Smart Home Assistants: Masters of Convenience or a Security Nightmare?

Smart assistants, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, are changing habits and making lives of more than 45 million users in the US more organized.

Virtual home assistants may look like stylish music speakers matching your home interior. But don’t let this outer simplicity trick you – these gadgets are smart and powerful enough to handle things you used to do by yourself. They are speakers supercharged with AI and voice recognition technology – wireless, connected to the Internet, and capable of understanding your voice commands.

Need to set a mood a bit? Ask it to play music or a specific song. Wondering if you should take an umbrella when going out? Ask about the weather forecast for today. Feeling witty? Ask a funny question and let it entertain you.

People of all demographics embrace the technology of smart assistants to get directions, find answers to questions on general topics, and set up alarms and reminders. However, the convenience comes with a serious trade-off – your privacy. Smart, voice-enabled assistants are always listening. Let’s take a look at what security dangers they may cause.

Smart Home Assistants: What Are the Security Risks?

History of Your Requests

Every request you make to your home assistant is sent to the company’s servers as an audio recording. As for Amazon Alexa and Google Home, these recordings are logged and stored in your account. You can listen to all of your previous requests made to your smart speaker. But what happens if someone gets unauthorized access to your account? The history of your voice recordings contains a significant piece of personal information. If someone with bad intentions gets their hands on it, you may end up in trouble.

Of course, just (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from How to, Technology and PC Security Forum authored by Harold Kilpatrick (Guest Blogger). Read the original post at: