KIM KOMANDO

3 Amazon privacy settings you need to change now

Apr 4, 2021, 5:00 AM | Updated: 9:26 am
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

I wondered how much money I have spent on Amazon.com, and maybe you’d also like to see your stats.

There’s an insider trick to getting a detailed report from Amazon. Tap or click here for the steps to see every single thing you’ve purchased and when on Amazon.com.

Amazon is way more than just shopping. The Echo smart speaker is a helpful tool around the house. If you’re stuck just asking for weather updates, check out these 20 smart new commands to try.

As with all things Big Tech, you can’t skip the critical steps to ensure your privacy. Keep reading to tackle three of the biggest ones.

Yes, you have an Amazon public profile

This tip always catches people off guard. As an Amazon customer, you have a profile visible to other Amazon users, created automatically.

It contains comments and ratings you have left on products purchased on the site, your biographical information, and other site interactions. Thankfully, your public profile doesn’t include your purchases or browsing history, but it’s still very telling.

Here’s how to control what’s shown on your profile:

● Sign in to your Amazon account. Click Account and Lists.

● Under Ordering and shopping preferences, click Your Amazon profile.

● Click the orange box marked Edit your public profile.

Here, you’ll see Edit public profile and Edit privacy settings.

Click through the various options to review. You can adjust the about me section, shopping lists, wish lists, any pets you added, etc. Check your community activity section, too.

Check your Echo’s Drop In settings

One of the Echo’s best features is Drop In. It connects you to an Echo speaker or display for an instant conversation. “Alexa, drop in on the garage Echo Dot.” If you have multiple Echo devices in your home, you can use this command to make an announcement. “Alexa, drop in on all devices.”

But you can’t forget the Echo speaker or display goes both ways. It also lets someone immediately listen in or watch what’s going on in the room after 10 seconds. It’s best to control these options unless you don’t mind someone hearing or watching what you’re going.

Take a look at which contacts you’ve approved for Drop In:

● Open the Alexa app on your phone.

● Tap Communicate at the bottom of the screen, and on that page, tap the contacts icon at the top right.

● Scroll through your contacts and make sure Allow Drop In is toggled on for only the right people.

Next, set permissions to enable or disable for a specific device.

● In the Alexa app, select Settings > Device Settings and choose the device you’d like to turn on/off Drop In.

● Tap Communications and then and select Drop In. Here, you can select On for permitted contacts only, My Household to drop in on only devices on my account, or Off, which means nobody can Drop In.

If you’d like to disable Drop In altogether, open the Alexa app on your phone and follow the above steps for each of your Echo devices. When you get to the Drop In page for each Echo device select Off. That’s it, now Drop In is disabled on each of your devices.

Don’t sidestep Sidewalk

Sidewalk is essentially a mesh network that extends your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection range by up to a mile. It turns your Echo speakers and some Ring gadgets into bridge devices to give internet-connected tech a boost.

Amazon says the total monthly data is capped at 500MB per account or the rough equivalent of streaming 10 minutes of HD video. That’s not much at all.

Not so fast, though. What about your privacy? Amazon says the Sidewalk network uses three layers of encryption and that your neighbors won’t be able to see your data.

They might say that, but the Internet of Things is notorious for insecure devices and no updates. There is no standard. I switched it off.

If you want to opt out, open the Alexa app.

● Tap More followed by Settings.

● Tap Account Settings, followed by Amazon Sidewalk.

● Turn Amazon Sidewalk off if you do not want to participate.

Note: This only applies to some devices, including Ring’s Floodlight Cam, Spotlight Cam Wired and Spotlight Cam Mount from 2019 or later, along with most Echo models (including the Dot, Plus, Show, Dot for Kids and Studio) made after 2016.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Kim Komando

(Pexels Photo)...
Kim Komando

9 photos you should always have at the ready on your phone

Your phone’s photo library is good for more than just selfies and pictures of food for Instagram. Snap and keep copies of important documents such as vaccination cards, driver's license and other forms of identification.
4 days ago
(Unsplash Photo)...
Kim Komando

9 free software copycats that work better than expensive programs

There are more features and tricks hiding in your Mac or PC than most people will ever know. You can do even more if you know the right software to download.
11 days ago
(Unsplash Photo)...
Kim Komando

5 smart digital life hacks to save you time, money and stress

Digital life hacks make life easier, save you money or teach you a new party trick to amaze your friends. Here are five to try.
18 days ago
(Public Domain Pictures Photo)...
Kim Komando

These are the downloads that can ruin a Windows PC

When it comes to your computer, one errant click can spell disaster. Here are downloads you need to avoid.
25 days ago
(Unsplash Photo)...
Kim Komando

7 ways your smartphone can help you get things done

Let’s jump into seven uses for your phone that can make the day and whatever tasks are on hand simpler.
1 month ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Kim Komando

Scan photos and documents without buying a scanner

If you just need to get a digital copy of your license or some other document, I’ll show you how to do it with the tech you own instead of buying a scanner.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
...
Albertsons

Grill like a pro this fall with tips from Albertsons

As the weather cools and football season kicks off, it’s a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy your favorite outdoor meals.
3 Amazon privacy settings you need to change now