Android's openness is often the thing cited as why so many people love the platform. Google's mobile OS is unrestricted and free from the shackles of a certain rival from Cupertino, although that open nature also has a dark side. Yes, Android has become something of a base for the indie developer, but there is a murkier side to the platform as it is arguably the most dangerous mainstream mobile operating system of them all.
Threat Researcher Brandt has found that malware authors specifically target Android and that the number of threatening apps showing up in the Google Play Store is growing. It seems Apple's restrictions do have some benefit as security issues on iOS are virtually non-existent. Android on the other hand is more like the Wild West of platforms, and the apps finding their way to the platform are of the very scary variety.
For example, a Brandt director said one app uncovered had managed to sign the device account holder up for a monthly subscription without needing specific permission. A cursory glance through the Google Play Store will reveal that quality control is not something the open Android OS can deal with well. The result is a flood of mediocre products, but also outright dangerous ones, but luckily there are precautions that can be taken.
A good old fashioned anti-virus should ward off all but the most stubborn threats, and the major desktop brands are present in the mobile world. Keeping a watchful eye on your credit and accounts linked to Android products would give you a better chance of red flagging any potential threat. And last but not least, relying on good old common sense is arguably still the best way of avoiding anything malicious. Simply put, if it seems something is not right you should avoid it, and as the old saying goes, if it is too good to be true, then it probably isn't.