Amazon’s Ring has had a rough couple of months when it comes to privacy and security, but we all may be better off as a result. Starting today, Ring is taking two big steps toward assuring customers that their accounts safe from hackers and prying eyes.
First off, Ring is making two-factor authentication mandatory for all users. That means that users will be required to verify their account with a six-digit code when signing in to their account on a new device. By sending a code to one of your trusted devices, you will know if someone other than you is trying to access your account remotely, and you can change your password.
Codes can either be delivered via text (SMS) or email. Hopefully Ring will add authenticator apps and security keys in a future update.
Ring will also be beefing up its privacy via its new Control Center. Users can now opt out of sharing information with third-party advertisers. The new options will be available to all users beginning this week.
Earlier this year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation found that the Ring’s Android app was “packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information.” In response, Ring has announced that it will be “temporarily pausing the use of most third-party analytics services in the Ring apps and website” while it works to deliver greater control over opt-out options.
Ring offers very limited and somewhat hidden opt-out control via its website but says it will be providing “additional options to limit sharing information with third-party service providers” in early spring.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.