From the “germs really are everywhere” files: We are carrying around more germ magnets than ever – thanks to our smart phones and tablet computers. Researchers from Stanford University conducted a study on the spread of viruses through glass surfaces like touch screens on iPads. It was published in July's Journal of Applied Microbiology.

The conclusion? If you put a virus on a surface, like an iPhone, about 30-percent of it will get on your fingertips. That means, a fair amount of it may go from your fingers to your eyes, mouth or nose, and those are the main entry points for infection. So wash your hands before and after handling a touch screen device, whether it's an iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or BlackBerry. The likelihood of spreading and catching some nasty bug from that screen is a lot more likely than getting infected by bed bugs. Now that touch screens are being used in stores and restaurants, it’s even more important. 

Bottom line, according to the Stanford researchers: If you're sharing the device, then you're sharing your germs with anyone else who touches it.