Don't count on mobile antivirus programs to provide the same protection that they do for PCs.

The antivirus programs that are made for mobile phones such as Google Inc.'s Android handsets don't actively scan for files or validate downloaded files that are installed, Gawker Media's Lifehacker wrote Tuesday. "You can't just install a mobile security suite on your Android phone and assume you'll be safe regardless of what you do," the article said.

However, malware does not spread as easily on smartphones as it does on computers, since there are fewer ways of transmitting data from device to device, the article said.

Even so, smartphones "carry a great deal of information about us that identity thieves would consider valuable," the article said. Lifehacker advises that smartphone owners monitor their data usage, including their text-message activity, to spot any unusual behavior that might indicate that the phone has been compromised by a hacker.