Category: amazon

How to 'Haunt' Your House Using Smart Speakers

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Whether you have a Google Home, Amazon Echo, or Apple’s HomePod, your smart speaker shouldn’t go ignored this Halloween. Just as you can ask Alexa to set a timer while you cook, or inquire about the weather with Google, you can also ask your smart speakers to embrace spooky season—if only you know what to ask.

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How to Declutter Your Home: A Start-to-Finish Guide

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It’s hard to argue that most of us have a little too much stuff lying around, but getting rid of your stuff can be difficult. Maybe you’ve formed a personal attachment to certain items or you truly believe you’ll have a practical use for it someday. Most of the time, though, “personal value” means “guilt” and…

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How to Limit Google's Apps From Tracking You on Your Apple Devices

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Apple recently updated its App Store and iOS privacy policies to force app developers to be more transparent about their data collection practices. As a result, users have a little more insight (and, ideally, control) over what data various companies can track—and how. Even giants like Google.

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How to Save as Much Money as Possible Upgrading to the iPhone 11

iPhones are fucking expensive. If you’re one of the millions thinking of upgrading to iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro next week, you will spend, at minimum, $700 by the time you’re done paying it off. You probably only need one phone, and you probably already have one, so should probably figure out a way to use your old…

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How to Delete Voice Recordings From Alexa, Google Assistant, Facebook Portal, and Siri

We can control so many devices through voice interactions with digital assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. This can be incredibly convenient, but it can also be nerve-wracking, knowing that technology companies now possess recordings of your voice and interactions.

That’s not to say digital assistants are unsafe to use, but users should know what data is being collected and why—and how much control they have over the way it’s used. Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook all collect voice data in some form. They also all let users manage what and how the data is saved—though some are a lot better at this than others.


Everything you say to Alexa, via whatever devices you’re using, is stored on Amazon’s servers. You can manage all of this data through your Amazon account, and you can also change these settings for each device using the Alexa app.

  1. Go to Amazon’s voice data management page.
  2. The page features several different headings, each one containing specific stored data/settings. You can use them to delete your voice history, smart alert history, and device-specific history.
  3. Check each of these pages and delete any data you don’t want to be saved—especially the “Alexa Privacy” page.
  4. To opt-out of Amazon using your recordings to improve Alexa’s capabilities, visit the Alexa Privacy page and click on “Manage how your data improves Alexa.” Then, disable “Use Voice Recordings to Improve Amazon Services and to Develop New Features” and “Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions.”


While Facebook doesn’t have an AI assistant of its own yet, the company still collects voice data through its Alexa-powered Facebook Portal video chat devices.

You can manage voice data on your Portal device, in the Facebook mobile app, or from the Facebook website.

  1. Open your Facebook profile
  2. Click/tap the Activity Log
  3. Select “Voice Interactions” filter from the side menu.
  4. Click/tap “Delete All Voice Interactions” to wipe your voice history, or search and delete for specific interactions using the search icon.

Google Assistant

Much like Alexa, all Google Assistant history from devices tied to your Google account can be viewed from any device you can use to access your account settings

  1. Go to your Google activity page.
  2. Scroll down to “Voice & Audio Activity.”
  3. Click or tap “Manage Activity.”
  4. From here, you can search through the history using the search bar; delete based on keywords, date, and/or product-type; or delete each entry individually.
  5. You can disable voice interaction tracking by going back to the main Google activity page, than clicking or tapping the blue slider next to “Voice & Audio activity” to disable it.


Apple often gets a pass when it comes to privacy and data concerns, but even if it is “safer” about handling your voice data, it’s still collecting and saving it—and was having real people listen to snippets to improve Siri’s capabilities.

Unlike other companies, Apple takes an all-or-nothing approach to deleting and blocking recordings of your Siri interactions. You’ll have to stop using the assistant entirely (or delete your Apple account) to remove any recordings Apple has kept.

To “disable” Siri in iOS 11+, you’ll need to:

  1. Go to Settings > Siri & Search.
  2. Disable “Listen for ‘Hey Siri” and “Press Side Button for Siri.”
  3. Accept the warning to fully disable the features.
  4. Next, go to Settings > General > Keyboard.
  5. Disable “Enable Dictation” and accept the warning.
  6. Repeat for every Apple device you own.