Learn how they can do it and how you can stop them.
If you’re not familiar with Rebecca Woolf, I encourage you to follow her on Insta. I’ve been a loyal reader since her mommy blogging days, and her posts continue to inspire and challenge me. Her recent series “How I Left” features empowering accounts from her followers on how they left (often abusive) marriages and relationships. Along with personal experiences, followers share advice, book recommendations, and professional resources like attorneys, financial advisors, notaries, and organizations that offer support. You can find the series in her Instagram highlights labeled #howileft.
Normalize divorce being good news
— Rebecca Woolf (@GirlsGoneChild) July 10, 2021
Of everything I read, one of the most shocking posts was about how exes can (and do!) use Google and Amazon speakers to eavesdrop. Most people don’t realize that these speakers can function as calling devices. And Alexa’s Drop In tool turns your speaker into an open intercom with the click of a button.
I immediately sent my husband outside to test this and sure enough, he could hear everything happening inside the house.
All your ex has to do is download the Alexa app, login with your Amazon.com account (many partners, like my husband and I, share one), select your device, and click Drop In. As a security measure, your Amazon speaker makes a noise whenever someone Drops In or disconnects, and it lights up for the duration of the call. These features cannot be disabled. But if your ex knows your schedule, they can Drop In before you get home and disconnect when you leave the room. I don’t know about you, but my speaker makes noise and flashes lights so often that I wouldn’t even clock it.
To Disable Drop In:
Log in to the Alexa app and select your speaker/device.
Click the settings icon in the top right corner.
Then select Drop In.
And while you’re in there, disconnect your device and open your own, separate Amazon account, then reconnect your device to that one. Without access to your Amazon account, no one can Drop In unless you grant them permission.
Google doesn’t have a Drop In feature, but it is still possible use it as an open mic. All your ex needs is to do is download the Google Home app to their phone and connect it to your speaker. Then, when you’re out of earshot, they ask the speaker to call their phone. Once they pick up, it’s a live mic straight to their phone. Yes, the four little lights on your Google speaker will be illuminated blue, but depending on its placement, it’s likely you’ll never notice. Enabling the call does require your ex to have access to your house, but if they’re the type of person who wants to spy on you, chances are they’ll find an excuse to pop inside.
You can monitor and remove their access using the Google Home app on your own phone, but they will be notified of the change. If I were you, I’d just unplug from the drama. Literally.
To remove access to your Google speaker:
Open your Google Home app.
Select the Home you wish to edit.
Tap Settings > Household.
Select the account you wish to remove.
In the top right corner, click Remove.