Google had to pull more than 50 Android apps, after they were found to contain malicious code. Though no platform is immune to security issues, the open nature of Android makes it tougher for a user to identify the genuinely useful apps.

The following checks can help prevent a user from downloading a malicious Android app:

* Before installing an app, always read the permissions. Though this is cumbersome, it is especially helpful in ascertaining what a lesser-known app is asking for, and whether it is sending information you don't want it to.

* Know about the developer of the app before clicking the download button. This information will be normally available in About the Developer section. Examine the various apps published by the same developer, and look for valid email addresses and offices.

* Last but not least, install a security app that checks what your device is downloading. Leading security software companies like Norton offer security apps that scan each and every app a phone is downloading.