Nowadays, smart home devices like Google, Amazon, and Facebook are parts of our life. They are designed to obey our commands and respond accordingly. They usually get active when we say “wake” word such as “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google.”
Are you aware of the fact that these devices are listening to you always? Though they are making our life easier, it increases the risks of getting our data hacked easily. If you are not comfortable with it, you can follow some simple tricks to prevent your smart companions from listening to you all the time. Google has revealed new audio and policy settings after a report leaked in July that some Google contractors were listening to and leaking records from Google Assistant. To avoid such issues, you may turn off the microphones on the devices when you are not using them.
Amazon gave echo devices, staffed by Alexa, the option to decide whether the user would review their voice commands and messages. The devices have been provided with a microphone off button that you can turn off and on. By pressing the button, you can disconnect the microphones from the power, and red light is illuminated.
Google Home, Home Mini, Nest Mini, Google Nest Wifi, and Home Max
Google Home provides a microphone mute button on the back of the device. You can use it to mute and unmute. Google Home Mini and Google Nest Mini users can do it by sliding a switch located just next to the power cord. On turning off, the switch will display orange. The process is quite similar to Google Home Max. The sliding switch on the back of the device gives you the option to turn off the microphone and displays orange when turned off. For Google Nest Wifi, the process is the same. If you don’t want to turn off the microphone, you have to open the Google Home app, then go to settings and click on digital well-being and follow the instructions to set some downtime.
Facebook’s Portal and Portal Mini is also quite popular to all. Now the users can turn off the microphones or camera on the device by sliding the switch given on the top of the Portal. A red light will alert you when the microphone and camera are off. Bring the switch into the middle position to turn off just the camera. You may also use a camera cover to block your camera when you are not using it.