Apps from the Google Play Store are the center of an Android device. They let you play games, listen to music in new and exciting ways, and all around make your phone or tablet better. However, downloading Play Store applications can also be dangerous. Reports are stating that certain applications can access parts of your Android device without your permission, which is generally a red flag. As many as 90 percent of Android phones might be vulnerable to these types of malicious programs.
The Good News And The Bad
Android Authority found that the so-called "Godless" apps can attack Android devices running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or below. The good side of this is that those running Android 6 (Marshmallow) should be safer from app attacks. When downloading applications, it's always good to verify the permissions they are asking for beforehand. Just because permissions are excessive or seem unrelated to the app's function(s) doesn't make them illicit, but if you don't feel comfortable, a second thought may be in order.
Unfortunately, there's not an exact road map for which Play Store apps are safe and which are not. The India Times, however, mentioned that checking a developer's Play Store reviews can be a good guide; if a developer does not have any feedback or very negative reviews, you should likely steer clear. Having a good anti-virus app can also help, but be wary of malicious programs posing as free anti-virus downloads.
Malicious apps can give themselves administrator permissions on your Android device without your knowledge or approval. This, in turn, can allow them to install other applications (like potential spyware or bloatware) onto your Android phone or other device.