As the name suggests, a voice-activated home speaker is a type of speaker that uses voice to make it work. It is a smart speaker. It is a wireless speaker. It is a voice-command gadget or a wireless, smart audio playback device. And, it often comes with a virtual assistant that makes possible some interactive activities without any manual activation. All it needs is to hear some “magic words”.
With its voice recognition element, a voice-activated home speaker processes the verbal information it receives. And, it sends that information back to the smart speaker. Built into this device, hence, is a service that applies algorithms to identify the user’s word usage and unique patterns of speaking.
With all its features, it is easy to use, easy to connect to various kinds of audio sources, and easy to do some other stuff. For instance:
* It can function as a home automation hub if it has a voice-activated digital assistant.
* It can interact with different online systems as well as those existing in its environment.
* It can be a part of an entire home’s stereo sound system if it has a built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
* It can be a WiFi base station and/or a bass station, too.
A smart speaker is so useful indeed. But, when used by people with bad intentions (like gathering some facts about the users — especially those who are using a microphone to recognize their voices — for example), it may give rise to some security and privacy issues. This dilemma holds true as well if hackers intercept data and some important private instructions that serve their evil plans.
1 If you are to buy or use a voice-activated home speaker, choose one from Apple, Amazon, or Google. Every single one of them has a couple of security measures: a 2-factor authentication and a WPA-2 encryption (which is a secure WiFi network).
2 Other things that you can do or should not do to prevent any problems regarding your security and privacy includes (but are not limited to) the following:
* Use a strong password (and change it as needed).
* Be extra careful with your commands and your connected devices. Personal and important information (e.g., Social Security or Insurance numbers, bank & credit card information, etc.) should not be heard by your voice assistant. Your surveillance camera and door lock should not be connected to your voice assistant either.
* Watch for “security warnings” such as an email, a phone call, or a mailed receipt/letter received re: a purchase you didn’t make.
* Get rid of your past commands about vital or personal information.
* Do not use an open hotspot in your house. Use a safe & secure WiFi network (the one that’s WPA-2 encrypted) instead.
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