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More and more users are turning to Android smartphones, which might be why there's been a big increase in the amount of Android malware.
The number of malware, or malicious software, that target Android phones have increased 76% since the previous quarter, according to McAfee.
This new statistic means that Android is now the most highly-attacked mobile operating system, according to CNET.
In comparison, Apple's operating system has few malware threats. "Jailbroken"
Apple devices, however, may face a few malware threats.
What can malware do? Malware can infiltrate your phone and make it a target for hackers and it can potentially expose private information stored on your phone.
But, consumers can combat malware.
For example, consumers should try to download applications on their phones only from reputable sources. Of course, malware programs might be available on legitimate sources, like the Android Market, because Android developers have great freedom in posting new applications into the marketplace. But, only downloading from reputable online stores can help curb malware, according to PC Magazine.
And, always install updates to your phone's operating system, reports PC Magazine. Many malware applications function by exploiting weaknesses in the phone's OS. The update might have patched (or fixed) the vulnerabilities.
Consumers should also be wary about using public WiFi spots to access private information. It may be tempting to use open WiFi networks, but unsecured use of public WiFi can open you up to hacking attacks later down the line.
Android smartphone users may not be able to fully safeguard themselves against Android malware. But, taking precautions can significantly reduce your risk.