Android malware is increasingly common, and that means mobile device-users need to be on guard when it comes to what types of apps they choose to download. Through malicious malware — in the form of apps — hackers can easily take hold of your personal data.

Ways to Take Charge

Users who don't take security seriously will be at a greater risk for downloading these dangerous apps. Here's a few tips to keep in mind to make sure you can spot and prevent Android malware from invading your device.

1) Guard your privacy by taking time to read the permissions the app requires. Think about whether they match the purpose of the app; granting the wrong permissions can send your sensitive data off to third parties.

2) Read the app's reviews. Check to see if there are any strange concerns or experiences with the app.

3) Avoid downloading apps from third-party marketplaces. That's exactly where hackers plant their malware-ridden apps.

4) Stay away from dodgy websites and always check if the developers are legitimate. If you've never heard of them, see if there have been any concerns about them published online.

5) Be wary of a free antivirus trial, because it could be malware in disguise that attacks your mobile device. Affordable Android security software is available from trusted vendors, and it effectively does the job of blocking malicious apps.

According to a study by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, Android was a target for 79 percent of all malware threats to mobile operating systems. The research also found that text messages represented about half of the malicious applications.

Dangerous apps are out for one thing: Data that helps hackers make money. By simply being more aware, you can spot Android malware-ridden apps and use your mobile device freely and safely without exposing your personal information.