More than a half of smartphone users opt for Android, as it is a versatile, flexible platform, offering a variety of applications, both free and paid. But nothing is perfect, as Android's popularity turns it into the favorite target for mobile hackers.

If you're interested in protecting your device against hazardous situations, read carefully and keep in mind these 10 commandments.

Thou shalt choose Google Play apps. Even if an application on a somehow unfamiliar website looks exactly the same as it does in Google's service, why should you risk installing a pretty box with nasty contents? It doesn't take long for malware to infect your device and to wreck havoc upon your life (and bank account) by recording all your personal data and sending them to a third party, flowing with premium text messages or simply destroying your phone from the inside.
Use simple locks. You should secure your phone with a password. However, passwords can be easily stolen, and there is a much safer option. Think gestures apps make your phone safe by letting you apply a symbol-lock that is way more difficult to be hacked.

Don't go crazy with networks. Connect only to the networks that you know and trust. Unsecured hot spots may be real mine fields, and making a bank transaction with a smartphone connected to an unknown network could be compared to giving your wallet to a passer-by and saying “Excuse me, could you go to the bank and pay my bills? Here's my credit card, there you have a PIN code...”

Read what the apps can do to you. Before you download and install a program, read what can it do and how can it access your phone. Don't be naïve: the programmers are not always honest when it comes to privacy policy.
Have a “remote control” function. Your smartphone is missing? It's not always possible to outwit the thief, but you could at least protect your sensitive data. Install a “remote control” feature that allows you to give commands remotely to wipe out your passwords, and maybe track the phone by using GPS.

Don't go crazy with the apps. The more apps you have, the slower the performance and the shorter your battery life. Always uninstall no longer necessary programs.

Backup. Every now and then take a break and do a backup. Why? Because all kinds of nasty things happen to our phones. They get dropped, they get stolen, they get eaten by our pets. You don't want to lose all your personal data, such as contacts and docs, just because you had no backups.

Think about mobile security software. There are apps that can be treated as a security suite, and the names are familiar to you: ESET, Avast, Lookout, Symantec, AVG, Kaspersky. Choose the one that suits your needs (and your phone).

Look out for fake SMS. It might have not happened to you yet, but should you get an SMS with a link – always check it before tapping. Thanks to the invention of directing links one website can send you to another, spiked with malware.
Have an auto-lock option on. Just like that: if it's stolen while you're doing something else, it would take a little longer for the thief to get their hands on your personal data, and you would have more time for activating your “remote control” or chasing them down with GPS localizing.

This 10 simple rules should help you secure your smartphone. What other solutions do you find useful when keeping the Android devices safe?