Virtual Personal Assistant – Part 8

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Fixing Siri and Cortana

How to Change the Default Settings in Your iPhone:

It really does not matter what version of the iPhone or iPad that you currently have, Siri was designed by Apple in such a way that it can be used even when the passcode is not entered in. So yes, this means that Siri will be literally up and running the moment you hit the “Home” button on your wireless device.

This has been a known Security risk, and Apple has even acknowledged this as well.  But, their argument has been that in this regard, the end user’s want for convenience trumps that over for Security.

But just imagine the Security risks that are associated with this: Anybody can gain access to Siri no matter where your wireless device is physically located (for example, phone calls can be made, and even text and email messages can also be sent in a very covert fashion-in fact you will not even be aware that it has happened).

Once this occurs, it is quite possible a potential Cyber attacker will use this quite serious vulnerability and try to hack into the iPhone or iPad itself. What can be done to prevent this from happening in the first place? Just follow these simple procedures:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, first go to the “Settings”, click on the app.
  2. Then, scroll to the “Touch ID” and press upon it.
  3. Enter in your new Passcode.
  4. Once this has been done, then scroll to the “Allow Access When Locked” portion.
  5. Then, then tap Siri (or in other words, move the button to the left) so that Siri cannot be activated until you have unlocked your iPhone or iPad by entering in your new passcode.

Disabling Cortana

As we have reviewed in the past blogs, Cortana is the Virtual Personal Assistant that is created and developed by Microsoft and has found its home on the Windows 10 Operating System.  Because of the Security issues which have been found in the Windows 10 OS, the adoption rate of Cortana has dropped over time.  In fact, it is viewed less favorably than Siri.

But unlike Siri which can be disabled, Cortana cannot be disabled once it has been activated.  Not only can this be a nuisance, but it can also prove to be a Security vulnerability as well.  There is a way to permanently disable Cortana, using the Registry Keys.

But keep in mind, this should only be done if you have an advanced knowledge of both using the and editing these keys.  Any inadvertent deletion or even a typo could totally corrupt the entire Windows 10 Operating System.

  1. Navigate to this Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search
  2. Now, click on the Windows Search Folder, and go to New > DWORD (the 32-Bit value).
  3. Name the new DWORD to “AllowCortana” and then set the value to 0.
  4. Log off and reboot your computer.  Cortana should now be permanently disabled.


Our next blog will examine the future implications of Siri and Cortana