Protect your home with your smart speaker by using three Alexa settings

ALEXA is useful for lots of things but did you know your smart speaker can help to protect your home?

Here are three security features you can turn on when you leave the house.

Away Lighting

If you purchase a compatible smart light, smart switch or even a smart plug, Alexa can turn your lights on and off.

This is useful if you've been away for a long time and want it to look like someone is in your house.

Once set up in the "Devices", your smart bulbs can be added to a "Routine" schedule.

To create a Routine, go to the main menu of your Alexa app.

Tap "Routines" and then + icon in the top right corner.

Then click 'When this happens' and then 'Schedule'.

Then just select a time you want the lights to come on and how often you want this to happen.

You then need to "Add" the action and select the devices you want turned on.

You also need to select when you want them to turn off.

Drop In

Drop In could be useful if a neighbour tells you they've heard noises at your home and you want to make it sound like there's someone in the house.

Drop In is different to a voice call in the sense that you can drop in whenever rather than wait for an answer.

It works like an intercom so you can just make an announcement with no reply expected.

To use the feature you need at least one Amazon Echo device and the Alexa app.

You'll need to sign up for Alexa Calling and Messaging.

Open the app and click the Conversations icon, which is a text bubble.

Follow the onscreen prompts and enter your details.

Drop In should be set up by default but to make sure it's on go to Settings.

Then pick a speaker from the list and under General it should tell you that Drop In is turned on.

Use the Alexa app to Drop In by clicking on the "Communicate" icon.

Then just select the device you want to talk from.

Alexa Guard

Unfortunately, this feature is only avaliable in the US.

For those lucky users, Alexa Guard turns your smart speaker into a device that can listen out for break in signs.

These signs include burglar alarms or even breaking glass.

Alexa Guard can alert home owners via their Alexa app if there might be a break in happening.

It can send you audio and prompt you to Drop In.

What is Alexa?

If you’ve never heard of Alexa, here’s what you need to know…

  • Alexa is an "intelligent" personal assistant built by Amazon.
  • You can find her on several different devices, including Amazon's Echo speakers.
  • Alexa responds to voice commands, and can talk back to you.
  • She can perform thousands of different tasks, including telling you about the news or weather.
  • But she can do more complex things too, like ordering a pizza or arranging an Uber taxi pick-up.
  • To activate Alexa, you need to say "Alexa" to an Amazon Echo speaker.
  • Alexa speaks 15 language variants, including French, Portuguese, Hindi, and Spanish.
  • Because she's powered by artificial intelligence, Alexa is constantly getting smarter.
  • Alexa will also get more used to your voice, and better understand what you want her to do over time.

In other tech news, Spotify is said to be working on a karaoke mode.

A mysterious bug that can crash your WhatsApp is being spread via a specific text.

And, Instagram Stories have started to appear on Facebook.

Do you depend on Alexa? Let us know in the comments…

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