How to Childproof Your Amazon Echo – MUO – MakeUseOf

How to Childproof Your Amazon Echo – MUO – MakeUseOf

Find out how to make the Amazon Echo safer for use by children.
Amazon Echo smart speakers are a perfect way to simplify daily tasks around the house. Whether it be finding the fastest route to work, looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe, or dimming the lights before bed, the Echo devices can do it all.
Although these smart speakers are all about convenience, it means that anybody has access to their information, especially children. We'll show you multiple ways that you can childproof your Amazon Echo device to help protect your children from inappropriate content.
The Amazon Echo is an exciting device, that can alert users for calls, messages, and activity reminders during all hours of the day. But this could become problematic at night. Young children may get spooked by the voice of Alexa at night while they are trying to sleep.
Alerts from Alexa can also distract your children from completing their homework as they may want to join a phone call, or respond to some messages. Scheduling Do Not Disturb mode will temporarily block all calls and message alerts for a select amount of time.
To schedule Do Not Disturb mode, open the Alexa app on iOS or Android and go to Settings > Device Settings, tap on the device you want to change, select Do Not Disturb, and toggle the feature on. After this, tap on Scheduled and set the beginning and end times of your Do Not Disturb timer. This schedule will run every day until it is switched off. You can also use Alexa directly from the app.
You can also use Alexa on Windows to change these settings.
When your child is alone, or even hosting a party with a group of friends, it might be easy to let your smart speaker find entertaining music to help the mood but if you're not careful it could take a wrong turn.
When your children are in control of your Echo device, you never know what they can stumble upon. Whether that be accidental or on purpose, your child might end up listening to songs with explicit language.
The best way to combat this is to set an Explicit Filter to block Alexa from playing songs with inappropriate language. This filter will also limit the type of radio stations that they can listen to.
To turn this filter on, head to Settings > Music, and then turn on Explicit Filter. An alternate option is to ask Alexa to "block explicit songs." But if your child is aware of this, they can ask Alexa to unblock these songs.
One of the scariest things your children can do is accidentally spend all of your money while you are not around. One way to prevent this is to turn off Voice Purchasing through the Alexa app.
To do this, tap on the menu, and head to Settings. From here, go to Alexa Account and then turn off Purchase by Voice. This will block any user from trying to purchase something through your smart speaker.
If you would like to leave the Voice Purchasing feature on, there is also an option to set up a four-digit voice code. When purchasing an item, Alexa will ask you to confirm this code to complete your purchase. Just make sure you keep that a secret.
Drop In is a fascinating feature that allows you to use your Echo devices as an intercom system and check up on your children, call everyone for dinner, or even play a little prank. But in the wrong hands, this device could cause trouble.
The feature allows users to hop into a video call on someone else's Echo Show or Echo Spot. This can become an invasion of privacy if people (even though they may be your friend) are using this feature to drop in on unaware children.
Another issue that could arise from the Drop In feature is that children may use Drop In to spy on adult conversations and hear things that they are not supposed to.
To switch off the feature, head to Settings > Device Settings and then find your device/devices you want to change. From there, select Communications then scroll to find Drop In and switch it off.
Following these steps can help you take a step back and relax knowing that your Amazon Echo device is childproof and has safety measures to help keep your children away from inappropriate content.
Ethan is a freelance writer with over three years experience. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Communications, majoring in Journalism. When he’s not working on articles, Ethan spends his free time working on his short story collection.
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