You're using your Alexa wrong! Experts reveal where it SHOULD go (2023)

Millions of people around the world own some kind of voice assistant to help them put together shopping lists, play music, set reminders and more.

The most popular of these ever-listening devices is the Amazon Echo, often referred to as 'Alexa', as this is how it prefers to be addressed.

When you set up a smart device like this, the only real requirement is that it needs to be near a plug socket, so users rarely put more thought into its location than that.

However, since the Alexa was first released in 2014, users have learnt that some popular places reduce its ability to hear your voice, or put it in danger of damage.

MailOnline reveals the worst places to keep your Echo smart assistant, and where you should move it to instead.

Since the Alexa was first released in 2014, users have learnt that some popular places reduce its ability to hear your voice, or put it in danger of damage. MailOnline reveals the worst places to keep your Echo smart assistant, and where you should move it to instead

1. Keep it away from the toilet

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A recent study of germs found on smartphones revealed that 100 per cent of screens are home to faecal Streptococci - a microbe found in poo.

Bacteria become airborne when flushing the toilet, and can reach five feet (1.5 m) above the toilet within eight seconds of flushing.

Unless the lid is closed, this explosion of particleswill increasethe chance of bacteriafalling and landing on your phone or, if nearby, your smart speaker.

Therefore, for hygiene reasons, it is best to keep your Alexa out of the bathroom, or as far from the toilet as possible.

But if you really need your shower playlist to get you pumped up in the morning, you can mount it high up on the wall.

It's also a good idea to keep it far away from the bath and sink, to avoid any potential water contact.

2. Keep it away from the sink

Keeping any electrical device near water is, of course, an accident waiting to happen, but potential damage is not the only reason you don't want to put your Alexa by the sink.

The other disadvantage is that the noise from the taps will drown out your voice when you're giving it a command.

However, there are definite benefits to keeping an Amazon Echo in the kitchen, as it is able to tell you when the washing machine is done if it can hear it beep.

Therefore, it is best to have it on a counter or table far away from the sink, to ensure it stays safe and clean, and to protect your vocal cords.

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3. Keep it away from windows

Having an Amazon Echo, or any valuable device, close to a window is a security hazard.

It can serve as an advert for criminals, who might try to reach through and take it, or even break in.

If a bad actor does get hold of your voice assistant, they may also be able to access other devices connected to it, like your car or door lock.

Therefore, it is good to keep it in a place which isn't visible from outside your house.

4. Keep it away from the TV

The virtual assistant's microphone is always listening out for one of its 'wake' words - like 'Alexa' - which triggers it to begin recording the user's command.

Plus, an Amazon Echo will automatically store all of these command recordings unless they are actively erased by the user.

As many adverts these days do involve an actor saying 'Alexa, play…', it is a good idea to keep your device out of range of the television.

This is to avoid any private conversations getting recorded accidentally, as well as avoid it being unintentionally, and irritatingly, activated.

5. Keep it out of the bedroom

In 2019, whistleblowers revealed that people working for Amazon had tapped into conversations through Alexa speakers to check the devices work, which the company confirmed.

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As a result, they had picked up moments such as a woman singing in the shower and bank details being read out.

Dr Hannah Fry, a mathematician and privacy expert, then said that she only keeps her device downstairsfor that reason.

Dr Hannah Fry, a mathematician and privacy expert, then said that she only keeps her device downstairs, and certainly not the bedroom or bathroom (stock image)

The associate professor at University College London said: 'I think there are some spaces in your home, like the bedroom and bathroom, which should remain completely private.

'This technology is activated by a trigger word [such as 'Alexa'] but it keeps recording for a short period afterwards.

'People accept that, but we should all spend more time thinking about what it means for us.'

So, where should I keep it?

Tech experts at CNET have revealed the best places to keep your Amazon Echo or other smart speaker.

These are in a corner of the living room, well away from the window, or on the kitchen counter, well away from the sink.

A mantle or shelf is also a good spot, particularly if it is easily visible so you can see when it lights up to indicate it is recording.

Securely mounting it on a wall that again, doesn't face a window, can help keep it safe, clean and visible, while well away from background noise.

Having an Amazon Echo, or any valuable device, close to a window is a security hazard. It can serve as an advert for criminals, who might try to reach through and take it (stock image)

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But don't let the privacy risks of owning an Alexa put you off them completely, as its 'ever-listening' state has recently helped bring a murderer to justice.

An Amazon voice assistant stored incriminating recordings ofDaniel White, 36,at the time he strangled his wife, which were used in court.

In October last year, the convicted killerkicked open his wife Angie White's locked bedroom door and strangled her before cutting her throat with a Stanley knife.

He then fled the house in Swansea, Wales, in his wife's car and hours later phoned police to confess to killing her.

Detectives discovered White's voice commands stored by the Alexa at the time of the murder which aided his prosecution.

He was recorded as sounding 'out of breath' when saying 'Turn on - Alexa' during the early hours of the morning he killed Mrs White.

This was used as evidence to show that he murdered her just before making the command.

Questions to ask your Amazon Echo that will leave you laughing out loud

If you have an Amazon Echo device in your home, you most likely use it for everyday uses, such as listening to music or checking the news.

However, there are a range of interesting things Alexa can also do.

Once you know what to ask, you can put your Alexa to the test and ask her to supply you with hilarious jokes, pop culture references, trivia, and much more.

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These hidden features will certainly not leave users disappointed and are worth giving a go.

Here are some questions you can ask Alexa to lighten the mood or to tackle your boredom:

  1. Alexa, tell me a joke.
  2. Alexa, I Am Your Father.
  3. Alexa, open spirit medium.
  4. Alexa, do you have any pets?
  5. Alexa, code zero, zero, zero, destroy, zero.

Read more here


Is Alexa snooping on me? ›

The short answer is yes, Alexa is always listening to you. Or, rather, the microphone on your Alexa smart speaker is always active (by default, at least) and is constantly monitoring voices in your home in order to hear its wake word.

Why is Alexa having trouble listening? ›

Check that your device isn't muted. The light indicator is red when your device is muted. For devices without a screen: press the Action button to see if your Echo device responds. To make sure that Alexa hears you, move your device away from walls, other speakers, or background noise.

How do I know if someone is watching me on Alexa? ›

If you're worried that Amazon Echo or Amazon Echo Dot is spying on you without your permission, it's easy to tell when the device is listening. Just look for a circular blue LED light on the device or listen for the tone that sounds when Alexa wakes up.

Is it safe to have Alexa in the bedroom? ›

Amazon Alexa captures personal conversations, warn experts.

Now, experts have warned that you can keep your device anywhere in your house, but you should not keep it in your bedroom. The experts have flagged the concerns of privacy breaches.

Can I be spied on through my Alexa? ›

If you intend to use Alexa to spy on someone, you should know that Alexa is not a spying device. So, there are some drawbacks to using it as a spy device: The recipient's device will start flashing green lights and ring whenever you try to drop in. They must be close to their Echo device for you to see or hear them.

Is anyone listening to you on Alexa? ›

Is Alexa still listening and recording everything I say? No. Alexa is a part of your life only when you ask Alexa to be. By default, Alexa begins listening after your Echo device detects the wake word, so Alexa does not listen to your personal conversations.

Is Amazon getting rid of Alexa? ›

While there were once plenty of loyal users around, Amazon clearly felt that the cost of keeping the site operational was no longer worth the expense. The e-commerce giant announced its intention to close down in December 2021, and the service finally went dark on May 1, 2022.

Why does Alexa turn red when I talk to her? ›

Fixing the Alexa Red Ring

If your Echo speaker is showing a red ring light then it's likely your microphone has been turned off. You can simply turn them back on using the top of the device or factory reset it to get back to the original factory settings.

Why does Alexa speak when not spoken to? ›

Given all that, the most likely cause of an Alexa spontaneous reaction is a misinterpretation of sound. Given how sensitive Alexa has to be to process wake words, sometimes Alexa will react to a sound (even one we might not hear or notice) and interpret that as a wake word.

Can someone else connect to my Alexa? ›

To use Guest Connect, you need an Alexa account, your Alexa voice ID setup, and Bluetooth and notifications turned on. Guest Connect must be enabled on the Echo Device you're trying to connect to. To get started, activate Guest Connect under Your Profile in the Alexa app Settings.

How do I stop Alexa from listening to my conversations? ›

How to mute Alexa to disable the microphone
  1. Press the microphone button on your device.
  2. If the light is red, Alexa is not listening.
Mar 2, 2023

What color is Alexa when someone is listening? ›

A cyan spotlight on a blue ring means that Alexa is listening. The light ring glimmers briefly when Alexa has heard and is processing your request. A briefly glimmering blue light might also mean the device is receiving a software update.

Where not to put Alexa? ›

Voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo Alexa should not be kept in bedrooms, suggest experts. Here's why! According to Dr. Hannah Fry, a mathematician at University College London and expert on tech company algorithms, the device should not be used in private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms.

Is it bad to leave Alexa on while sleeping? ›

They are intended to stay plugged in and always on. They don't use hardly any electricity when not actively in use, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Can Alexa listen in on rooms? ›

Yes, your Echo speakers give you a way to remotely communicate with other rooms. The only requirement is that you have an Echo speaker (or your phone) nearby and another Echo speaker in the room you want to speak to. Alexa calls this intercom feature drop-in.

Is there a camera in my Alexa? ›

The Amazon Alexa Home Monitoring feature uses the device's built-in camera to provide a video feed. While using Home Monitoring, you can hear what's going on inside the room as well as see the video feed. You can also hear what's going on and even communicate with the built-in microphone on the Echo Show.

What is the Alexa secret code? ›

UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, START” is the super Alexa mode code. This code is merely a fun way to honor the history of video games; it doesn't activate anything on your Alexa device. The most well-known instance can be seen in Contra, a 1988 run-and-gun shooting game.

Can Alexa drop in on another house? ›

You can drop in on a device outside your household as long as the contact on the other end has given you permission from their Alexa app. To drop in this way, say "Alexa, drop in on [name of contact]." You're connected to that contact through one of their Echo devices and can start chatting.

How safe is Alexa in your home? ›

If a hacker can gain access to your home's Wi-Fi network, they can access to anything connected to it. However, we haven't found any reports of an Alexa device being hacked by someone with nefarious intentions. Over the years, researchers have hacked Alexa to find vulnerabilities bad actors could exploit.

Is there a lawsuit against Alexa? ›

Kaeli Garner, Ricky Babani, and other plaintiffs allege that Amazon sold its Alexa-enabled devices to consumers using unfair and deceptive advertising, and illegally record conversations in violation of state law.

Is Alexa recording my conversations? ›

Alexa does not actively record and store all your conversations, but it's always listening for "Alexa," the wake word.

Which is better Google or Alexa? ›

Both Google Home and Amazon Alexa are excellent smart home platforms, and whichever one you pick, it'll be available in a wide range of different affordable or premium speakers. We recommend going with Alexa if you want the most home integrations.

What is the replacement for Alexa? ›

Compare Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices
Google Nest AudioSmart speaker0.75 in. tweeter, 3 in. woofer
Amazon EchoSmart speaker0.8 in tweeter (2), 3 in. woofer
Google Nest Hub MaxSmart display0.7 in. tweeter (2), 3 in. woofer
Amazon Echo Show 10Smart display1 in. tweeter (2), 3 in. woofer
2 more rows

What's the difference between Alexa and Echo? ›

Many people use the names Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo interchangeably but there is a difference between the two. The short answer to this is: Alexa is just the AI service and not the product. On the other hand, Amazon echo is the physical device that is used to interact with Alexa.

Why is my Alexa light purple? ›

A spinning blue light that ends with a purple flash indicates that Do Not Disturb has been activated. A flash of purple after you interact with Alexa means that Do Not Disturb is still enabled.

When Alexa turns green? ›

Alexa flashes green when you have an incoming call. The green light flashes in two ways: clockwise spinning and pulsing. The spinning green light means you're currently talking on a call or have a drop-in. On the other hand, a pulsing green light means you have an incoming call or drop-in waiting for you to respond.

Why is Alexa light blue? ›

Conclusion. Seeing the LED ring on Alexa light up or start spinning for no apparent reason might be scary when you don't know why. But most of the time, it's nothing; that is, Alexa is just behaving normally. You'll see it go blue because it's starting up, preparing for setup, or processing a command.

Why did Alexa start whispering? ›

Not only are Amazon's smart speakers quieter overall, they could also detect the fact that I was whispering and respond in the same way. Apparently this feature called whisper mode rolled out back in 2018 as part of Amazon's efforts to make Alexa's speech more natural and intuitive.

What happens when you whisper to Alexa? ›

If you don't want to wake a sleeping family member when you ask Alexa for weather in the morning or turn off the alarm, you can turn on Whisper Mode, which allows you to whisper to Alexa, and Alexa will whisper the response back to you. Just say, “Alexa, turn on Whisper Mode.”

Can I rename Alexa to something else? ›

Select Devices . Select Echo & Alexa. Select your device. Select Edit Name.

Can Alexa be connected to two phones? ›

There's no limit. To manage your devices, in the Alexa app go to Settings and select the name of your Alexa device.

How do I stop people using my Alexa? ›

Open the Alexa app . Open More and select Settings. Select Account Settings. Select Guest Connect, and then turn Allow Guests to Connect on or off.

Can you drop in on Alexa without them knowing? ›

Short Answer: No, you can't Drop In on Alexa secretly.

The Drop In feature of Alexa functions like an intercom that can let you check in or communicate with other users and broadcast to specific speakers at your home.

How do I stop Alexa from snooping? ›

  1. How to stop Alexa from listening in 5 easy steps.
  2. Know when Alexa is recording. ...
  3. Use the mute button to disable the microphone. ...
  4. Disable the camera when not needed. ...
  5. Delete your Alexa voice history. ...
  6. Review your Alexa privacy settings and manage how your voice data is handled. ...
  7. What happens when you drop in on Echo show?
Jan 25, 2022

How do I make sure Alexa is private? ›

To update your privacy settings through the Alexa app:
  1. Open the Alexa app .
  2. Open More and select Settings.
  3. Select Alexa Privacy.
  4. Select the setting you want to update.

Can you monitor someone with an Alexa? ›

With Home Monitoring enabled on your Echo Show, you can configure routines that trigger when it detects a person. For example, you can have Alexa turn on smart devices whenever a person walks into a room. To set up occupancy routines: Open the Alexa app.


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