What The Tech? How to prevent your Alexa from spoiling Christmas

Amazon has changed the default setting through the holidays so Alexa only says a package will be delivered.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 9:26 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Like most kids, my sister and I snuck around the house looking for Christmas gifts that were intended to be a surprise from our mom and dad. My sister took it a step further by opening any wrapped gifts under the tree to see what she was getting and then wrapped the gifts up again.

She was really good at this too. These days it’s much easier for kids (or spouses) to find out what they’re getting if the items were purchased from Amazon. All they need to do is walk up to an Echo device and say “Alexa, what have I ordered?”.

Alexa will read a list of everything ordered under the connected Amazon account. Alexa might even ruin the surprise if they don’t ask her. Alexa devices typically announce package arrivals and might even say what’s in the package to be delivered.

Amazon has changed the default setting through the holidays so Alexa only says a package will be delivered. To be on the safe side, and to prevent anyone from asking about orders you should take a few steps to maintain privacy.

● Go into settings in the Alexa app.

● Select “Notifications”, then “Amazon Shopping”

● Change the settings (turning off the blue highlight) to prevent Alexa from announcing purchases you’ve made.

Snoopers can also simply log into your Amazon account to see what you’ve ordered and even what you’ve shopped for in the past month. To turn this off you’ll need to go to your Amazon account in a web browser.

Go to “Accounts and Lists” and select “My orders”. Select the order you want to keep secret and look for “archive”. This prevents the item from displaying when someone checks your order history. It must be mentioned they can still find these orders but it’s at least one hurdle they’ll need to jump. Archiving orders is similar to hiding a gift in the house.

They can find it, but they’ll have to know where to look. To delete and turn off browsing history, you’ll also need to change a setting on your Amazon account on a web browser.

Click “Account and Lists” and search the drop-down menu for ‘browsing history’. When you select it, you’ll see everything you’ve browsed or viewed in the last 30 days. There is an option to delete the history and to turn off browsing history for a period of time.

Again, the last two settings must be changed on the Amazon.com website. You cannot make the changes using the smartphone app.