If someone takes control of your Amazon account, they can not only order products with your money, they can learn a lot about you by seeing your order history and browsing history. They could also take control of Alexa voice assistant products and other Amazon products and services you may own. And if you use your Amazon account to log into other websites, then someone who gains access to your Amazon account gains the keys to those other accounts.
For these reasons, it’s critical that you take the time to set your security and privacy settings in your Amazon account. Let’s walk through them.
This guide shows the full, desktop version of the Amazon website. The steps will be similar for the mobile website. The links throughout the guide will take you directly to the pages referenced.
For some settings, I don’t have a recommendation related to security or privacy, so I don’t describe them in this guide. For those, feel free to keep the default, or choose based on your preferences.
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Amazon Your Account Settings
Open the Your Account page. You’ll see a page full of links that allow you to manage your account. We’ll go through them in order.
Click Login & Security. Next to Password, click Edit. Set a long, strong password (20+ characters, with a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters). I recommend using a password manager, such as LastPass, to create and store your password.
Next to Advanced Security Settings, click Edit. I recommend adding an Authenticator App. I like Authy, but you can also use Google Authenticator. Learn more in How & Why to Use Two-Factor Authentication. Amazon doesn’t let you set up Two-Step Verification without adding a backup phone number, so do that too.
Delete any addresses that you no longer need saved in your Amazon account.
Remove any payment methods that you no longer need saved in your Amazon account.
If you own an Amazon voice assistant (Echo or other Alexa device), find it in the list, manage your voice recordings and other settings as necessary.
I recommend choosing Do Not Personalize Ads from Amazon for this Internet Browser to limit the data Amazon collects and stores about you. Otherwise Amazon will track you not only on its own properties but will also track your “visits to websites where we provide ads or content, or use of our payment services on other websites.” Note that even by setting this, you’ll still see the same number of ads, but they’ll be less relevant (less targeted to your personal data).
In the top right of that page, you’ll have an option to disable 1-click in your current browser or everywhere.
On the Your Lists tab, click one of your lists. On the right side, click the ellipsis (…), then Manage list. Set the privacy to Private, unless you truly need to share it. Repeat for any other lists you have.
Your Amazon profile can reveal a lot about you; information which could be used against you. So I recommend making your Amazon profile as private and anonymous as possible.
Click Edit your profile. I recommend setting Your public name to a fictional name (have fun making one up!). I recommend leaving all the other fields blank.
Click the Edit privacy settings tab. I recommend checking the boxes Hide all activity on your profile and Hide sensitive activity.
Review the websites and apps connected to your Amazon account. If there are any that don’t truly need access, click Remove.
Other Amazon Account Settings
Depending on which Amazon products and services you use, there may be other settings you should configure. Click through all the settings on the Your Account page, configuring as necessary.
Amazon Browsing History
If someone gained access to your Amazon account, would you want them to see all the products you’ve searched for and clicked on? If not, you should disable Browsing History.
In the main navigation menu of Amazon.com, click Browsing History. In the top right of that page, click Manage history. You can then click Remove all items and toggle Turn Browsing History on/off to Off.
Using Amazon Safely
If you use someone else’s device (computer, phone, tablet, etc.) to log into your Amazon account, be sure to log out when you’re finished! Otherwise, the other person can use Amazon as you after you leave.Some websites let you log in with your Amazon account. Don’t use this option! If someone hacks your Amazon account, they gain access to all the accounts you’ve set up for Amazon login. Yes, it’s more work to create separate logins for each site, but remembering the logins doesn’t take any extra effort if you use a password manager (I like LastPass).