Amazon Echo and Alexa Privacy Settings

In today’s interconnected world, smart home devices like the Amazon Echo have become increasingly popular. These devices, powered by the voice-controlled virtual assistant known as Alexa, offer incredible convenience and functionality. You can control your smart lights, play your favorite music, and even order groceries, all with simple voice commands. However, the convenience of these devices should not come at the cost of your privacy. To ensure that your personal information remains secure, it’s crucial to understand and configure the privacy settings of your Amazon Echo and Alexa.

Understanding Privacy Concerns


To address these concerns, Amazon has implemented a range of privacy settings that allow users to control and manage their data. Let’s explore some essential privacy settings to help you make informed decisions about your Amazon Echo and Alexa usage.

1. Voice History

One of the first settings to review is your Voice History. This feature records and stores voice commands you’ve given to Alexa. To access and manage your voice history, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Select Alexa Privacy.
  4. Choose Review Voice History.

From this menu, you can listen to, delete, or even opt to have your voice recordings automatically deleted after a set period. Reviewing and deleting voice history can help maintain your privacy by reducing the amount of stored data.

2. Drop-In Settings

Drop-In is a feature that allows trusted contacts to initiate a voice or video call to your Echo device without your explicit command. While this feature can be handy for staying connected with family members, it’s essential to manage it carefully. To configure Drop-In settings:

  1. Navigate to your Echo device in the Alexa app.
  2. Select Communications.
  3. Choose Drop-In.
  4. Set your preferred Drop-In settings, such as who can Drop-In on your devices.

Ensure that only trusted contacts have permission to use the Drop-In feature to protect your privacy.

3. Privacy Settings for Smart Home Devices

If you’ve integrated smart home devices like lights, locks, or cameras with your Echo, it’s essential to review and configure their privacy settings too. Most smart home devices have their own privacy controls within their respective apps. Be sure to explore these settings to limit access and data sharing as needed.

4. Disable Voice Purchasing

While voice purchasing can be convenient, it can also lead to accidental or unauthorized purchases. To prevent this, disable voice purchasing by following these steps:

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Select Alexa Account.
  4. Choose Voice Purchasing.
  5. Turn off the option for voice purchasing.

This will ensure that only manual purchases initiated through the app or website require authentication.

5. Use a PIN for Voice Shopping

If you want to continue using voice purchasing but with added security, enable a voice shopping PIN. This extra layer of protection ensures that only you can confirm purchases. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Select Alexa Account.
  4. Choose Voice Purchasing.
  5. Set up a voice shopping PIN.

6. Third-Party App Permissions

Alexa can interact with various third-party apps and services. It’s crucial to review and manage the permissions granted to these apps. To do so:

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Select Alexa Privacy.
  4. Choose Manage Skill Permissions.

Here, you can see a list of apps with access to your Alexa data. Revoke permissions for any apps that you no longer use or trust.

Staying Informed

To stay on top of your privacy and security, it’s essential to stay informed about updates and changes to Amazon Echo and Alexa’s privacy policies. Amazon regularly releases software updates and enhancements to their privacy controls. Make sure your devices and apps are up to date so you can benefit from the latest privacy features and improvements.

Additionally, consider subscribing to newsletters or following tech blogs and news outlets that cover privacy-related topics. This will help you stay informed about any emerging privacy concerns or best practices for using smart home devices.

Educate Yourself About Voice Data Retention

Amazon has made efforts to be more transparent about how long they retain voice recordings. It’s essential to understand their data retention policies and make informed decisions about your voice recordings. You can check these policies in the Alexa app or on Amazon’s website.

Remember, you have the option to delete your voice recordings regularly to minimize the amount of data stored. Amazon also offers features like “Alexa, delete what I just said” to provide more immediate control over your voice data.

Consider Alternative Voice Assistants

If privacy is a top concern for you, you might consider exploring alternative voice assistant platforms or devices that prioritize privacy. Some companies prioritize privacy protection in their products, and it’s worth doing some research to find options that align with your privacy values.

Protect Your Wi-Fi Network

Your Echo device relies on your Wi-Fi network for connectivity. To further enhance your privacy, ensure your Wi-Fi network is secure by using a strong password and enabling encryption. Regularly update your router’s firmware and review its security settings to prevent unauthorized access to your network.

Alexa Voice Recording Settings

Setting NameDescriptionDefault Setting
Voice HistoryAllows Alexa to store voice recordingsOn
Delete Voice HistoryAbility to delete voice recordingsUser-controlled
Voice PurchasingEnable voice-based purchasesOff
Drop-InEnable the use of Drop-In for communicationOff
Follow-Up ModeAlexa continues listening after a requestOff

Alexa Privacy Controls

Control NameDescriptionUser Control
Disable Voice RecordingStop Alexa from recording your voiceYes
Review Voice RecordingsReview and delete stored voice recordingsYes
Alexa Privacy HubAccess privacy settings through the appYes
Do Not DisturbPrevent Alexa from responding during set hoursYes
Wake Word SensitivityAdjust sensitivity to the wake word “Alexa”Yes

Alexa Data Sharing

Data Sharing SettingDescriptionDefault Setting
Third-party SkillsAllow third-party skills access to your dataUser-controlled
Contact SharingShare your contacts with AlexaUser-controlled
Device LocationShare your device’s location with AlexaUser-controlled
Communication HistoryAllow access to call and message historyUser-controlled
Alexa CallingEnable or disable Alexa calling and messagingUser-controlled

Alexa Privacy Features

FeatureDescriptionUser Control
Whisper ModeAlexa responds in a whisper for quiet requestsYes
Voice ProfileTrain Alexa to recognize different voicesYes
Voice CodeRequire a spoken code for voice purchasesYes
Guest ConnectAllow guests to connect to your Echo deviceYes
Privacy Warning LightsIndicator lights when Alexa is listeningYes

Alexa Privacy Settings for Kids

SettingDescriptionDefault Setting
Kid’s ModeEnable Kid’s Mode for child-friendly contentOff
FreeTimeSet daily time limits and content filtersUser-controlled
Explicit ContentFilter explicit content for child accountsUser-controlled
Voice PurchasingEnable or disable voice purchases for kidsUser-controlled
Drop-InControl who can drop in on a child’s deviceUser-controlled




In an age of rapid technological advancement, protecting your privacy is more critical than ever. Smart home devices like Amazon Echo with Alexa bring incredible convenience to our lives, but they also raise legitimate privacy concerns. By taking the time to understand and configure the privacy settings, staying informed about updates, and adopting best practices, you can enjoy the benefits of these devices while keeping your personal information safe and secure.

Remember, privacy is an ongoing effort. Regularly revisit your settings, educate yourself about evolving privacy policies, and adapt your habits to ensure that your privacy remains a top priority in your connected home. With the right precautions, you can strike the perfect balance between technology and privacy in your life.

Amazon Echo and Alexa Privacy Settings

Leave a Comment