The products we buy say a lot about our lifestyle, our economy and our domestic life. If you have an Amazon account, the amount of data that the retail giant collects is amazing. Many do not know you get much more, just free, two-day shipping with a Prime account.
Ready to be pleasantly surprised? Click or click here for a list of the Amazon Prime benefits you receive with a membership.
With these different areas, you collect data about you, if you try to maintain anything of your privacy, you will definitely check these five not so obvious settings.
1. Remove Your Amazon Profile
We do not often think of our "Amazon Profile." But that's exactly what it is. Your profile is created automatically, whether you want it or not, and it contains comments, ratings, public wish lists, biographical information, and other page interaction. This profile does not include your purchases or browsing history, but it is very informative.
To check which activity is visible in your public profile, do the following:
1. Put the cursor on the "Account & Lists" button, and then click "Your Account."
2. Scroll down to the "Order and Action Preferences" section. Click the "Profile" link, located directly above the social media link.
3. Click the link in the orange box to the right that says "Edit your profile." Click the Edit Privacy Settings tab.
4. You can select or deselect items like assessments, questions, who you follow, public wish lists, baby registers and others. To simplify this, it is also a convenient option to "Hide all activity on your profile", which turns everything off at once.
Sometimes it's hard to tell what others can see. If you want a quick look at what information you share publicly, click "View your profile as a visitor." You can tell if you share something you do not want out in the public arena.
If your profile shows your real name or other biographical information you do not want, return to the profile settings page and click the Edit Profile tab. It is located right next to the Edit Privacy Settings tab.
You can edit or delete information such as Bio, Occupation, Location, and more. You can even change "public name" to your profile and post ratings anonymously.
2. Listen to your Alexa footage
If you own an Amazon echo, you probably know its strange secret: the device records a lot of what you say. On the top side, Echo uses these speech data to improve functionality and obey the command.
Does Alexa only just like weather and music? Click or click here for 21 Alexa commands you want to use over and over. The downside: Echo does not save these recordings in the device itself, but on Amazon's servers.
Many people do not understand that you can see your voice logging with the Alexa app on IOS and Android. The app lets you browse your activity and listen to each recording.
It's a bit boring, but it's possible to go back and listen to the very first command you've ever said to Alexa. It's nothing like hearing your two-year-old child say "What's the weather?"
When I check my settings, I'm always surprised at what Alexa is saving, which does not have the password in the code. Tap or click here for step-by-step instruction on how to listen and delete your Alexa footage.
Remember that Amazon warns: "Deleting Voice Recording may compromise your Alexa experience."
Related: You can enable Alexa to call 911. Click or click here for the steps so you or your family can ask Alexa to get help when you need it.
3. Create lists private
There are two main lists on Amazon, Shopping List and Wish List. Many people use their Wish Lists for Gift Ideas, but we often use Wish Lists as a log of things we do not want to forget.
The problem is that anyone in the world can find your wish list by searching for your name. Given, if your name is "John Smith", you can not be easy to figure out. But if strangers find out where you live, they may be able to derive and identify your profile.
To check the Amazon settings privacy settings:
1. Click on the "Accounts and Lists" drop-down list, then select "Shopping list" or "Wishlist".
2. Now on this page "Lists" click on three dots (next to "Share list") and then select "Manage list."
3. Here you can change list details like your list name, recipient name, email, birthday and most of all, its privacy.
4. To change the list's privacy, just click and select "Private" from the drop-down menu.
4. Stop Amazon from Tracking Your Browsing
Like almost all search engines, Amazon also tracks all your surfing activity by default. The company stores your searches, including items you've recently seen and product categories you browse. All of this information helps Amazon create targeted ads. Although your browser history is hidden from the public, you may find this habit disturbing.
How to stop Amazon from tracking your browsing activity:
1. Log in to your account at Amazon.com
2. On the top menu, click on "Your browsing history."
3. On the next page, click the Manage History drop-down menu.
4. Turn on "Turn Browsing History On / Off" to Off
Note: You can also remove your entire browsing history here by clicking the "Remove All Items" button
At the same time you can also turn off personal ads that many customers find cruel and incredible. To turn off targeted ads in your browser:
1. Go to the "Your Account" page.
2. Under "Email Alerts, Messages, and Ads," click "Advertising Preferences"
3. On this page, select "Do not customize ads from Amazon for this browser"
4. Hit "Send"
5. Enter a PIN on Alexa Buy
"Alexa, Order More Shampoo." It's convenient to buy items from Amazon Echo using just your voice.
But I'd prefer to turn off echo's voice purchasing option completely and use Amazon's app or website to shop. This process is much more direct and secure and you reduce the odds of making mistakes.
To turn it off:
1. Open your Alexa app.
2. Touch Settings and scroll down.
3. Touch Voice Purchasing and switch "Purchase by Voice" to Off.
If you still want the convenience (and sci-fi vibration) of Echo Voice purchases, you should set up a PIN to avoid unauthorized purchases.
How to set up:
1. Go to the same Voice Purchasing Settings page on the Alexa app.
2. Change "Buy with Voice" to On.
3. Switch "Voice code" to On as well.
4. This will prompt you to enter your 4-digit PIN.
Once you have set up a voice tag, the four-digit code must be stated to complete a purchase on your echo.
Of course, someone can listen in and use the code again. A voice purchase PIN adds a veneer of security, but it's hardly foolish. As I said, I'd rather have Voice Purchasing completely set off.
What digital lifestyle issues do you have? Call my national radio program and click here to find it at your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for free podcasts.
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Learn about all the latest technology at the Kim Komando Show, the nation's biggest weekend's radio talk show. Kim takes talks and gives advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to privacy and data hacking on the web. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.