Smart Devices & Security in The 21st Century


“Okay Google, activate gun.” That’s a real phrase that a Google Home executed with the help of Google Assistant.



Artist Alexander Reben posted a video you see above demonstrating artificial intelligence (AI), in the form of Google Assistant to shoot an air pistol at an apple. Reben says “OK Google, activate gun,” to his Google Home smart speaker. The apple falls off the pedestal as Google Assistant says, “OK, turning on the gun.” If a smart speaker like Google Home can instruct a gun to shoot, what else can it do?


Smart speakers are, well, smart and they have a database of knowledge that is growing on a daily basis. Each day new skills are learned by smart speakers and devices equipped with AI. So, this begs the question, what else can my smart speaker do that could endanger my life? AI is constantly learning and adapting on it’s own and with the of a team, like Google. In the wake of the Facebook data breach and todays world of free data flowing, how can you protect yourself if you have a smart speaker?


Smart Speaker Advice:

  1. Don’t Buy One – It’s great to have the latest greatest tech thing, but is it worth giving up security of your personal data? Who knows what happens with you information after you say something. We all know what happened with Facebook…
  2. Be Careful What You Say – AI remembers everything. Which can be helpful if you are in a rush and need to remember a grocery list, but it can also remember things you didn’t want to be shared with anyone.
  3. Remove Sensitive Data Stored on Accounts – It might be nice to go through the entire process of entering credit card details each time. However, having your payment details stored adds value to hackers, so you may decide its best not to keep your credit card information stored.
  4. Turn Off Your Speaker When Not In Use – Sure, it may be inconvenient to a have to keep turning your device on and off, but this will make sure the device is not listening to things you say when you are unaware.


So, what’s the point of these tips? Who knows how secure your personal data really is with these smart devices. Google and Amazon already have enough of your data; do you really need to be giving out every piece of your information, like what type of laundry detergent you buy from Amazon? In addition to the large corporations owning your data, hackers could get a hold of your information too from these so called smart devices. You have A LOT of personal data within these smart speakers, do you really trust what is done with your information?


Is this the start of the robot uprising, or just a gimmick played out by an artist that wanted 15 minutes of fame? It’s hard to tell, but one thing is for sure; if someone can do it, it can be done again maybe on a larger scale with bad intentions. Are you willing to give up your safety for the sake of convenience?


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Sarah W
Sarah W.

Phoenix Consultant

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