Oops! Par­ents need presents of mind around dig­i­tal de­vices

Maroochy Weekly - - FAMILY LIFE -

IT’S early De­cem­ber and many of us are al­ready well un­der way with our Christ­mas shop­ping.

But shop­pers who own an Ama­zon Alexa may need to watch out – be­cause it now ap­pears our dig­i­tal de­vices could be ac­ci­den­tally or­der­ing presents with­out our knowl­edge.

A cy­ber se­cu­rity ex­pert has warned par­ents to be cau­tious about dis­cussing their presents plans in the same rooms as their vir­tual as­sis­tants.

Matt Ho­ran, of C3IA, so­lu­tions has re­vealed that de­vices such as the Ama­zon Alexa or Google As­sis­tant can in­ter­pret per­sonal con­ver­sa­tions as com­mands and or­der items on­line with­out your knowl­edge.

The UK-based ex­pert said: “With Christ­mas ap­proach­ing I can fore­see many peo­ple an­swer­ing doors to de­liv­ery driv­ers with pack­ages that the per­son knows noth­ing about – and which their ‘home helper’ has or­dered for them.”

Ad­vis­ing on how to com­bat any un­wanted or­ders, Mr Ho­ran said: “The most sen­si­ble (ap­proach) is to dis­able the voice pur­chas­ing el­e­ment of the de­vice, or at least set up a pass­code.

“And of course they can be turned off when you are hav­ing de­tailed dis­cus­sions about po­ten­tial items you might want.”

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