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[Product Update] Your Bitdefender BOX can now protect against eavesdropping by digital assistants with a new feature called Private Mode

Loredana BOTEZATU

September 11, 2019

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[Product Update] Your Bitdefender BOX can now protect against eavesdropping by digital assistants with a new feature called Private Mode

Want it or not, technology is making its way into our homes. Smart TVs, connected fridges and intelligent lights all work for your comfort and convenience. But, beyond a doubt, the centerpieces of your smart house are your home assistants. Some 70 million smart assistants are in use in the U.S. alone, according to a study published by Voicebot.

Throughout the day, your smart home assistants are listening in the background for the phrases “OK, Google!”, “Hey, Siri” and “Alexa!”. Your commands, together with other conversations going on at the time, are sent to the cloud, interpreted, and transformed into web searches or actions.

Although anonymized, these voice snippets might however include personally identifiable information such as addresses or names. Other times, digital assistants get triggered by mistake, recording up to 30 seconds of domestic activities in the background.

And, while digital assistants usually come with a hardware switch to kill the microphone, this solution is cumbersome, and customers rarely use it.

Introducing Private Mode, a convenient way to tame your assistants

At Bitdefender, user privacy is our top priority, and we’re constantly developing new technologies to help people stay in control of their data. In this new feature update for Bitdefender BOX, we included a new technology called “Private Mode” that stops your smart assistant(s) from listening to your conversations by temporarily cutting their access to the Internet. You can select how long your assistants will stay offline by simply setting a timer – when the time is up, they will automatically be granted access to the Internet. If you change your mind and need your digital servant up, just press a button to reconnect it without so much as leaving your couch.

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