How to stop Amazon from listening to your Alexa recordings

Alexa is a wonder of the technological world. She effortlessly maintains your smart home, organizes your schedule, obeys your every voice command, and even allows you to play games. As of early 2019, around 100 million Alexa-enabled devices have been sold. Alexa is everywhere, from thermostats to appliances to headphones to Echo devices. There’s no denying the utility that Alexa-enabled devices offer. Smart speakers and displays like the Echo act as our digital planners, entertainment devices, and so much more.

What you may not know, however, is that Alexa listens to and records all of your conversations to Amazon’s cloud. If this makes you squirm in your seat, we have a solution.

Here is our step-by-step guide to help you stop Amazon from listening in on your Alexa conversations.

How to stop Amazon from listening to your recordings

Step 1: Open the Alexa App.

Step 2: Open the menu in the upper left corner and click on Settings

Step 3: In the settings menu, select the option that says Alexa Account.

Step 4: Under the Alexa Account Menu, Select the option that says Alexa Privacy

Step 5: The Alexa Privacy menu is where you can tell Amazon that you don’t want them using your voice recordings for research and development purposes. Start by selecting Manage Your Alexa Data.

Step 6: In this menu, you will see two very important sections. First, look at the Manage your voice recordings section. Select Automatically delete recordings and choose a time to periodically delete all recorded voice commands. This will help keep your data private from attack and future uses by Amazon. You can also do this yourself, anytime you want, but saying, “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”

The second section is called Help improve Alexa. Here, make sure that the option that says Use Voice Recordings to Improve Amazon Services and to Develop New Features is disabled. This will prevent your voice recordings from being directly used by the Alexa team. Now your voice commands are much more private.

Other Alexa privacy tips

In the Alexa Privacy menu, you can also view a history of all your recorded interactions with Alexa and delete that history. In addition, you can review your smart alert history, manage your smart home device history (which is the info sent to Amazon about your smart home devices), and manage your skills permissions (which is kind of like managing app permissions on your phone). Under Manage Skills Permissions, you can find out which skills have requested permission to access data like your address, name, Amazon pay, phone number, and email.

By regularly checking out the Alexa Privacy menu, you can view and adjust the settings to make your Alexa experience a bit more private.

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