Amazon’s Echo device was a brilliant success. There̵7;s Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Auto, Echo Studio, Echo Show, Echo Glow, Echo Flex, Echo Buds, Echo Frames, Echo Loop and more.
Confused? Let me help. Click or click here to see a comparison list of the features of different Amazon Echo devices [2020 Chart].
If you already own an Echo, be prepared to be shocked. Some of my chats that Alexa recorded have nothing to do with playing music, getting news, or ordering on Amazon. I’ve been talking about real estate deals, online college courses, and when the pandemic might end.
Click or click here for easy steps to quickly review and delete what Echo has recorded in your home.
To get the most out of your Echo, you really need an Amazon Prime membership. You can display, music and even store photos for free. Here are the Amazon Prime perks and discounts you’ll use over and over again [Updated].
Before you welcome Alexa into your life, consider these important privacy settings.
1. Learn how to quickly turn off the microphone
Alexa is Echo’s wake-up call to trigger the microphone to respond to a command. But it can go wrong. Say “vote”, “a letter” or “unacceptable” and the microphone will likely turn on and start recording as well.
When you want to make sure your conversation is truly private, turn off your device’s microphone. Just press the microphone on / off button on top of Echo. When the button is red, the microphone is off. To re-enable it, press the button again.
Of course, this step left the Echo useless as a personal assistant. The always-on, always-listening nature of the smart assistant speakers is what makes them great gadgets. At the same time, it can feel like there’s a spy among you.
NOT ONLY WEATHER: Get up to speed on the basics and more. I’ve put together 20 smart ways to get the most out of your Alexa-enabled device.
2. Control purchase of voice orders
Last year, 4-year-old Aryssa and 6-year-old Cam in Detroit told Alexa to deliver toys worth more than $ 700 using their Mom’s Echo. The kids ordered a Barbie Dream house, LOL dolls and PJ Masks figurines. Fortunately, they also ordered enough batteries to power everything.
You can disable Alexa ordering on Amazon. To disable this feature, open the Alexa app on your phone, tap Setting > Account Settings > Buy with voice, and switch Buy with Voice to Turn off.
If you still want convenience (along with a cool sci-fi feel) when purchasing your Echo voice, take one easy step to secure your account. Set a PIN to avoid unauthorized purchases.
To set a PIN, open the Alexa app on your phone, tap Setting > Account Settings > Buy with voice, and switch Buy with Voice to On. Click Purchase confirmation > Voice code. You will need to enter a four-digit PIN.
You must speak your four digits to complete a purchase on your Echo. Of course, anyone can hear and reuse your code, so having a voice purchase PIN is not the correct way to deceive.
LISTEN: Alexa may be listening at home, but there are other ways your phone keeps track of what you say. Here’s how you can stop yourself from eavesdropping.
3. Check your Drop In settings
One of the Echo’s coolest features is Drop In. It connects you to a speaker or an Echo display for instant chat. “Alexa, drop by the child’s Echo Dot.” If you have multiple Echo devices in your house, you can use this for notifications. “Alexa, sign in on all your devices.”
Remember that the Echo speaker or display goes both ways. It also allows someone to instantly hear or see what’s going on in the room, after 10 seconds. It’s best to have control over these options unless you don’t mind someone listening or watching what you’re going.
See which contacts you have approved for the Login. Open the Alexa app on your phone. Click Communication at the bottom of the screen, then tap Contacts icon in the top right corner. Scroll through your contacts and make sure Lets drop in is enabled only for the right people.
Next, set permissions to turn on or off for a specific device. Open the Alexa app on your phone. Choose Device from the bottom menu and select Echo & Alexa or All Devices. From there, select the Echo you want and scroll down Communication. Convert Call & Text on.
Next, touch Pop in, then choose to enable the feature for only authorized contacts or only your home devices.
If you want to turn Drop In off completely, open the Alexa app and follow the steps above for each device. When you go to the Drop In page for each device, select Turn off. That’s it.
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4. Turn off the camera
Not all Echo devices have screens and cameras. The Echo Show and bring more than one virtual assistant to the room. You can watch step-by-step recipes and watch TV shows, movies or news. Ask Alexa to show you security camera footage or use the photo on the home screen.
By far the most useful feature of the Echo Show is to connect with family and friends using video calling and messaging. You can call someone with the Alexa app, an Echo device with a screen, or Skype.
Say, “Alexa, video call [contact name]. ”You may need to confirm the person’s contact information before the call is initiated.
Video calling is a fun tool, but many find the camera as worrying as the microphone. What does the camera see? Is it watching day and night? How do you know if it has been hacked? Many people tap tape over the webcam on their laptop and they may feel compelled to do the same with their Echo Shows.
Fortunately, the device’s camera can be easily turned off. There is a physical camera shutter on the camera lens. You can still use the touchscreen without difficulty.
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5. Change the wake-up command
You shouldn’t place your Echo near a window or a place where neighbors and anyone else might wreak havoc. But, it can be fun.
My husband recently showed a fellow Broadway producer how Alexa can play all kinds of music. When he told Alexa to play “Oklahoma,” I was in a corner of the dining room on the Alexa app and immediately changed the music to Justin Bieber. I don’t know how many times he asked for a show tune and I changed it to a pop song until I couldn’t hold back my laughter anymore when he cursed “damn thing Damn it.
While you’re looking at your Echo settings, many people don’t know that you can change the word Alexa wake up. This tip is especially helpful for anyone named Alexa, Alexis, or Star Trek fans.
Open the Alexa app on your phone. Click Device > All of equipment. Select your Echo in the list. Scroll down Wake Word. Here, you can change from your wake up to an Amazon, Echo or Computer!
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Learn about all the latest tech on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s biggest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For daily tips, free newsletters, and more, visit her website at Komando.com.