(CNN) -- For most people, cellphones are a crucial tool for work, for communicating, and for connecting.
But the fact that we take our phones with us almost everywhere means the average cellphone can be pretty gross.
Research shows that cell phones are far dirtier than most people think.
A study published in June found more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies on the phones of high school students.
And a 2012 study determined that cell phones have ten times the amount of bacteria found on most toilet seats.
Most of that bacteria won't have negative health, but a few might.
Studies have found dangerous pathogens on cellphones, including streptococcus, mrsa and e-coli.
You won't necessarily get sick just because it's on your phone, but you do need to be careful and engage in some basic hygiene.
Your hands are the biggest contributors to filth on your phone.
The most important piece of advice is to wash your hands regularly -- several times a day.
Experts also advise that you keep your phone out of the bathroom.
You can also clean your phone periodically with a soft microfiber cloth, an anti-bacterial wipe or a combination of 60% water and 40% rubbing alcohol.