How to Turn Off Amazon Sidewalk to Protect Your Privacy
Opt out Amazon Sidewalk to stop sharing your internet connection with every nearby Amazon device. Amazon is using your devices to create a network of free internet connections for their devices to use – called Amazon Sidewalk.
Recently Amazon made a change to its Internet-connected devices. Echo and Ring devices will now share your WiFi with other nearby devices. Amazon automatically opts-in all customers with Echo and Ring devices to a service known as Amazon Sidewalk.
Amazon Sidewalk is a technology that uses Amazon devices – security cameras home assistance and even tile trackers – from the giant neighborhood mesh network. What that means for you is that Amazon has helped itself to your WiFi bandwidth and is allowing anyone nearby to use at while they’re in the neighborhood.
This may be enough for some to opt out Amazon Sidewalk immediately.
There are more reasons to opt out Amazon Sidewalk.
For now, Sidewalk is for Amazon devices only. But the company is actively soliciting developers who want to connect their apps and start accessing the mesh network.
That means you’ll be relying on Amazon to scrutinize who gets access to your WiFi connection in your home.
This is a major reason to opt out Amazon Sidewalk now – before more third-party apps and devices are granted access.
Amazon is billing this feature as a big plus to users. and it sort of is. if you constantly misplace your car keys and have one of the tile tracker Bluetooth farms attached to them, Sidewalk may be of interest to you.
Amazon Sidewalk lets you find your electronic devices connected anywhere on the shared network.
Let’s say that you were walking your dog and you dropped your keys somewhere on the street. if you lost your keys out of range of your home WiFi then the tile tracker wouldn’t be of much use because the keys are lost far away from your house.
With Amazon sidewalk if you lost your keys here someone else is home who is part of is shared mesh network, Dan you may still be able to find your keys.
Sidewalk was already enabled on Ring doorbell security cameras since last year.
That means is a Sidewalk enabled device – like a Ring Doorbell or Tile Tracker – stops working unless it can connect to someone else’s WiFi. The Sidewalk enabled devices, the better the network works.
Ring doorbells were already using Amazon Sidewalk for those who did not opt out Amazon Sidewalk earlier. Now more devices were turned on in June 2021.
Amazon Privacy Concerns
However, there are privacy concerns. A countrywide shared network presents a tempting target for cybercriminals. Amazon Sidewalk allows anyone within range of your home or office network to use a portion of your WiFi bandwidth.
Amazon is of course touting its new technology and ensuring users that their personal information is encrypted and secure.
There course is no guarantee better persistent or clever cybercriminal will never be able to break into Amazon Sidewalk through a connected device like a laptop, phone or router. There are many attacks vectors a hacker could use to get into the shared Sidewalk network. Hackers don’t necessarily have to compromise Amazon servers directly. A cybercriminal could possibly find a way into Amazon Sidewalk through a router in someone’s house that has a weak password.
That’s why you may want to opt out Amazon Sidewalk completely.
WiFi routers need firmware updates. They are connected pieces of hardware that need regular patching just like your laptop, tablet, phone and all the apps they contain do.
Routers can also become obsolete and out of date and require replacement.
all WiFi routers come with default usernames and passwords that are supposed to be changed when they are set up in a home or office. some of these username and password combinations are exactly the same for every single router and manufacturer produces. others are actually published on the Internet in case an admin password is lost.
When the default username and password on a new WiFi router is not changed at installation time, it compromises all the private information – images, web surfing activity, private messages – on the network.
How Do I Find Amazon Sidewalk?
Customers can find Amazon Sidewalk in their Alexa account and opt out quickly.
How to Opt Out of Amazon Sidewalk
To opt-out of Sidewalk on your Echo speakers and smart displays you’ll need to go to the Amazon Alexa app.
To opt out Amazon Sidewalk for all devices, use the Alexa app to make a few quick settings changes.
Time needed: 3 minutes
How to Opt Out of Amazon Sidewalk
- Open the Alexa app.
- Select More at the bottom of the screen
- Next select Settings.
- Choose Account Settings.
- Select Amazon Sidewalk.
- Turn Amazon Sidewalk On or Off for your account