Must know tips for your gadgets

Опубликованно 04.06.2018 19:21

Must know tips for your gadgets

According to Amazon, the Echo\'s Alexa voice assistant misheard a word like “Alexa” — a trigger to activate the device and interpreted in a subsequent conversation as a “send message” request. This conversation in a house in Portland, Oregon, was then recorded and sent to an acquaintance in Seattle on the family contact list.

Amazon has blamed the situation on an “unlikely” chain of events, and the company already has many safeguards built into the device. Yet, the incident shows that even with the best intentions, the risk is never zero.

The Gadgets these days come loaded with microphones and cameras. They are all vulnerable to hacking or programming errors, and there is nothing consumers can do to eliminate the risk short of completely disconnecting.

But there are ways to minimize the chances that the gadgets use unpleasant privacy surprises:


Most of the speakers have a physical button to disable the microphone, so that a private conversation can\'t be saved to begin with. You can hit that when you are having conversations sensitive. The button on the Echo lights up in red; other devices have the same indexes. It doesn\'t make sense to keep the microphone turned off throughout the day, however. If the Echo can\'t hear you, he will not be able to give you more toilet paper or play smooth jazz.

A family WE were mortified when they realised their Echo speaker has sent a private conversation to friends. Photo: Ian Currie


Deactivation of the microphone is not practical on a smartphone, but you can limit which applications have access to. Go into the settings and disable the microphone access to all but essential applications such as voice recorders or video-conference. Netflix does not really need the voice; you can simply type the name of the program you are looking for.


Facebook ceo Mark Zuckerberg, the famous puts a piece of tape on his laptop camera to avoid spying if someone were to hack their device. Buy yourself a roll. Or use bandages. If you have a home security camera that is connected to the internet, turn the camera on the wall when you are at home. Don\'t forget to re-enable it before you leave, or you defeat the point of having a security camera.


For smartphones and other gadgets that you take with you, a “Faraday bag” that blocks the electromagnetic waves can help to avoid the spy. The good will be cell block, and other signals, the meaning of the privacy - compromising information such as your location does not flow. Remember, your phone will not get calls while it\'s in the bag — this is the whole point.


Apple, Samsung and other tech companies have worked over the years to ensure that their products work “out of the box” without users having to pore through lengthy manuals and operating instructions. The disadvantage is that users are often not aware of all the things that their gadgets can do, good or bad.

Checking reputable online journals, practical guides, and even instructional videos will help you get the best of the new technologies. They will also tell you about any known problems and risks.

Of course, the safest approach is not to buy a new gadget in the first place. That may not be practical for smartphones these days, but do you really need a smart speaker, or a tv connected to the internet? (As it turns out, it is in fact difficult to buy a TV without “smart” capabilities these days, but nothing says that you need to connect it to the house.)

Toothbrushes slow cooker to toys, if companies can dream of, it is there. Often, companies release smart gadgets without thinking through the risks and ensure their safety. This makes them easy targets for hackers. This is especially true with the manufacturers that are not known or which are specialized in toys and other non-tech companies.

Категория: Телефоны