For most people, part of working at home involves online conference calls, phone conversations with co-workers and logging into work via wi-fi. Intrust cyber security consultant Dave Hatter raises some concerns about confidential information, Amazon Alexa and working at home.
Who’s Listening and When?
Hatter recently told Reader’s Digest that smart speakers like the Echo can actually be not so smart. “Smart speakers, aka virtual assistants or digital assistants, have had their share of issues,” Hatter told the magazine. “There are many documented instances of smart speakers listening when they shouldn’t be and capturing information that could be embarrassing, if not damning, in some instances.”
The device’s “wake word” triggers it to start recording. Amazon has disclosed that the company uses employees to listen to recorded snippets to help refine the system’s voice recognition ability. You may not want any recording to happen during conversations involving confidential work information, Hatter advises.
The other concern Hatter raises is the possibility of hackers breaching your network through the speaker (or any other device operating on the internet of things or IoT). These include video doorbells and “smart” appliances “If these devices are not configured correctly and patched when updates are released,” Hatter explains, “they could be used as an entry point into a user’s network. There is a potential privacy and security double whammy.”
Options for Alexa and Working at Home
As Hatter explains in the article, there are simple steps you can take to avoid accidental recordings: The first is to not use the devices in your home or to unplug them during work hours if you have one. Other options include changing the settings on the device to not allow recordings to be reviewed or asking the speaker to delete all recordings immediately or at the end of every day.
To help guard your home network and all your online accounts from hackers, be sure to use a safe and strong password. A password vault is helpful in creating secure, unique passwords and storing them so you don’t have to remember them.
If you have questions about working from home securely, contact us. We’re happy to help companies set remote workers up for success.