digital assistant’s voice history becomes a regular part of your data security measures.