Are the virtual home assistants really secure?
Those of us who consume everything “tech” are likely pretty fascinated with the world of virtual assistant devices. These small bits of tech are just the beginning of blending human consciousness with computer programming power. Some examples of these devices are iPhone’s Siri, Google Assistant, and the ever famous Amazon Alexa.
Most of us are likely familiar with what these devices can do. Some can read your email to you in the morning while you’re brushing your teeth; while others can order your favorite products and have them delivered to your door. Some can even monitor and track your food to exercise ratio to better your health.
The Challenge of Virtual Assistants
The challenge of these devices can be summed up in one word, safety. You might have heard a few media stories about these devices and how they listen in on our day to day conversations. Sounds creepy? Well, that is what they are designed to do which helps the devices become more integrated into our daily lives.
Each assistant device or platform has its own security and privacy mission. Most companies make this obvious and easy to find, so you are fully aware of how your data is collected and used. The trouble is, very few people read about these policies and then go on to be offended once they realize just how much their device knows about them.
How to Use Virtual Assistants and Protect Your Privacy
You might be wondering if you can enjoy the virtual assistant device world and still expect to live a private life. The short answer is yes, you can. The longer explanation as to whether this is possible is more complicated. You should feel confident about your data and using a virtual assistant device, but to have that security, you’ll have to be knowledgeable about how you use it. You cannot expect to turn it on, never read about its policies, and live blissfully autonomous.
With advancements in technology comes consumer responsibility. If you’re not willing to understand how to use your device and learn about what you should or shouldn’t share with it, this might not be the best option for you. For example, you cannot get upset when your device asks you something very personal about a purchase you made in front of your dinner guests.
All in all, each platform/device clearly defines (some better than others) about how they listen, store, and use your personal information. The old cliche’ of days gone by still holds true today in modern time, caveat emptor, buyer beware.