Security alert for Amazon products that connect to the internet

Margret

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Amazon has come up with a new "service," known as Amazon Sidewalk. Any physical device made by Amazon that has internet access (think Kindle, Alexa, Ring doorbells, Echo, and others) will shortly begin sharing access to your Wifi signal with your neighbors. So far it's only in the U.S., but I would advise any members in other parts of the world to watch out for any plan to extend Amazon Sidewalk to your countries.

Instead of requiring you to agree to this before they do it (AKA "opt in") Amazon has decided to do it automatically unless you specifically tell them not to (AKA "opt out"). I strongly urge everyone who has any device made by Amazon which has access to your Wifi to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk; this could be a major security hole. Check out this article for more information: Amazon devices will soon automatically share your Internet with neighbors

Margret
 

artiemom

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I just completely searched my Alexa app settings. I cannot find Sidewalk anywhere. I will check with my Amazon account...
 

NY cat man

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That's why I will have nothing to do with so-called 'smart' devices. I well remember the line from Orwell's 1984: "Big Brother is watching you".
 

Kflowers

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I don't understand this at all. What is Amazon going to share with my neighbors? Are they going to tell me everything the neighbors have bought? Why would I care?
 
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Margret

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It's access to your Wifi that they're sharing. It's supposed to be a way to protect from Wifi outages - you have trouble with your Wifi but you can get a bit from your neighbor and vice versa. The thing is, there's a reason you need a password to access your own Wifi, and that it's encrypted - an identity thief with access to your Wifi could get all sorts of information from you without you even realizing it. Think about all the things you buy online - do you use PayPal? A credit or debit card? I guarantee you don't want your PayPal password available to every passerby, or your debit card number. How about online banking? Do you want anyone else to have your log-in information for that?

artiemom artiemom , there's a chance that the setting won't become available until it's actually implemented, and I'm not sure when that will be. If it doesn't pop up soon I recommend calling Amazon Customer Service. Maybe if they get enough complaints they'll rethink this plan, though I doubt it.

Margret
 

Kflowers

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thanks, Margret. If we don't find the opt out, I suppose we'll go back to dial up. Sigh, that will be hard. I'll also really miss my kindle.
 
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Margret

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I doubt that it will be necessary to go back to dial up; I repeat - if you can't find a way to opt out on your own, call Amazon Customer Service. It's their job to tell you how to do it, and in my experience they're very good at their job - they were quite nice about explaining to me how to "return" a Kindle book I'd bought mistakenly, for instance.

If the problem turns out to be that you can't opt out until Amazon Sidewalk is actually available, ask two more questions:
  1. When will that be?
  2. And when that time comes, exactly how do I opt out?
Those are the questions you/we really need answers to. I'm fortunate in that I don't happen to have any Amazon devices to worry about, just the Kindle app on my phones, laptop, and iPad, but I'm vividly aware that a lot of the people I care about do have Amazon devices and it's the duty of all of us to prevent identity theft when we see a threat.

Margret
 

Kflowers

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thanks again. Still a little confused. I thought the Kindle was an Amazon device. totally not a tech person. mani just answered my question. so happy to be here.
 
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