MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Do you have Amazon Alexa on an Echo Speaker or have a Ring Doorbell camera?
If so, you have until Tuesday to opt out of a new feature that experts say may compromise your security. It’s called Amazon Sidewalk.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea because I don’t think it’s safe,” said Lauren Cooper, Cooper Systems
Cooper with Cooper Systems, a computer service and networking company in Memphis, is talking about Amazon Sidewalk.
It’s a new feature the online giant is rolling out that will allow anyone who owns an Amazon device to contribute a portion of their internet bandwidth to create a shared network.
“If someone gets hacked into, even a neighbor, then whoever gets hacked into has access to all of your information that goes over your network,” said Cooper.
The idea behind it is that if you own an Echo speaker, Ring security camera, floodlight cameras, or spot cameras and your connection fails, the Sidewalk network can pick up the slack.
The new feature can even help you find lost items.
“To me, the disadvantages outweigh those pros, because there are too many things that can happen this day and age with hackers,” said Cooper.
Everyone with a device is automatically enrolled, but you can opt out.
If you are using the Ring app, select the three-lined icon in the top left corner, click sidewalk and click opt-out. If you are using the Alexa app, open More, select Settings, then Account Settings, click Amazon Sidewalk. Then you can turn Amazon Sidewalk off.
“Make an educated decision for themselves,” said Cooper.
Amazon sidewalk will launch on June 8th.
We reached out to Amazon for a statement about this new feature, but we have not heard back from anyone.
Their website said Sidewalk is designed with multiple layers of privacy and security to secure data on the network.
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