September 23, 2020
The Amazon Alexa is very similar to the Google Home system. This is another step toward the future of technological integration in our lives. Essentially, the system works by taking the internet out of your fingertips, allowing you to connect by simply speaking out-loud commands in your home.
You can add groceries to your cart through Walmart, find out what the weather will be tomorrow, or even ask her to turn your lights on and off without getting off the couch. It can be a super helpful tool—especially for those with busy lives. But when you stop and think about what the product is offering, many people are also questioning its potential safety.
Alexa is much more than a small box that sits on a shelf in your home. Alexa is connected to the internet through a system of powerful servers that provide instant connectivity to all the information you need, so long as you are connected to the internet. You can also opt-in to notifications. So, when you see your Alexa blinking green, you know you have a notification to check. But, where is Alexa pulling its data from?
The Alexa system is connected directly to Amazon’s massive private servers. The servers are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that allows every individual Alexa customer to have their own account with their own files. The data about your grocery list is saved next to your favorite music. Nothing is actually stored in that little device. As long as you are connected to the internet, Alexa can connect via the cloud to a massive server farm where it stores everything. Once there, the data sits there until it is deleted, which is something you can do yourself from your device.
Another feature of Alexa is that it can tie in with your Brinks Home™ system. It can integrate seamlessly with your system, giving you a hands-off approach to your home security. Alexa stores your data to remember what you need and your security preferences.
One of the reasons the Alexa device is so popular is because it has been vetted by experts and has been found to be rather helpful. Though it may seem invasive, most people agree Alexa isn’t necessarily a security risk—as long as you take the proper steps to secure yourself. Don’t share personal information with Alexa. Just like a phone or computer can potentially be infiltrated with a virus and hacked, so too can this helpful home device. Be smart with how you use the device and what information you share via any technological source.
Krista Bruton is a DFW-based writer who covers smart home security and consumer protection.
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