Hey, Alexa – Can you Keep a Secret? Minimizing AI Cyber-Attacks

July 27, 2021

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We are seeing an explosion of technology as our devices become more powerful and less expensive. Companies are taking advantage of our voracious appetite for all things technology and creating a world that is connected device to device.

We have evolved to having a virtual assistant via smart speakers and phones (i.e. Alexa, Siri, etc.), that connect everyday objects such as the dishwasher or TV to the internet. These wonderfully convenient enhancements make our lives richer.

One estimate says that nearly 66% of the world’s population (about 5 billion) uses the internet. Some additional statistics show:

  • In 2020 there were 6 billion Google searches per day

  • Facebook uploads 147,000 pictures every minute

  • By 2022 it is estimated that we will spend over $5.4 Trillion shopping online

  • In 2020 there were 218 billion apps downloaded

  • By 2025 there will be more than 31 billion devices connected to the Internet

The problem is that there has been a lack of attention to cybersecurity in the past, which has allowed the outside world to gain access to all of our information. With money and information flying around cyberspace, it is no wonder that cybercrime is so prevalent today. The cost of global cyber-crimes is predicted to cost $6 Trillion in 2021, with a Hacker attacking a computer network once every 39 seconds.

It is up to each individual/company to take steps to close down that access and protect themselves from these clever thieves. Norton publishes a list of tips to help you stay secure around your voice assistant:

  1. Enable Voice Recognition - It will help your voice assistant distinguish between your voice and someone else’s.

  1. Watch what you connect to - If you use a voice assistant (i.e. Alexa or Siri), it’s important to be selective about what you are connected to. Connecting to your car or house door may be more dangerous.

  1. Strengthen your passwords - If it’s possible, use two-factor authentication.

  1. Be careful what you share - Be mindful about your passwords, social security numbers, credit card information, etc. around your voice assistant. 

  1. Turn off “personal results” - The best way to protect yourself is to turn off your voice assistant altogether.

  1. Turn off the Purchasing Function - Instead of having a command purchase an item, turn off this function and set up a password for purchases.

  1. Stay on top of Notification Emails - It’s important to monitor your email notifications for any suspicious activity.

  1. Delete your commands - This will wipe away any sensitive information that is stored and force your voice assistant to relearn the command.

  1. Mind your network - Use a WPA2 encrypted Wi-Fi network that has a secure password. When a guest comes over have a guest network for them to use.

  1. Turn off the Microphone - To stop your voice assistant from listening, mute your microphone or turn it off.

 Even though a voice assistant may be useful, it leaves you vulnerable to hackers who can steal your personal information. As a company makes sure you and your employees are keeping up to date with the latest cybersecurity protections. If you have any questions about your cyber insurance and what it covers reach out to TSIB and speak with one of our Risk Consultants today.

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Topics: Cyber

Written by The TSIB Team

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