Updated 01/13/2020 – Amazon is having more problems with unruly employees. For the second time in the last couple of weeks, the company announced it had to terminate employees for breaching its policies. Last week we found out employees working for Ring, which is owned by Amazon, were caught spying on customers.
Now, Amazon is contacting affected customers to let them know their email addresses and phone numbers were disclosed by another employee to a third party in violation of its policies.
The employee has since been terminated and Amazon is working with law enforcement in their prosecution. Supposedly, no other information related to affected customers’ accounts was shared, but we’ll let you know if there are any updates.
The whole point of a home security system is to make us feel safe. Cameras strategically placed around the house can help keep an eye on what’s happening at all times and allows you to take action when necessary.
Unfortunately, some of the devices used for protection aren’t actually secure. We recently learned hackers discovered a way to take control of Ring devices and traumatize innocent families. Tap or click here to find out how they’re doing it.
Now, things have gotten even worse for Ring users. The company has admitted to catching employees spying on customers through home security cameras. What in the world is going on?
Ring employees caught spying on customers
After learning about certain security breaches with Ring devices, a group of concerned U.S. Senators sent the company a list of questions regarding Ring’s products and services. The company recently responded with its own letter, which was obtained by Motherboard.
In the response letter, Ring admitted it caught employees improperly accessing Ring users’ video data in the past. Those employees were fired for the incidents, but obviously not until the damage had already been done.
In the Senator’s line of questioning, they asked about Ring users’ video data and if Ring employees had access to it. Here is one of the questions and Ring’s response:
Question: To your knowledge, have there been any documented instances of this access being abused?
Answer: “Over the last four years, Ring has received four complaints or inquiries regarding a team member’s access to Ring video data. Although each of the individuals involved in these incidents was authorized to view video data, the attempted access to that data exceeded what was necessary for their job functions.
In each instance, once Ring was made aware of the alleged conduct, Ring promptly investigated the incident, and after determining that the individual violated company policy, terminated the individual.”
While terminating those employees was a proper response, it doesn’t put the genie back into the bottle. Those customers’ videos were still seen by people who shouldn’t have seen them and their privacy and trust have been breached.
Incidents like these put connected devices like security cameras and virtual assistants in the spotlight to show how they put our privacy at risk every day. Even those Alexa-enabled devices in your house are always listening. Tap or click here to learn how to top Alexa from recording you.
Ring wants you to lock down your account
After the reports of hackers taking over Ring devices and thousands of customers’ passwords showing up online, the company offered suggestions on how to lock down your Ring account.
As with any online service, it’s a good idea to set up two-factor authentication (2FA) when available. That’s something Ring wants all of its customers to enable.
This extra security layer will help prevent unauthorized people from getting to your account information. Once you enable 2FA, Ring will require you to enter a unique 6-digit code in addition to your password when accessing your account.
To set up 2FA, open the Ring app and tap the three-line menu in the top-left corner. Click Account, then Two-factor Authentication. Click Turn on Two-Factor, enter your password and click Continue. Enter the phone number you wish to receive the codes on, then tap Continue. Enter the code sent to your phone and click Verify.
That’s just one way to fortify your Ring account. There are more. Tap or click here for 3 settings you must change on your Ring video doorbell now.