While it may be convenient to walk into your home and turn the lights on by simply saying “Alexa” or “Ok Google,” a security expert has warned that devices like the Amazon Echo could pose a serious security risk. “If hackers find a way to compromise these devices in our homes, they could have it recording all of the time and you wouldn’t necessarily know,” explained cyber security expert Dr. Jason Nurse. “They could hear you discussing your holiday plans, so they know when you are away and could burgle you. They may hear you buying something on the phone, giving away your credit card details.”
Nurse’s comments came during a recent speech at the Cheltenham Science Festival. The cyber security expert explained that he is so concerned about the potential privacy risks that come with the use of devices like the Amazon Echo that he refuses to keep electronic assistants of any kind in his home.
But despite the fact that your banking information is put in jeopardy every time you turn on your Amazon Echo, the gadget is more popular than ever. With the ability to answer virtually any question you have, pick up commands even in a noisy room, track online shopping and even lower the thermostat, it’s easy to see why devices like the Amazon Echo are being used by millions of people across the country. But still, some are concerned that such gadgets are inviting electronic spies right into their living rooms.
“If there’s something private you want to say, the first thing you should do is mute the device… or turn it off,” Dr. Nurse advises. “You should think twice about what you say in front of these devices.” Dr. Nurse went on to explain that “someone else in your home may say the wake word without your knowledge and start it recording while you are discussing something private or sensitive.”
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