Tech expert on smart-home assistants like Google Home and Amazon's Alexa

Our technology consultant Craig Peterson discussed smart-home assistants — like Amazon Echo’s “Alexa” and Google Home. They work in the background, listening, recording and transmitting what you say.

Peterson says those high-tech conveniences do come at cost — privacy and personal data.

“It’s not as much of a risk as it used to be, but we have a new risk that has show up and it has to do with a TV report,” Peterson said.

Recently, there was a story circulating about a young girl who had accidentally ordered cookies and a dollhouse. Her take: Alexa ordered them for her.

If you’re not careful, anyone can “wake up” your device and place an order.

For Tim Stetson of Hooksett, who owns such as device, Alexa is a wonderful tool.

There is concern that someone could visit a home, tell the device to order something, and pick it up before anyone else sees it.

However, Stetson explains why he’s not worried.

“When that story came out, I was wondering myself why the parent didn’t just cancel it. You get updates on your phones when you order something. You get a billion different emails before you even get the package,” Stetson said. “Plenty of time to cancel the item.

If you have one of these devices, read the instructions because you can tighten the controls. That includes – a mute button for the live mic on the Echo.
And when it comes to an unwanted purchases on Amazon, you can cancel the order, or return it.