Many people are becoming more in tune with installing smart home devices, specifically smart speakers, to make their homes smart. But the question is, are they really empowering everything around us to be smart, or is it becoming a way for outsiders to spy on us?

Some of the most popular smart speakers that people are installing in their homes include Apple HomePod, Google Home, and Amazon Echo. These devices are always on the lookout to everything that you say, especially for commands such as "Siri" and "Alexa." Hence, it is no surprise that data can be derived and used for other things apart from personal use.

While smart home devices are providing convenience to its users, it does not come without the glaring risks. One example of this is the security cameras that we are using. Most people know that it comes with a default password. However, not all are aware of that. Or they may have an idea of it, but they opt not to change it. Unfortunately, leaving the password as it allows hackers to have access to your home and see what is happening inside. It can record everything you are doing or have a heads up if you are not home so they can steal in your house while you are not there.

For the most part, smart devices such as smart speakers are not made to record all the things that you do or say. They are designed to respond to designated wake words such as "Hey, Siri" or "Alexa." These phrases, together with the command, are being recorded for future reference. And this is where most people are raising their eyebrows and find that their privacy is at stake.

The convenience brought by these smart devices lies in the automatic response that they provide when you use specific words or commands.  It can hear your command even in the presence of loud noise or music. But since it needs to answer you all the time, it only means that it listens to you all the time. To address this concern, Amazon Echo features a mute button for the microphone. It enables you to avoid your device from recording anything that you are saying.

Smart devices usually are just picking up the words that you are saying. But there are more personal data that it can get. It may not have all the data of the recordings of what you have said, but manufacturers (Apple, Google, Amazon) may have data about the questions you have asked, the commands that you are using, and some of the activities that you are doing.

You can opt to deactivate the voice assistant of your device. But it should be done manually. Yet, doing so will only defeat the purpose of the smart device. It will not work as it should be doing since they cannot answer your command.

It has been said that there is encryption with everything that you will hear. Apple, Google, and Amazon have been assuring the public about it. They would like their customers to know that they value personal privacy and security.  But it is still far from impossible that there will be other issues that will arise by using these smart devices. And we are not assured yet whether these smart devices are just smart enough to provide us convenience. Or are they even smarter to spy us with all the things that we are doing? The answer is maybe quite vague now. But certainly, our concerns will always be addressed one after the other.

So, what is your opinion? Do you think smart home devices are spying on us? Write your thoughts down in the comment section below.