According to internet security firm McAfee, instances of mobile malware have increased by as much as 700 percent since 2011, and the majority of it targets Android devices. 85 percent of all malicious software targeting smartphones and tablets is coded to take advantage of security flaws in Google’s mobile OS and comes in all shapes and sizes, including everything form trojans disguised as legitimate apps and software updates to websites that automatically download dirty code to a device.
The main reason for Android’s vulnerability is the ability to install third party software directly, something Apple blocks from their iPhone and iPad line. For some time carrier partners attempted to block the feature from Android devices tied to their networks due to security concerns, but Android supporters have long fought to keep the platform as open as possible.
Still, while the majority of malware targets Android users, it’s rare to find an instance that does not require user approval to install. While the bad software may be cleverly disguised, double checking exactly what is being downloaded and launched on your device is still the best way to guarantee handset security.