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Alexa devices will soon connect to your neighbors’ Wi-Fi

Amazon Alexa devices will soon connect to all available Wi-Fi access points in your neighborhood to create a “shared network.”

That means any Echo or Ring doorbell cameras will connect to a nearby Alexa device.

Amazon has launched a feature to connect your Alexa Echo Dot and Ring doorbell to your neighbors’ Wi-Fi and have their devices connect to yours.

It’s called Amazon Sidewalk, and it is a feature you might not want. Sidewalk allows people in the neighborhood with other Amazon devices such as the Echo Dot and Ring doorbell to use a segment of your Wi-Fi, and you don’t have to give them the password.

Amazon is marketing this as something good for everyone, but that might not be the reality, says Carrie Kerskie, a cybersecurity expert.

“I always tell people you gotta watch out for that convenience factor,” Kerskie said. “Because the more convenience you have, the less privacy you have, and let’s look at what these companies have done in the past. One of the big things that they have an issue with is tracking people and knowing too much about you.”

Protect your home Wi-Fi:

  • Keep router up to date
  • Turn off remote management
  • Set up a guest network
  • Log out as administrator

Also, Amazon Sidewalk is what is known as opt-out. That means your device will automatically join Sidewalk unless you go into your Alexa app and change the settings.

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Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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