Smart assistants like Amazon's Alexa paves the way to smart living. You can now control almost everything in your home with simple voice commands or even buy stuff without logging in on the internet. But there's a catch--Alexa, and perhaps all other smart assistants, are always listening.
An Open Secret
Usually, consumers will have to say the wake command phrase, such as "Hey, Alexa" or "Alexa, wake up," but sometimes, these smart assistants mishear your words and can activate without you wanting them.
Additionally, Forbes said that it is an open secret that Alexa is always listening to you and that Amazon actually hires people to listen and analyze recorded clips, which unfortunately can be traced back to the consumer.
According to the internet giant and Seattle-based company, it is done to "improve Alexa's customer service."
Because of this, many Amazon Alexa users are getting paranoid about their privacy and security. But fortunately, you can stop Alexa from listening to you if you want to keep the AI assistant asleep.
How to Stop Alexa From Always Listening
In a report by TechRadar, there are smart speaker gadgets on a company called Paranoid that "block smart speakers from listening, while keeping them voice-activated."
One such Paranoid gadget is known as the Paranoid Home Wave, which is a small device that sits on top of your smart speaker and "discreetly generates noise and interference in close proximity to the smart speaker's microphones to jam them."
But will the sound disrupt your surroundings?
According to the company, the noise generated by their Paranoid Home Wave won't be perceptible to the human ear so that it won't be disruptive, and you can use it all the time without discomfort.
As per New Atlas, there are three products explicitly made to keep paranoid Alexa users feel more comfortable with having their Amazon speakers around.
So, besides the Paranoid Home Wave, you can also get the Paranoid Home Button, which can be used if your smart speaker has a mute button. The device works by physically pushing the mute button until you want to get Alexa's help.
There's also the Paranoid Home Max, in which case users will have to send their Amazon speakers to the company where their technicians would cut the microphones and bypass the signal to go through the Paranoid circuitry."
Then again, that will make your warranty void.
Securing Your Privacy
However, if you want to activate your Amazon Echo or any smart speaker, you'll have to start your wake phrase command with "Paranoid" before your usual commands.
The Paranoid system is entirely self-sustained, meaning it doesn't connect to any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which also means that it can't be hacked, giving you more assurance that it will keep your security and privacy at the maximum.
Paranoid home devices could be purchased from their official website.
Currently, the company's devices only work on most Amazon Echo models and Google Home devices, but they are planning on extending it to more devices in the future.
Additionally, these items are only currently available in the USA and Canada.