How to kid-proof your Amazon Echo

How to kid-proof your Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo and the Alexa smart assistant can provide virtually unlimited utility and fun for the whole family. However, there are certainly times when parents want to be able to control what their kids can and cannot do with these connected devices. We’ll show you how you can kid-proof your Amazon Echos and protect your youngsters from potential pitfalls.

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How to kid-proof your Echo

The trouble with locking down your Echo is that there are a lot of different ways your kids can use them. The Alexa app has several tools to help you exert some parental control over your Echo devices. Here are some of the most common ones you’ll want to consider investigating, broken down into three main categories: voice purchasing, Echo device settings, and entertainment settings. Let’s break it down.

Voice purchasing

  1. Open the Alex App on your smartphone. From the main menu, click on Settings at the bottom of the menu list.
  2. Click on Alexa Account. From there, you will be able to adjust the settings for voice control of your Echo devices.
  3. In the next menu, click Voice Purchasing.
  4. Select your kid-proof options.

With the proper commands in place, you don’t have to worry about random Amazon packages showing up on your doorstep, or any mystery charges on your card. In this menu screen you can enable or disable voice purchasing, create a voice purchasing passcode, and enable or disable Kid Skills Purchasing. This can allow your child to purchase skills and items by voice, or you can disable this feature.

Echo device settings

  1. Start at the main Settings menu, and click Device Settings. This will bring up a menu of all of your Echo and Fire devices. You can click on each option to adjust settings per device.
  2. FreeTime is Amazon’s answer to online parental controls. Here you can enable or disable this feature and learn more about Amazon’s Children’s Privacy Disclosure. Note that you can also access FreeTime from the main Settings menu.
  3. Clicking on the Do Not Disturb setting lets you set times when your Echo device won’t bother you with updates or notifications, which is perfect for naptimes and bedtimes.
  4. The Communications setting allows you to enable or disable use of Echos to send calls or messages.

Aside from preventing your children from making unwanted purchases, this just might be the most important set of controls for most parents. Amazon FreeTime is a fantastic service that allows parents to control their children’s access to various kinds of content as well as offering a wide variety of age-appropriate music, movies, and games. When you pair this feature with the Do Not Disturb and Communications controls, you are really able to set some boundaries to your children’s online access.

Entertainment settings

  1. Click on Alexa Privacy from the main Settings menu. This gives you access to the Amazon Privacy Hub where you can see what data Amazon is collecting and make changes to your privacy settings.
  2. If you click on Music from the Settings menu, you can connect various approved music services to your Echo devices.
  3. From the Music screen you can enable or disable the Explicit Filter so your little ones don’t hear anything they aren’t supposed to.

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