Artificial intelligence is becoming a part of our everyday lives, not just with automation of certain tasks, but with AI features even forming the major selling points of new smartphones, laptops and countless other devices.

Of course, any explosion in new technology brings with it associated risks, not least from so-called ‘bad actors’ who want to exploit weaknesses in emerging systems before they get closed down or people become more adept at protecting themselves.

So here are some ways of ensuring you stay secure as more devices, apps and programmes begin using AI technology.

1. Do an audit

It’s wise to check apps on your smartphone intermittently to ensure you’re aware of everything they have been given the permission to use. Does a third-party app really need access to your camera or microphone, for example? If not, remove these permissions or delete the app altogether.

Some devices and operating systems will do this automatically for you, but it’s still worth double checking yourself.

2. Read the cookie notices

Granted, they won’t be winning a Booker Prize any time soon, but it’s worth giving cookie notices a quick read as you browse, because you won’t have to delve too far to spot something amiss. Some sites, for example, share collected data with hundreds of partners, often for sites you haven’t ever visited. If this isn’t something you’d want to agree to, simply don’t – select ‘reject all’ (or manually go through if this option isn’t offered).

3. Exercise healthy a healthy dose of suspicion

That free game you downloaded, what does a developer gain from offering it to you for nothing, especially after they potentially invested thousands of pounds in creating it? There’s every chance it’s harvesting data, which can then be sold on for a surprisingly high price. Remember, data is valuable – encapsulated in the somewhat cynical but true aphorism “if you’re not being sold anything, you’re the product”.

If something is free, question why that’s the case, and only divulge information you’d be happy passing on to a stranger.