Smart speaker safety guide

Tips and advice to keep children safe

Get advice on smart speaker safety to help children who use the technology experience more of the benefits.

Young girl talking to smart speaker

Smart speaker safety at a glance

Benefits of smart speakers

How smart speakers benefit kids

  • Helps children balance screen time;
  • Offers opportunities to learn and develop skills;
  • Can support neurodiverse children;
  • Provides reminders and supports routines.

Quick setup tips

Smart speaker safety options

  • Talk to children about safe and appropriate use;
  • Set up available parental controls and safety features;
  • Set strong passwords;
  • Keep software updated.

Risks of smart speakers

Potential risks of smart speakers for kids

  • Some children might learn poor communication habits;
  • Many smart speakers use female-sounding voice assistants, possibly supporting gender stereotypes;
  • There’s potential to encounter age-inappropriate content;
  • Some children might make accidental purchases;
  • Smart speakers might collect children’s data.

Types of smart speakers

Child-friendly smart speakers

See our Guide to Buying Tech.

Smart speakers parents' guide

Download our quick guide to smart speakers.


What are the benefits of smart speakers for kids?

Learn about the opportunities available for smart speakers and the children who use this technology.

Help kids balance their screen time

Smart speakers can help children develop positive screen time habits. Use smart speakers to set timers and reminders.

63% of parents believe time online negatively impacts their children’s health. So, why not use smart speakers to counter that? Use smart speaker features to play games, listen to music and get moving as a family.

Support children’s learning and development

Some smart speakers have educational features that can help your child to develop their critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills.

Additionally, depending on the smart speaker, these features can help kids with reading, writing and Maths as well as time management. Here are a couple examples:

Word pronunciation and reading

Children who struggle with saying words can ask how to pronounce a word by spelling it out.

For example, with Google Home, children can say, ‘OK, Google, how do you pronounce p-h-o-n-e?’ With Amazon Echo, they can use a skill called Pronunciations and say, ‘Alexa, ask Pronunciations how to say r-o-u-g-h.’

Checking Maths

Smart speakers can help children check their Maths work. For example, they can complete a Maths question and then ask the smart speaker what the answer is.

However, parents should encourage children to do the work first. This will help them develop their skill and learn to use technology in appropriate ways.

Support children with additional needs

Smart speakers remove the need for a keyboard and a screen, which makes it a more accessible technology. Children with physical disabilities can still engage with smart speakers with their voice.

Additionally, voice assistants can help neurodiverse children develop habits and routines to support their growth.

Set reminders and create routines

You can use smart speakers to set timers, reminders and alarms to support children. These features can help children focus, transition to new activities and remember taks.

This an especially useful feature for busy families.

Are there risks for children using smart speakers?

Some worry about smart speakers and the collection of children's data. Explore the potential risks to children who use smart speakers.

Forming bad habits while communicating

Some worry that the way children interact with smart speakers will impact human interactions. This might include bad manners, impolite demands or half-formed sentences.

However, regular communication with children will help them develop these skills accurately. You can also enforce rules around the manners children use while asking voice assistants questions.

Supporting gender stereotypes

Many smart speakers use female-sounding voice assistants. Female voices are generally easier to understand, which is why they’re used in many announcement systems. Additionally, people generally trust female voices more.

However, some worry that these devices recycle gender stereotypes as voice assistants serve users.

Accessing explicit content

Smart speakers play music connected to your account. If your settings allow explicit content, your child might also access this content.

However, you can turn off explicit content or set up voice recognition on your smart speakers. So, when your child asks for a song, it might filter out inappropriate song.

Additionally, you can set up separate child accounts across apps and devices to reduce this happening.

Buying products easily

Many smart speakers let you buy products through the voice assistant. You can generally turn this feature off in your smart speaker settings.

However, it’s also important to talk to children about making purchases without permission.

Learn more with our online money management guide.

Tips to set smart speakers up for safety

Help keep children safe while using smart speakers with these quick safety tips.

Have conversations

Talk to children about safe smart speaker use and set boundaries around how they can use their devices.

Use strong passwords

Set strong passwords on apps used with your smart speaker as well as your accounts. If your child has their own account, do the same for them. These passwords can protect from data breaches while also limiting what children can acces.

Set up parental controls

Review your smart speaker and the available safety settings. Some have parental controls specific to children. These features might include muting you speaker and turning off interaction history.

Keep software updated

Make sure your smart speaker has the latest software. Out-of-date devices can leave your family open to security threats such as data breaches and scams.

Read up on your smart speaker

When setting up any new device, it's important to check available safety features and potential risks. Understanding how your smart speaker works makes it easier to protect children.

Explore kid-friendly options

If you want to purchase a new smart speaker, consider kid-friendly alternatives for added safety.

Types of smart speakers

Explore the following smart speakers, which have safety options to support children who use the device.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids

Amazon provides the Echo Dot Kids to help keep children safe. Additionally, Amazon Kids+ provides more features just for kids.

Echo Dot Kids speakers also have fun designs suitable to kids.

Explore our step-by-step parental controls guide.

Google Nest Mini

Google Nest products include a range of options to keep kids safe. While they don’t have a child-specific device, the Nest Mini is a good screen-free option.

You can also connect Nest devices to your Family Link parental controls.

Explore our:

Apple HomePod Mini

If your family uses Apple products, the HomePod Mini is a good option. It connects to other Apple products like Apple Music.

While it doesn’t have a child-specific option, its screen-free Mini and standard parental controls can help keep kids safe.

Explore our:


Chatterbox is a DIY smart speaker that kids can build and learn to programme. It responds to different commands and will not collect children’s data. Plus, it helps children develop skills in STEM!

Visit the Chatterbox Site or explore other activities to help kids build skills.

Explore more resources

Find more guides to support children's smart speaker safety.

Was this useful?
Tell us how we can improve it