How Safe Is 'Alexa' Amazon Echo Dot?

So, one morning I was watching the British television programme  'This Morning' on ITV hosted by Holly Willoughby & Philip Schofield and during the show, a discussion was brought up by Alice Beer and her technology expert, Nate Lanox on how safe 'Alexa' Amazon Echo, Google or Apple really was, the topic was titled 'Is there a spy in your home?'. 

These products are one of the biggest selling gadgets and are extremely popular in the Christmas period. The idea behind these gadgets are smart speakers with voice-activated home audio speaker system with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. The most popular system is the 'Amazon Echo'.

Amazon Echo is a cylindrical home audio speaker that integrates a personal voice assistant named Alexa, very much like Siri, on your iPhone or tablet. It's always on and always connected with Wi-Fi allowing it to sit on your home network and access cloud services, and Bluetooth, letting you stream music from mobile devices. (click here to find out more here).

There are a number of Amazon Echo's but Amazon's newly updated gadget is the 'Echo Dot'. Rather than just asking Alexa to play your favourite boy band album, the Echo Dot uses Alexa to provide users with the latest news, picks up commands from across the room, orders your favourite take away from Just Eat etc. 

The debate from the program 'This Morning' got me thinking how safe are these devices we use in our homes? Although I don't have Alexa in my own home, I'm sure there's are concern with users who use it in their homes. Although you are able to control the device as to when you'd like it on or off, the real concern is once it's off is it listening to your private conversations or is it watching your every move? 

As humans, when these exciting, new gadgets are released, we don't think of the worst, normally, we trust these companies that create these devices. But the question is should we REALLY trust them or should we be concerned as there is no proof or evidence that these devices are 100% safe; although these companies are likely to say they are safe, are they really?