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Pogue’s Basics: Make Amazon Echo tell you when it's transmitting

David Pogue
Tech Critic

The Amazon Echo is getting to be crazy popular. It’s like Siri for your home.

Some people, though, are queasy about having an always-on microphone in the house. “Is it listening in? Is it eavesdropping? Is it recording me?”

Well, no. It never records or transmits anything until you say its name, like, “Alexa.”

At that point, you know when it’s transmitting because the ring lights up blue for those few seconds.

But if you’re especially concerned, you can ask the Echo to beep before and after it transmits anything, as an additional awareness helper. In the phone app, open the menu, hit Settings -> your Echo’s name -> Sounds & Notifications.

Now you can turn on sounds that let you know exactly when the Echo is beginning and ending its transmission.

Let your paranoia be your guide.

Adapted from “Pogue’s Basics: Tech.” David Pogue, tech columnist for Yahoo Finance, welcomes non-toxic comments in the Comments below. On the Web, he’s davidpogue.com. On Twitter, he’s @pogue. On email, he’s poguester@yahoo.com. You can read all his articles here (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/david-pogue/), or you can sign up to get his columns by email (http://j.mp/P4Qgnh).

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