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How to Stop the Amazon Echo From Buying Stuff

January 13, 2017, 7:50 PM UTC Inc. Launches Its Echo Home Assistant In The U.K.
An attendee holds an "Echo Dot" device during the U.K. launch event for the Inc. Echo voice-controlled home assistant speaker in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. The Seattle-based company today announced that its Echo product line will be available in the U.K. and Germany starting in the fall, the first time the gadget will be available outside the U.S. Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bloomberg via Getty Images

After the close of last year’s holiday shopping season, sales of dollhouses mysteriously surged on The reason? After a local news report about a six-year old who ordered a dollhouse using her parents’ Amazon Echo, the anchorman said “”I love that little girl saying ‘Alexa ordered me a dollhouse.’” And mistakenly, Echo speakers that heard the news started making orders themselves.

Enabled on every Amazon Alexa app by default, voice purchasing mines your previous Amazon purchases and other products available through the Amazon Prime subscription shopping service to let you easily order items without having to browse the company’s website. But Alexa, the Amazon Echo’s voice assistant, doesn’t discriminate between who’s barking commands her way — whether it’s you, a kid, a television show, or even a mischievous friend. So the best way to ensure something like this doesn’t happen to you is to disable or restrict the feature.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Echo

To adjust Amazon’s voice purchasing settings, simply open the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet—you don’t even need to be near your Echo device. Tap on the menu button on the app’s top-left corner, and then tap on “Settings.” Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings page to the “Voice Purchasing” option and tap on it.

There are two ways you can adjust this setting. First, tapping on the toggle switch below “Purchase by voice” will enable or disable the feature entirely. (Blue means it’s on, white means it’s off.) Or you may want to add a failsafe to your voice purchasing. Entering a four-digit code under “Require confirmation code” will prompt Alexa to ask you to speak the number out loud after making a voice purchase to ensure the order was intentional.

All sales made through voice purchasing use your Amazon account’s “1-Click” payment method, an option that you can also change through the Alexa app.

Changing the voice purchasing settings through the app will apply them to all your Amazon Alexa-compatible devices, whether it’s the Echo smart speaker, Echo Dot, or even third-party products.

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