Many people love their voice assistants like Siri and Alexa. They are an easy way to find nearby services, learn information, help with cooking, obtain news information, get the weather, and more. However, researchers are realizing that scammers are being indirectly aided by these devices, increasing cybersecurity risks.
When someone sends a request to voice assistants, the same algorithms that generate search results when you search on Google, Bing, or other search engines are employed. So, if a scammer is attempting to lead people to a fake website with the intent of tricking users into using offering up their information willingly (or other techniques that steal information), that website can end up being offered by your voice assistant.
While search engines are taking measures to remove and prevent malignant websites from appearing in their search results, a lot of them still sip through. If they do go undetected, your voice assistant won’t be able to discern a legitimate website, or other information offered by the assistant, from a fake website or illegitimate information, and may lead you right to a scammer.
What You Can Do
To prevent this from happening, refrain from searching for phone numbers or general services through your voice assistant. Rather, do a bit of research and use the contacts provided on the website of the company itself.