How and why change the Alexa wake word (Amazon Echo)

Did you know that it is possible to change the Wake word of Alexa? Two options are available in extras besides Alexa: Amazon or Echo. But changing this call not only solves some problems around the house, but also increases the security of your equipment against malicious hackers.

How and why change the Alexa wake word (Amazon Echo)

How to change Amazon Alexa activation word

  1. On your smartphone, open the Amazon Alexa app;
  2. Touch the “Devices” tab;
  3. Select the device you want to change the wake word;
  4. Scroll to the “Wake Word” option;
  5. Then choose between “Amazon”, “Echo” or “Alexa”.

Changes will apply only to the selected device.

Why change the Amazon Echo wake word

There are two scenarios considered important for the change in Alexa’s “name”. The first case is when there is more than one Echo spread around the house and you want to direct the command to one of them specifically.

Changing the name or wake word between devices will only activate the desired Echo when you call. This, thinking about those that are in nearby rooms and can be activated by a person among them. If they are further apart, they are unlikely to activate at the same time.

And how can this benefit my safety?

Researchers from the United States and Japan have found that you can remotely control an Amazon or Google smart speaker using a laser without making any sound.

Briefly, they proved that by changing the intensity of laser light, a sine wave is simulated by vibrating the microphone membrane of an Amazon Echo or Google Home, as if a human were giving voice commands.

However, this scenario is very unlikely for an average user. It takes a lot of technique and precision to match both the light intensity and the device’s microphone, not to mention that it needs to be visible for the laser to pass through.

It would be the case of being near a window or something that would allow outside interaction. But the possibility is real, and with access to a device that controls your home and your digital accounts, the danger takes shape.

By changing Alexa’s activation word, the path is less obvious for a malicious hacker – such as using birthdates in passwords, for example. A person who sees an Amazon Echo first thinks of calling “Alexa” instead of “Amazon” or “Echo”.

Just in case, if you’re leaving home, mute the microphone.

Leave a Comment