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Sidewalk sharing your Ring cameras. Why you should reconsider.

Posted on: July 14th, 2021

What is Sidewalk:

If you are using an Amazon Ring camera, you are probably part of the Amazon Sidewalk Community. On the Ring website, it indicates that the Amazon Sidealk is a SHARED network of devices. This includes any devices you might have like the Echo, your Ring security camera, any motion sensors and outdoor lights. Now at first, you may think that this is a great idea. Why wouldn’t you want all your devices sharing a network? However, one thing you may not notice is that it also “unlock unique benefits in your device and support OTHER Sidewalk devices in your community”. What Amazon does is uses a bridge device like an Echo or Ring and shares small parts of you and your neighbors bandwidth to extend additional service to other people in this Sidewalk community. That way if you or one of your neighbors loses connectivity, it will just switch to one of those internet signals so your service isn’t disrupted.

What are the concerns?

There are several concerns here with this methodology. For one, sharing your network means there is a possibility of slowing down your connection. You are also now paying money for your internet that oh, by the way, you are going to donate some of that as a free service. However, the biggest, most concerning issue has to do with security.

Privacy and Security

While companies do their best to protect your information, opening up an internet connection to an array of devices out of your hands and home is concerning. You can’t trust that X home owners Ring camera won’t get compromised and that someone will use the Sidewalk connectivity as a way to get into your home. Also, by openly staying opted in to this sharing, you truly have no control over what is being shared. There have been so many breaches and ransomware issues in the news lately that each user and home owner needs to be aware of just what they are connecting to. In this case, all you know is it’s being shared with someone in your neighborhood. This leaves a lot of things to chance.

Turn off sharing for Amazon Sidewalk

If you have any of these Amazon devices, in June you were automatically switched to Sidewalk. If you want to turn this off, go into your Alexa or Ring settings and turn off the Amazon Sidewalk sharing. Here are the quick steps to opt-out with your Ring camera.

  1. Tap the 3 lines at the top left-hand corner of your Ring app.
  2. Select the “control center” and then “sidewalk”.
  3. Select the Sidewalk slider button and then on that screen it will want you to confirm that you want to disable sidewalk.

That’s all you need to do and it’s turned off. Alcom Security cares about your privacy. We won’t share your network connection with your neighbors. If you need more help understanding your internet connections privacy, contact us today.

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