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I have a very simple question. If I root my phone, will it be easier for malware to run on my device and cause more damage (due to the nature of the extended set of operations that applications with root access can perform, and the downside of being logged in and running applications as root on Linux systems).

Thanks.


EDIT:

Even when an application is rooted, it can still be configured to disallow installation of APK files from unknown locations (locations other than the Google Play Store). This increases security since it makes it impossible that a web browser download install a malicious app even though the device is rooted.

marked as duplicate by eldarerathis Dec 7 '14 at 3:09

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Yes and no.

If you carelessly install apps to your phone without reviewing permissions, then yes your system is more vulnerable to malware and such.

But if you "read the fine print" and are conscientious about what you install, then no your system should be just as safe as not rooted.

You can also control permissions with the native AppOps or you can use a third party app. A excellent example of that would be My Android Tools. You can enable/disable Activities, Broadcast Receivers, Content Providers, and Services. So even if an app has an undesirable permission you can still control what your apps, while rooted, are doing (even in the background). Not only can you change the settings for user apps, but also system apps. It even has an option to backup the settings before any changes are made, in case of any issues.

Once rooted the Android becomes very interesting. The sky's the limit.


If you don't have AppOps in Settings (because its a hidden setting) you can download a shortcut to it from the PlayStore. There are several apps to accomplish this, just pick one you like.

  • Thank you for your answer. I looked for the AppOps application under Application manager -> ALL but couldn't find it, so at least on my Samsung Galaxy SIII it does not appear to be a "native" application. However I can see several results for AppOps in Google Play, not sure which of these applications is the best. Thanks. – John Sonderson Dec 7 '14 at 22:16
  • According to this article, on newer Android phones it is also possible to enable/disable running processes by clicking on an application in Application manager from settings and then clicking on the Disable/Enable button, but my Samsung Galaxy SIII (Jelly Bean 4.3) has an Uninstall button in that very position. – John Sonderson Dec 8 '14 at 22:07

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